Though there are numerous cholesterol-lowering medications out there today, it’s still a good idea for individuals to try to lower their cholesterol levels naturally. The key is to find methods which lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, often referred to as the “bad” cholesterol. The following are some of the best techniques for lowering your LDL cholesterol naturally.
Avoid Saturated Fats
The first thing you need to adjust if you have high levels of LDL cholesterol is your diet. To begin with, you’ll want to avoid foods that are high in saturated fats, like red meat, cheese and eggs. Instead, focus on eating a varied diet of healthy, unprocessed foods. The following are some healthy foods you can eat for a low-cholesterol diet:
- Whole grains
- Olive oil
- Red wine
Following these diet recommendations can make a significant impact on your health. U.S. News reports that one study found that a balanced diet was just as effective as a statin at reducing LDL cholesterol levels. If you need help forming a diet plan that works for you, speak with a doctor or a nutritionist who is familiar with your cholesterol issues.
If you’re suffering from high cholesterol levels, it’s time to get back into a regular workout routine. At least 30 minutes a day five times a week is recommended, and you can vary between aerobic exercises like jogging or biking and strength-training exercises like push-ups, sit-ups and squats. The key here is to get your body moving on a regular basis and to push yourself a little bit more each time as your body becomes used to the routine.
Doing these exercises can lower your LDL cholesterol levels naturally and safely while creating a significant boost in your overall health. If you haven’t been exercising recently, you can even start small with 10 minutes of exercise a day five times a week – just be sure to gradually build up the length of your workout over time.
There are plenty of natural supplements you can try for lowering your cholesterol levels. In many cases, these supplements are very effective in reducing your LDL cholesterol. The following supplements are recommended for lowering LDL cholesterol in your body:
- Multivitamin: Make sure you’re taking a multivitamin daily. Check the label carefully before you settle on a particular brand – your multivitamin of choice should include a minimum of 500 mcg of chromium, 2 mg of biotin and 400 mg of lipoic acid. Many of these types of multivitamins require taking three capsules twice a day, but check the label for instructions.
- Omega-3s: Omega-3 fats are also good for lowering LDL cholesterol. Take about 1000 mg of this supplement twice a day.
- Vitamin D3: There’s no standard amount for a vitamin D3 supplement. In general, 2000 IU of vitamin D3 is considered the maximum. Ask a doctor to find out how much of this supplement you should take per day.
- Red rice yeast: This is helpful in keeping your cholesterol particles at a healthy size. Take about 1200 mg of red rice yeast supplements twice a day.
- Glucomannan: Generally, 2-4 capsules of this supplement can be taken about 15 minutes before each meal. Make sure to drink a glass of water whenever taking this medication.
- Plant sterols: Consider taking a broad-range, balanced concentration of plant sterols to help lower your LDL cholesterol naturally. One capsule of this supplement is typically taken with each meal.
Make sure you speak to your doctor before you begin taking any of the supplements listed here. When you do ask about cholesterol-lowering substances, be sure to mention any other medications you are taking as well.
Take Vitamin B3
Also known as niacin, vitamin B3 can be useful for raising your “good” cholesterol (high-density lipoproteins or HDL cholesterol). This is important because it is the HDL cholesterol which helps move LDL cholesterol out of the bloodstream and into the liver, where they are destroyed. U.S. News explains that niacin can actually raise HDL levels by 15 to 35 percent and lower LDL levels by around 20%.
Although it’s very effective, there are a few drawbacks to taking vitamin B3 for this purpose. First, it may raise blood sugar and cause flushing, and the risk for side effects increases when niacin is combined with a statin. Secondly, you’ll need to get a doctor’s prescription to get the high-dose capsules that are used for the purpose of lowering LDL cholesterol.
Many people will find that following the tips above can help them to significantly reduce their LDL cholesterol levels. If you are taking any cholesterol-lowering medications, make sure to ask your doctor about what other steps you can take to lower your cholesterol which will not cause harmful side effects or reactions with your medication.