High levels of cholesterol in your blood can build up deposits of plaque on the walls of the arteries and cause significant health problems. To avoid the risk of hardening of the arteries, high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke, isn’t is worth knowing how to lower cholesterol to a safe level?
If you want to keep your arteries healthy, there are a few dietary and lifestyle guidelines that, if followed, could help to reduce your cholesterol level naturally. A diet that is low in trans fats and saturated fats but high in fiber, combined with a simple exercise regime, could have your cholesterol level under control within a matter of weeks.
A good start to your low fat diet is to replace fatty meats, such as ground meats and pork chops, with lean meats like veal and skinless chicken breasts. Even better than meats are sea foods such as tuna, salmon and sardines, which contain omega 3 fatty acids. Dairy products such as full-fat milk, butter and cheese are high in saturated fats, so consider replacing some of the high fat dairy products in your diet with reduced-fat milk and dairy substitutes like rice milk and soy cheese.
Some foods that are high in fiber actually help to actively reduce cholesterol by eliminating it from the body before it has a chance to be absorbed. These food groups include fresh fruits and vegetables as well as oatmeal and flax seeds. There are also foods that contain plant sterols that combat cholesterol – certain substitute butter spreads for example.
Restaurant, takeaway and prepackaged foods tend to contain high levels of fats, salt and other seasonings. Therefore, if you want to be able to limit your consumption of cholesterol-producing foods it is best to prepare healthy food at home where you can be certain what ingredients and cooking methods have been used. If you invest in one of the many cook books that promote low-fat dishes you will find many simple recipes to inspire you to prepare inexpensive, healthy, nourishing foods without spending hours in the kitchen.
An exercise program can stimulate a sluggish metabolism, boost circulation and specifically raise HDL (good cholesterol) levels. Exercise doesn’t have to be overly vigorous and tiring either; if you have been used to a sedentary life then taking time for a twenty-minute walk each day is enough to make a big difference, and before long you should find that are comfortably walking longer distances faster without tiring.
Making some relatively small adjustments to your diet and lifestyle you should be able to bring LDL (bad cholesterol) to a more healthy level. It won’t happen overnight, but if you can make an effort to do more exercise, reduce your consumption of trans fats and eat more fiber, your cholesterol levels may be significantly lower within a few weeks.