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A high cholesterol level is a common health concern affecting millions of people worldwide. Having high levels of cholesterol in the blood can increase the risk of heart diseases and stroke, which are among the leading causes of death globally.
While medications such as statins can help lower cholesterol levels, some people may prefer natural and noninvasive approaches to managing their cholesterol levels.
This article will explore some home remedies for high cholesterol levels that are backed by science and can be easily incorporated into your daily routine – from dietary changes to lifestyle modifications and natural supplements that may help you lower your cholesterol levels and promote better heart health.
How to Maintain Optimum Cholesterol Balance
Here are some ways to lower your elevated cholesterol levels naturally.
1. Sleep well
Did you know that getting enough sleep may be one of the most effective and natural ways to lower your cholesterol levels?
Numerous studies have found a connection between inadequate sleep length and poor sleep quality and higher levels of LDL or “bad” cholesterol, which can raise the risk of heart disease and stroke. (1)(2)
One study, published in the journal Sleep, indicated that normal sleep duration and blood cholesterol and lipoprotein levels are strongly correlated. (3)
Another research study discovered a link between poor sleep quality and higher LDL cholesterol levels and lower HDL or “good” cholesterol levels. (4)
2. Reduce stress
Stress is an inevitable part of life, and too much of it might take a toll on your physical and mental health. When it comes to cholesterol levels, chronic stress has been shown to increase the production of LDL cholesterol, which can contribute to the development of heart disease.
Stress and high cholesterol levels are clearly related. According to research published in the Journal of Medicine, individuals who reported experiencing more stress had higher LDL cholesterol levels and lower HDL cholesterol levels. (5)(6)
According to these results, lowering stress levels may be a useful technique for lowering cholesterol and enhancing heart health. You could try some tried-and-true methods for reducing stress, such as exercise, meditation, and deep breathing.
You might be able to lower your cholesterol levels and enhance your general health by adding these habits to your regular routine.
3. Use coconut oil
Coconut oil is rich in saturated fats, making it a great option for those who have cholesterol issues. It contains fatty acids that help lower LDL cholesterol levels while increasing HDL cholesterol levels.
In one study, people with high cholesterol levels who ate 2 tablespoons of coconut oil per day for 4 weeks had a significant increase in their HDL cholesterol levels and a decrease in their LDL cholesterol levels. (7)
In a different trial, participants with high cholesterol levels who substituted coconut oil for some of the saturated fat in their diet saw a reduction in both their LDL and total cholesterol levels. (8)
Coconut oil may help improve your cholesterol levels by:
- Reducing your LDL cholesterol level
- Increasing your HDL cholesterol level
- Reducing the amount of triglycerides in your blood
Coconut oil has a number of benefits for people with high cholesterol levels. It reduces the level of LDL cholesterol. Coconut oil can also help to increase the level of good cholesterol in the blood, which can help to improve overall cardiovascular health.
Additionally, coconut oil can help to reduce inflammation throughout the body, which is often a contributing factor to high cholesterol levels.
India is the world’s largest producer of coconuts, so it’s no surprise that coconut oil is a staple in Indian cooking. Unlike other oils, coconut oil can be used for both cooking and skin care.
Coconut oil has several health benefits, including reducing inflammation and improving heart health. Additionally, coconut oil can help boost your metabolism and promote weight loss.
4. Consume olive oil
Olive oil may be a beneficial addition to your diet if you’re trying to lower your cholesterol level. This heart-healthy oil is rich in monounsaturated fats, which have been shown to lower LDL cholesterol levels and raise HDL cholesterol levels.
It has been demonstrated that natural, plant-based olive oil lowers cholesterol levels. Unlike other oils, olive oil contains healthy monounsaturated fats that can actually improve your cholesterol profile. Olive oil is also a rich source of antioxidants and other nutrients that might improve your general health.
While you can get these benefits by using olive oil in cooking, you may also want to try taking it in supplement form. According to several studies, taking an olive oil supplement daily can considerably lower LDL cholesterol levels. See a qualified nutritionist or your doctor to get started if you want to try olive oil for lowering your cholesterol.
For those trying to lower their cholesterol level, olive oil is a fantastic choice. Here are some tips on how to incorporate olive oil into your dishes:
- Replace other oils with olive oil when cooking. When sautéing vegetables or frying spices, use olive oil instead of other oils.
- Add olive oil to curries and stews. This will add flavor and help to reduce the amount of saturated fats.
- Use olive oil as a salad dressing. Make a simple dressing with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Or try a more exotic dressing by adding spices such as cumin or cardamom.
- Replace butter with olive oil when making naan, chapatti, or other breads. This will add flavor and help to reduce the amount of saturated fat in the breads.
- Grill or roast vegetables with olive oil instead of using butter or other oils. This will help keep the vegetables healthy and lower cholesterol.
