We all need cholesterol for our body to function properly. However, if you have too high levels of cholesterol in your blood, it can stick to your arteries, narrowing or blocking them entirely, which can be a real disaster. Cholesterol represents a risk of coronary artery disease and other heart diseases.
In this article, you will find out how to lower cholesterol levels, the difference between good and bad cholesterol, foods to eat and to avoid and a great meal plan that will help you restore your natural balance.
Good vs. Bad Cholesterol
Before you find out how to lower cholesterol levels, first you need to make a difference between good and bad cholesterol.
Low-density cholesterol (LDL) is the bad cholesterol, and a high level of LDL leads to an accumulation of cholesterol in the arteries. High-density cholesterol (HDL) is the ¨good¨ cholesterol, and this is where bad cholesterol is eliminated.
There are some steps you can take to lower bad cholesterol and raise the good one. By keeping your cholesterol levels within normal value, you can reduce your risk of heart disease.
Treatments for high cholesterol are a healthy lifestyle with possibly a good diet, weight control, a lot of physical activity, and of course, medications.
How to Lower Cholesterol Levels Naturally
If you have been looking for ways how to lower cholesterol levels naturally, you have come to the right place, because today not only you will find out what you need to do to lead a healthier life, but I provide you with a menu you cannot resist. Now let´s start with things you need to change ASAP…
Choose Healthier Fats
You must limit both total fat and saturated fat. No more than 25 to 35% of your daily calories should come from fats in your diet, and less than 7% of your daily calories should come from saturated fats. Depending on the number of calories you consume per day, there are the maximum amounts of fats you should eat
• Saturated Fat is a harmful fat because it raises your level of bad cholesterol more than anything else in your diet. Some of the products that consist of saturated fat are meat, dairy products, chocolate, baked goods, and processed and fried foods.
• Trans Fat is another harmful fat. It can raise your bad cholesterol and lower your good cholesterol. Trans fat exists in foods made with hydrogenated fats and oils, such as stick margarine, crackers, and potato chips.
Instead of these harmful fats, you should try healthier fats such as lean meats, nuts, and unsaturated oils such as canola, olive and safflower oils. If you want to know how to lower cholesterol levels, then you should entirely consume less than 200 mg per day.
Limit the Salt
You should try to limit the amount of sodium you consume to no more than 2.300 milligrams (approximately one tablespoon of salt per day). Limiting salt will not reduce cholesterol, but it can lower the risk of heart disease by helping to lower blood pressure.
Alcohol adds extra calories, which can lead to weight gain. Being overweight can raise your level of bad cholesterol and decrease your level of good cholesterol. Too much alcohol can also increase your risk of heart disease because it can raise your blood pressure and triglyceride level. A drink is a glass of wine, beer or a small amount of hard liquor, and the recommendation is:
• No more than two alcoholic drinks a day for men
• No more than one alcoholic beverage a day for women
Nutrition labels can help you determine how much fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, fiber, and sodium contain the foods you buy.
Foods That Lower Cholesterol Levels
As I mentioned above, it is crucial that you change your habits and opt for healthier meals every day. If you are confused about what to eat and what not, here are some ailments, you should include in your daily menu:
• Bread, rice, pasta and whole grain meals every day;
• Beans, grains, lentils, and soybeans should be consumed at least two times per week;
• Almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, around 5 to 10 units per day;
• Low-fat milk, low-fat white cheeses, and plain yogurt;
• Fish such as salmon, tuna and hake, at least twice a week.
• Increase water consumption to 2 to 2.5l per day;
• Fruits and vegetables around 3 to 5 times a day.
In addition to this, it is essential to perform physical activity at least three times a week for 1 hour or daily for 30 minutes, make three main meals and 2 to 3 snacks without skipping any of them and, finally, decrease in weight in case you are overweight or obese. Know what your ideal weight is.
Foods To Avoid Completely
You need to avoid some foods, since they are rich in fats and sugars, increasing LDL and here are some of these:
• Guts of animals such as liver, kidneys, and heart
• Milk and full yogurts;
• Oils in general
• Frozen pizzas;
• Sweets, cakes, cookies, and chocolates;
• Yellow cheeses and cream cheese;
• sausages, chorizos, and ham;
• Fat meat such as meat meats, hind tops or pork
• Sauces such as tomato sauce, mayonnaise, aioli;
• Alcoholic drinks.
How to Lower Cholesterol Levels With Diet
If you have become determined to change your lifestyle completely, this 3-day diet will help you detoxify your body and reduce cholesterol levels significantly.
Breakfast: glass of skim milk + 2 slices of whole wheat bread + 1 tsp of light jam
Morning snack: 1 glass of natural grape juice
Lunch/ dinner: Mashed potatoes with cooked fish + 1/2 cup cooked salad with broccoli and carrot + 1 tsp olive oil + 1 apple
Afternoon snack: 1 plain yogurt + 2 tablespoons whole grain
Night snack: 1 cup of artichoke tea
Breakfast: 1 cup of whole grain cereal + 1 glass of skim milk
Morning snack: 1 plain yogurt + 1/2 cup chopped fruit
Lunch/ dinner: 200 g of whole wheat pasta with tomato + 1 medium turkey breast + steamed spinach +1 tsp olive oil + 1 pear
Afternoon snack: 1 cup of a cubed pin
Night snack: 1 cup of dandelion tea
Breakfast: 1 or 2 medium-size whole wheat tortillas + 1 slice of cheese +1 slice of turkey breast
Morning snack: 1 medium banana
Lunch/ dinner: Asparagus with grilled chicken + 1 cup of raw lettuce salad with tomato + 1 tsp olive oil + 1 small bunch of grapes
Afternoon snack: 1 avocado smoothie (200ml) made with natural yogurt
Night snack: 1 cup of turmeric tea
Changing your life is never easy; however, you need to do it especially when health is concerned.
As I already mentioned before, bad cholesterol can do a lot of damage which is why you need to change the way you eat and your daily habits. By following my tips on how to lower cholesterol levels and cooking according to the menu above, you are guaranteed to notice a significant improvement in your body and not just the cholesterol.
MedlinePlus.gov - https://medlineplus.gov/howtolowercholesterolwithdiet.html Drugs.com - https://www.drugs.com/health-guide/cirrhosis.html Livescience.com - https://www.livescience.com/44097-the-chocolate-diet.html BetterHealth.vic.gov.au - https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/weight-loss-common-myths Wikipedia( multiple pages ) Personal Experience