How Diet Adjusting Can Help You Manage Your Cholesterol
If your doctor is telling you that your cholesterol is too high, you’re probably wondering about your options. Drugs like statins can lower your cholesterol, but many patients worry about the side effects. You may want to explore lifestyle changes that can provide natural relief.
High cholesterol is a serious matter that increases your risk for a heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure. However, your body needs some cholesterol to make cell membranes, vitamin D, and a wide variety of hormones.
For optimal health, you want to limit how much low-density lipoprotein (LDL) your liver makes, because that’s the cholesterol that causes clogged arteries.
At the same time, you want to maintain adequate amounts of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) that transports cholesterol back to your liver.
Simple changes can make a big difference in helping you to balance your cholesterol. Try making these ideas part of your daily routine.
Adjusting Your Diet
Your liver adjusts how much cholesterol it makes in response to how much you get from food sources. You can help the process along with these strategies:
#1 Increase Your Fiber
Soluble fiber can reduce the amount of cholesterol in your bloodstream and help you live longer. Smart choices include beans, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
#2 Choose healthy fats, Avoid trans fats.
Replace solid fats like butter with liquids as much as possible. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats like olive oil, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish are especially helpful. Avoid trans fats as well, the hydrogenated fats increase total cholesterol and LDL while decreasing HDL. Manufacturer’s use them to increase shelf life, so check the labels on cookies, margarine, and other products.
#3 Limit red meat.
Beef is the top source of saturated fat for many Americans. Consider a plant-based diet or meat-free days with vegetarian or fish dishes. Using low or no fat dairy products helps too.