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Lower Cholesterol Naturally

lower cholesterol levels naturally

Taking care of your health is essential, especially regarding your heart. High LDL cholesterol levels can increase your risk of heart attacks and strokes, so controlling them is crucial. You can do this by eating a heart-healthy diet that can help lower your LDL levels and decrease your risk of heart disease and other health conditions. This can also help reduce the medication you need to control your cholesterol and blood pressure. Here are some natural tips that are backed by research to help you lower your LDL cholesterol levels.

Eat the Mediterranean Way

Adopting a traditional Mediterranean diet is one effective way to lower your LDL cholesterol levels. This diet is primarily plant-based, which includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds in every meal. Fish and shellfish are consumed a few times a week, while dairy and poultry are included in moderation. On the other hand, red meats and sweets are consumed very infrequently. This diet can lower your LDL cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of heart disease and other health conditions.

Limit Saturated Fats

Saturated fats increase LDL cholesterol levels, which makes the lining of blood vessels less flexible and increases insulin resistance. Saturated fats are primarily found in animal products — especially red meats, poultry skin, and dark meat chicken. Full-fat dairy products such as butter, cheese, milk or 2% milk, cream cheese, sour cream, and ice cream also contain high levels of saturated fat. Vegetable sources of saturated fat include coconut, palm, and palm kernel oils. The American Heart Association recommends aiming for no more than 5%-6% of calories from saturated fat. For a diet consuming 1500 calories, 6% of your calories from saturated fat would equal 10 grams.

Seek out Soluble Fiber

Soluble fiber is a type of fiber found in plant foods. It is not digestible and, therefore, is not absorbed in the intestine. Soluble fiber binds to cholesterol in the intestine and removes it from the body. Eating 10-12 grams of soluble fiber daily can help lower total and LDL cholesterol by 5 to 11 points. Eating more soluble fiber may also improve blood glucose levels and aid in weight loss. Foods high in soluble fiber include whole grains such as barley and oats, beans, legumes, fruits, and vegetables.

Focus on Fruits and Vegetables

eat lots of fruits and vegetables to lower your cholesterolIn addition to being a good source of soluble fiber, fruits and vegetables are also low in calorie and offer vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties. Fruits and vegetables are rich in nutrients such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium, which can help lower blood pressure.

Enjoy Nuts and Nut Butters

Nuts are a staple of the Mediterranean diet. Studies show that eating nuts several times a week lowered the risk for cardiovascular disease by 30% – 50%. Aim for one ounce per day of dry roasted or raw nuts.

Sprinkle on Some Ground Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds can help lower LDL cholesterol levels. Flaxseeds are rich in soluble fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Flaxseeds should be ground for best absorption and stored in the refrigerator or freezer. Try sprinkling two tablespoons of ground flaxseed on your oatmeal, yogurt, salads, or smoothies.

Heart-Healthy Recipes to Lower Your Cholesterol

Here are some heart-healthy recipes incorporating some of the foods discussed above:

South Denver Cardiology Associates Can Help You Adopt a Heart-Healthy Diet

If you’re looking to make some lifestyle changes that will lower your cholesterol and improve your hearth health, South Denver Cardiology can help. We offer nutritional counseling services to create an individualized nutrition plan that will help you manage any conditions impacting your heart health. You can also visit our medical weight loss clinic to develop a customized plan that will help you maintain a healthy weight that will reduce your risk of a variety of conditions that can potentially impact your heart health.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment. South Denver Cardiology Associates serves patients in the South Denver and Littleton areas.

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As with any health concerns, your specific treatment program should be discussed thoroughly with your primary care physician as well as any specialists who may need to be consulted – like a cardiologist.

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