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The 10 Best Natural Ways to Lower Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a type of fat that is found in every cell in your body. So your body needs some cholesterol to work properly. But if you have too much cholesterol in your blood, it can combine with other substances to form plaque.

Plaque is a sticky substance that can build up on the walls of your arteries. Over time, plaque buildup narrows your arteries and slows down or blocks the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your heart, leading to a heart attack or stroke.

There are two main types of cholesterol: Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is often called "bad" because it contributes to plaque buildup. HDL cholesterol is often called "good" because it helps remove LDL cholesterol from your arteries.

You can help keep your cholesterol levels in check by eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly. However, you might also need medication to reach or maintain healthy cholesterol levels. If you have questions about managing your cholesterol, please make an appointment with your doctor.

There are many different lipoproteins in the body, each affecting health differently. For example, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is the "bad" cholesterol because it can build up on the walls of arteries, resulting in clogged arteries, stroke, heart attack, and kidney failure.

On the other hand, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) is known as the "good" cholesterol because it helps carry cholesterol away from vessel walls and prevents these conditions. There are many natural ways to increase HDL (good) cholesterol and lower LDL.

For example, exercise, eating a healthy diet, and quitting smoking can all help to improve cholesterol levels. In addition, several medications can be used to treat high cholesterol. However, speaking with a doctor before starting any new treatment is crucial.

Liability Of Dietary Cholesterol To Blood Cholesterol

The liver is an excellent organ with many functions. Cholesterol is a waxy substance essential for producing hormones, vitamin D, and bile acids. The liver also releases HDL, which carries unused cholesterol back to the liver. Reverse cholesterol transport protects against clogged arteries.

Some lipoproteins, primarily LDL and VLDL, are prone to damage by free radicals in a process called oxidation. The link between dietary and blood cholesterol is well-established. High levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood are a significant risk factor for heart disease.

The good news is that you can take steps to lower your LDL cholesterol level. Eating a healthy diet and regular exercise are two of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of heart disease.

New research has shown that dietary cholesterol only influences the amount of cholesterol in the body. This is because the liver changes the amount of cholesterol it makes depending on how much you eat. Therefore, the link between diet and blood cholesterol is not as strong as previously thought.

However, oxidized LDL (oxLDL) and VLDL (oxVLDL) are even more harmful to heart health. These types of cholesterol are most often found in processed foods, so limiting your intake is essential. Instead, focus on eating fresh, whole foods with fiber and antioxidants. These nutrients will help to keep your heart healthy and prevent LDL and VLDL from oxidizing.

According to U.S. health organizations, current guidelines for lowering the risk of heart disease no longer contain specific recommendations for dietary cholesterol, such as:

  • American Heart Association (AHA)
  • American College of Cardiology (ACC)
  • 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA)

In 2015, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) made a significant shift in its recommendations for dietary cholesterol. Rather than focusing on a specific limit for daily cholesterol intake, the DGAC recommended that people focus on overall dietary patterns. This

change was based on an extensive review of recent research, which found that dietary cholesterol is not as strongly linked to blood cholesterol levels as previously thought.

As a result of this new evidence, the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines no longer include a recommended limit on dietary cholesterol. Instead, they encourage people to focus on eating healthy overall dietary patterns, such as the Mediterranean or DASH diet. This shift from focusing on specific macronutrients is a positive step in helping people make healthy diet choices.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) recommends that people 2 years old and over limit their intake of saturated fat to less than 10% calories per day. They also suggest replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats, particularly polyunsaturated fats. While this may seem like a lot of work, there are easy ways to make these changes.

For example, switching from butter to olive oil when cooking can make a big difference. And choosing lean cuts of meat or poultry instead of fatty ones can also help to reduce saturated fat intake. By making these simple substitutions, you can help to improve your health and lower your risk of heart disease and other chronic conditions.

The USDA's recently released dietary guidelines have come under fire for their cholesterol-lock stance. The guidelines recommend moderating cholesterol consumption, but this is more to limit the saturated fat that often accompanies cholesterol in foods than to limit cholesterol intake. However, many experts believe that the guidelines are outdated and that there is no need to limit cholesterol intake.

Cholesterol is essential for many bodily functions, and it is only when it is in excess that it becomes a problem. Therefore, it is necessary to consult a physician before making any changes to your diet.

You might not notice dietary cholesterol affecting your cholesterol levels, but many other factors may affect them:

  • family history
  • smoking
  • a sedentary lifestyle
  • heavy alcohol consumption

A healthy lifestyle can help turn the tide by increasing the beneficial HDL and reducing the harmful LDL. Find out how to improve your cholesterol naturally.

1. Focus On Monounsaturated Fats

Regarding fats, there are two main types - saturated and unsaturated. Saturated fats are solid at room temperature, while unsaturated fats are liquid. Both types of fat play an essential role in the human body, but unsaturated fats are generally considered healthier. This is because they have at least one double chemical bond that changes how your body uses them.

Monounsaturated fats, for example, have only one double bond. Some experts recommend a low-fat diet for weight loss, but research is mixed on its effectiveness in controlling blood cholesterol. In general, unsaturated fats are better for your health than saturated fats. So if you want to improve your diet, include plenty of healthy unsaturated fats!

According to one study, reducing fat intake lowers blood cholesterol levels. A possible downside of low-fat diets is the potential loss of HDL (good cholesterol) and increase in LDL (bad cholesterol)

A diet high in monounsaturated fats has been shown to help reduce harmful LDL cholesterol levels and increase healthy HDL cholesterol levels. However, according to research, monounsaturated fats may also reduce cholesterol oxidation. This can lead to atherosclerosis or heart disease. In addition, oxidized cholesterol can react with free radicals and contribute to clogged arteries.

The Mediterranean diet is an example of a diet rich in monounsaturated fats. This diet has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. It is also associated with a lower risk of death from all causes, including cancer and Alzheimer's. The Mediterranean diet is a healthy option for both individuals and families.

Monounsaturated fats can be found in the following sources. Additionally, some of these sources contain polyunsaturated fats:

  • Olive Oil
  • Nuts, Such As Almonds, Cashews, Pecans, And Macadamias
  • Canola Oil
  • Avocados
  • Nut Butters
  • Olives

2. Consume Polyunsaturated Fats, Particularly Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Polyunsaturated fats have more than one double bond in their chemical structure. This means they are more vulnerable to oxidation, which can lead to atherosclerosis or heart disease. However, research shows that polyunsaturated fats can also reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and decrease the risk of heart disease. This is because they help to decrease inflammation and improve blood vessel function.

Polyunsaturated fats are found in oily fish, nuts, and seeds. They are also used in margarine and vegetable oils. While they are beneficial in small amounts, it is essential to remember that they are still fats and should be consumed in moderation.

In an experiment, 115 adults consumed polyunsaturated fats for 8 weeks and replaced saturated fats. As a result, a 10% reduction in total and LDL (bad) cholesterol was achieved at the end of the study.

A diet rich in polyunsaturated fats may also decrease the risk of metabolic syndrome and diabetes type 2.

A second study replaced 5% of the calories from carbohydrates in the diets of 4,220 adults with polyunsaturated fats. As a result, they had lower fasting glucose and insulin levels, indicating a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

Omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat, have a particularly heart-healthy effect. You can find them in seafood and fish oil supplements. There is an exceptionally high amount of fatty fish, such as:

  • salmon
  • mackerel
  • herring
  • deep sea tuna like bluefin or albacore
  • shellfish (to a lesser degree), including shrimp

Peanuts are not a source of omega-3 fats, as seeds and tree nuts are.

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