6 Ways to Reduce Cholesterol Easily
Cholesterol is needed by the body to build healthy body cells and produce hormones. However, cholesterol levels that are too high in the blood increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. Understand how to reduce cholesterol easily naturally through healthy eating and lifestyle.
High cholesterol can cause fat deposits in blood vessels. These deposits will inhibit the flow in arteries. As a result, important organs in the body do not get enough oxygen-rich blood intake.
Deposits of fat in blood vessels also increase a person’s risk of having a heart attack, coronary heart disease, angina, and heart failure. Meanwhile, reduced blood flow to the brain can cause strokes.
Most people with high cholesterol have an unhealthy lifestyle. For example, often eating saturated fatty foods, consuming alcoholic beverages, smoking, and rarely exercising. However, high cholesterol can also be caused by heredity, aka inheriting it from parents.
How to Reduce Cholesterol Easily
For people with high cholesterol, cholesterol levels can be reduced by improving unhealthy lifestyles, including:
1. Trim saturated fat and trans fat
Saturated fats are found in innards, fried foods, fast food, and processed meat. While trans fat is usually contained in margarine and cakes. To reduce cholesterol levels, you are advised to increase consumption of foods that contain healthy fats.
Studies reveal, consumption of healthy fats, such as monounsaturated fats, can reduce levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase levels of good cholesterol (HDL) in people with high cholesterol. Meanwhile, healthy fats can also reduce cholesterol while reducing the risk of coronary heart disease. Therefore, start reducing the consumption of foods that increase cholesterol and multiply foods that reduce cholesterol levels.
2. Increase fiber
Consumption of fiber contained in grains, whole grains, and fruits can reduce bad cholesterol levels. Good bacteria that live in the intestine utilize water-soluble fibers as nutrients, which then play a role in lowering cholesterol levels.
A study also showed that increasing fiber intake can prevent the risk of heart disease and blood vessels. So, consume various types of cholesterol-lowering vegetables that are rich in fiber, if you want to reduce cholesterol levels that are too high in the blood.
Apart from keeping the body fit, regular exercise can reduce bad cholesterol levels and increase good cholesterol levels. In one study, aerobic exercise and weight training for 12 weeks proved to be able to reduce levels of bad cholesterol in women who are overweight.
Regular exercise also helps with weight loss and inhibits the formation of cholesterol in the body. It is recommended to exercise at least 30 minutes five times a week, to get its benefits in reducing cholesterol levels.
In addition to maintaining food intake and exercising, smoking and consuming excessive alcoholic beverages also need to be stopped. In smokers and alcohol drinkers, the body has decreased ability to move cholesterol from blood vessels to the liver, so that the arteries will be more prone to clogging. This can cause disruption in various organs that are fatal.
How to Reduce Cholesterol with Supplements
Some supplements that contain the following ingredients, are believed to reduce high cholesterol levels in the blood:
4. Lotus leaf extract
People in East Asia, such as China, Japan and Korea, have long believed the efficacy of lotus leaf extract as a traditional treatment. Lotus leaf extract is often used to treat stomach inflammation, diarrhea, headaches, and bleeding after giving birth.
Based on research, lotus leaf extract can also reduce total cholesterol and reduce fasting blood sugar levels. This nutritious plant also has anti-obesity properties and slows the rate of fat metabolism, so it can help you lose weight. However, this benefit still needs to be studied more clinically.
L-Carnitine is an amino acid that is produced naturally by the body. In the body, L-carnitine plays a role in fat processing and energy production. In certain doses, L-carnitine can reduce levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) in the blood and has the potential to have a good impact on the health of the heart and blood vessels.
6. Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), also called linoleic acid, is naturally present in animal flesh. Although included in saturated fat, linoleic acid has benefits for the body. Linoleic acid is believed to have the effect of losing weight and improving the body’s metabolism, although these benefits still need to be proven further through clinical trials.
If you decide to use supplements as a way to lower cholesterol, be sure to take them according to the dosage and usage rules stated on the package. Pregnant women, nursing mothers, children, and sufferers of chronic diseases must be more careful in taking supplements. It is advisable to consult a doctor first to ascertain the benefits and side effects of the cholesterol-lowering supplement you will be using.