5. Try walnuts
If you’re looking for a way to lower your cholesterol, you may want to consider adding walnuts to your diet. Walnuts are a good source of unsaturated fats, which can help reduce LDL cholesterol levels. Moreover, they provide a considerable amount of fiber, phytosterols, magnesium, and vitamin E.
The plant-based omega-3 fatty acids found in walnuts are effective in reducing bad cholesterol levels and inflammation. A recent study showed that eating just a handful of walnuts per day can improve cholesterol levels in people with high cholesterol levels.
Walnuts also contain a lot of fiber, which removes bile acids from the body and lowers cholesterol levels by adhering to them. Additionally, the antioxidants present in walnuts can help protect against damage to LDL cholesterol particles, making them less likely to form plaque in the arteries.
Here are some recipes that include walnuts that can help lower your cholesterol levels:
- Walnut and apple salad: This salad is a great way to get your daily recommended dose of fruit and nuts. The combination of apples and walnuts makes for a delicious and healthy salad.
- Walnut-crusted salmon: Salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and is beneficial for heart health. This recipe pairs salmon with a crunchy walnut crust for a delicious and healthy meal.
- Walnut oatmeal cookies: These cookies are a healthier alternative to traditional oatmeal cookies. They’re made with whole-wheat flour, oats, walnuts, and dried fruit.
6. Consume soybeans
Soybeans are high in protein and iron, two nutrients that are often lacking in diets. Iron is necessary for red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body.
Soybeans are a type of legume that is native to East Asia. They are a staple food in many Asian cultures and have been shown to have numerous health benefits. One of these health benefits is the ability to lower cholesterol levels.
Studies have shown that soybeans can help to lower LDL and total cholesterol levels. They do this by blocking the absorption of cholesterol in the digestive system. (9) Soybeans are also a good source of protein and other nutrients, making them a valuable addition to a healthy diet.
If you are looking to lower your cholesterol levels, soybeans may be a good food to include in your diet.
7. Include broccoli in your meals
Broccoli is a type of cruciferous vegetable that is rich in fiber and nutrients. Fiber can help reduce cholesterol levels by binding to cholesterol in the gut and preventing it from being absorbed into the body.
Additionally, several randomized controlled trials have shown that the nutrients in broccoli can help promote a healthy lipid profile. (10)
If you have high cholesterol levels, adding broccoli to your diet is a simple and effective way to help lower your cholesterol levels. You can easily add broccoli to your meals by steaming it, stir-frying it, or eating it raw.
8. Add spinach to your diet
Diets rich in vegetables and fruits can reduce the risk of heart disease, and spinach is one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables you can eat. (11)
Almost half of the daily recommended dose of vitamin A and nearly all of the daily recommended intake of vitamin K are both found in only 1 cup of spinach. Furthermore, spinach is a rich source of calcium, magnesium, and iron.
Spinach can help decrease cholesterol levels if you have high levels of it. The antioxidants in spinach help to keep cholesterol from oxidizing, which can damage blood vessels and lead to heart disease. Adding spinach to your diet is a simple and effective way to reduce your risk of heart disease and improve your overall health.
Additional Tips by Experts
- Eat meals in small portions rather than enormous ones. For instance, eat 60% of calories for breakfast, 30% for lunch, and only 10% for dinner. Before 7 o’clock, dinner should be served.
- Do not drink calories (soda energy drinks and juices). If your teeth are in good condition, eat fruits rather than drinking their juice.
- Walk briskly for at least 2,000 steps a day. Start with 200 and gradually increase. If you are using public transport, start walking one stop before your final destination on daily basis. (12)
Most-Asked Questions About High Cholesterol Levels
How do I know whether I have high cholesterol levels?
Since there are no symptoms of high cholesterol levels, the only way to know for sure is to get your blood test for lipids done. This is a part of routine examinations, and your doctor can recommend the way forward.
What factors predispose me to develop high cholesterol levels?
If you have a family history of high cholesterol levels or other cardiovascular diseases, it is a good idea to get yourself regularly tested, according to your doctor’s recommendation. Additionally, smoking, obesity, a lack of exercise, stress, and a poor diet also predispose you to develop high cholesterol levels.
Do home remedies really work for high cholesterol levels?
Yes, home remedies will help keep your cholesterol levels in check, provided you combine them with a healthy lifestyle.
I have just been diagnosed with high cholesterol levels. What do I do?
There is no need to worry. Follow your doctor’s recommendations and treatment protocol. You can try the above-mentioned home remedies with their guidance and approval.
Maintaining regular physical exercise and a balanced diet will boost overall well-being. It is a good idea to regularly have your blood levels checked and consult a medical practitioner.
It may also be a good practice to plan a holistic nutrition approach with guidance from a certified nutritionist or dietitian.