How many times have you promised yourself that you would never eat greasy or processed foods again, only to find yourself checking into a fast food outlet for a quick bite? With the hectic lifestyle and lack of discipline that most people have these days, it comes as no surprise to learn that high cholesterol is one of the leading health problems of our generation.
Cholesterol is produced by the liver and some of it is used by the body for important functions, but if the amount produced is constantly in excess of the body’s requirements, it can lead to blockage of the arteries which may ultimately cause a heart attack. It is important that you find a way to reduce cholesterol naturally in order to avoid these extreme risks to your health and longevity.
Make Lifestyle Changes
We’ve heard it all before, ‘make lifestyle changes’. There is a good reason for saying it and an even better one for doing it. The modern western lifestyle is wreaking havoc on the health of many. The perfect way to lower high cholesterol levels is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. At the most basic level this means that you need to eat a well-balanced diet and exercise regularly.
Improve Your Diet
Better health does not come about by simply adding ‘good’ foods to your existing food intake. I t requires replacement of less healthy foods and food types with those known to support health rather than destroy it. You can begin your dietary improvements by avoiding foods that are too rich in fats, sodium, sugars and starch.
There are also plenty of foods that, when incorporated in your daily meals, will help you reduce cholesterol naturally, such as apples, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and other high-fiber fruits.
You also need to eat foods that contain soluble fiber, which is found in most fruits and vegetables. These fibers will attach themselves to cholesterol, taking excess along as they get flushed out of the body.
Include Omega 3 Fatty Acids
The importance of omega 3 cannot be underestimated. If you want to reduce cholesterol naturally, then you need to eat plenty of foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids like tuna, cod and salmon, which are known to have very high levels of better quality fats.
Omega 3 fatty acids work by reversing the damage caused by bad cholesterol in the body. If you don’t have access to fresh fish, you can take flaxseed oil as a suitable replacement.
Watch Your Cooking Methods
Much of the bad cholesterol that is contained in food is added during the preparation process. Therefore, changing the methods of cooking can also be crucial if you want to reduce cholesterol naturally. Instead of frying, for instance, you can opt to cook your food in a healthy manner so that it is fat free. If you do have to fry, use olive oil instead of your ordinary cooking oil.
Apart from your diet, you can also reduce your cholesterol levels by exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight. It may require some effort to manage your cholesterol levels but all your hard work will be worth it.
The tips mentioned above have no negative side effects and you can start right now!