6 tips to lower cholesterol


Cholesterol is a waxy substance made by the liver. It is essential for good health as it builds blocks for cell membranes and creates bile acid, vitamin D, and hormones. Although our bodies need some cholesterol, too much of it may clog up the arteries and lead to health problems, including heart disease.

Cholesterol, like fat, doesn’t dissolve in water, so it does not come apart in the blood and travels through the blood on molecules called lipoproteins. Depending on the kind of lipoproteins, different effects on health may be caused. For instance, high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) result in cholesterol deposits in blood vessel walls, which can lead to:

  • heart diseases, including heart attack
  • clogged arteries
  • stroke
  • kidney failure

In fact, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) helps carry cholesterol away from vessel walls and prevent the conditions mentioned above.

What is the function of cholesterol?

Cholesterol plays an essential role in the functioning of our body as it is present in every cell of our body. It contributes to the well-being of the brain, nerves, and skin. Also, cholesterol performs vital functions, including:

  • forms a protective layer of cell membranes to control what can enter or leave the cell;
  • makes vitamin D and acid and produces certain hormones that are vital for bones, teeth, and muscles;
  • makes bile, which is essential for digesting food fats;

Where is cholesterol found in the body?

Cholesterol molecules are present in all cells of the body. These molecules need to be attached to other molecules, so they unite with proteins and another type of lipid called triglycerides, forming a lipoprotein particle.

What are lipoproteins?

Lipoprotein is a combination of lipids and proteins that travels through the blood and delivers cholesterol to the body’s tissue. As too much cholesterol causes problems with health, lipoproteins pick up the extra cholesterol and carry it away. There are many types of cholesterol, but LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol are the main ones.

Tips on how to improve cholesterol level

Eat plant-based food

Choose only plant-based foods such as beans, fruits, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and seeds (not too much). Avoid eating animal protein or try to limit it to 3 ounces per day. They are considered to be cholesterol-lowering foods.

Reduce saturated fat

Limit the amount of saturated fat to 15 g per day (not more). Saturated fat is found in cheese, full-fat dairy products, eggs, poultry, and red meat. Trans fats raise overall cholesterol levels. Always read food labels to avoid products containing hydrogenated vegetable oils (trans fatty acids). These include:

  • cookies and crackers
  • margarine
  • fast food

Limiting the amount of saturated foods intake may help to reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, referred to as “bad” cholesterol.

Increase fiber intake

Fiber intake should be increased to 30 g per day. A great source of fiber is fruit & vegetables, nuts, seeds, cereal, beans, whole grain bread, ice, etc. Soluble fiber is especially effective in reducing cholesterol absorption into the bloodstream. It can be found in oatmeal, brussel sprouts, beans and peas, apples and pears, flax, and sunflower seeds.

Eat food rich in Omega-3

Omega-3 fatty acids don’t affect LDL cholesterol. However, they benefit from heart conditions by reducing blood pressure. Omega – 3 can be found in salmon, mackerel, herring, flax seeds, and walnuts.

Increase physical activity

Exercises help to reduce cholesterol and increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL), known as ‘good’ cholesterol.

The AHA claims that 150 min of aerobic exercise per week decreases cholesterol levels. According to a recent study, 12 weeks of combined aerobics helped to lower harmful oxidized LDL in 20 overweight women. Even low-intensity exercise (walking) may help to increase beneficial HDL.

Maintain a healthy-for-you weight

Excess weight increases the risk of developing high cholesterol, as every 10 pounds of excess fat produces 10 mg of cholesterol daily. However, losing weight helps to reduce cholesterol levels. Those who lost more than 10% of their weight significantly reduced cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Consider trying supplements

Fish oil and soluble fiber may improve cholesterol levels and benefit heart health. Fish oil is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids DHA and EPA that can reduce high blood pressure and both total cholesterol and LDL levels. Psyllium is a form of soluble fiber available as a supplement that lowers LDL cholesterol levels, potentially delaying the cardiovascular disease risk caused by clogged arteries in those with or without high cholesterol. Some studies claim that Q10 is showing promise in decreasing cholesterol, although its long-term benefits have yet to be discovered.

High LDL cholesterol levels may lead to an increased risk of heart disease. Taking sport, and changes in diet, such as eating more plant-based foods, soluble fiber consumption, and loading up on unsaturated fats, help to decrease cholesterol levels and reduce these risks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *