High cholesterol is one of the main causes of heart disease. High levels of total cholesterol increase the risk of heart disease, while high levels of HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) are a protective factor.
Diet plays an important role in maintaining good health. High cholesterol can be effectively prevented and controlled through a combination of a good diet, regular exercise, ideal body weight, and an overall healthy lifestyle.
Also, there are some commonly used home remedies that can help control high cholesterol levels. In this article we tell you what they are and how to lower bad cholesterol.
What is cholesterol?
According to The American Heart Association , cholesterol is a waxy substance that is not inherently bad. In fact, your body needs it to build cells and keep your hormones balanced .
However, too much cholesterol can be a problem. Cholesterol comes from two sources. From the liver, which produces all the cholesterol you need and the rest comes from animal-derived foods, such as meat, poultry, and dairy.
Note: Foods that are high in saturated and trans fats cause the liver to produce more cholesterol. For some people, this means they go from a healthy cholesterol level to one that is unhealthy.
Some vegetable oils, such as palm, palm kernel, and coconut, can also cause the liver to produce more cholesterol.
Causes of high cholesterol
According to the prestigious Mayo Clinic, the causes of cholesterol include:
A diet high in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or, better known as “bad” cholesterol. This cholesterol builds up on the walls of the arteries, making them hard and narrow.
Another reason you may have high cholesterol levels is if you have a diet deficient in high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good” cholesterol. Since this “good cholesterol” eliminates excess bad cholesterol.
On the other hand, other factors that can determine if cholesterol can develop are inactivity, obesity and an unhealthy diet .
An unhealthy diet can increase cholesterol levels. However, giving up fried food and replacing it with fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish, grains, and lean meats will help prevent high blood cholesterol.
Note: The best thing to do is replace ultra-processed foods like sweets, chips, and sodas with healthy, home-cooked foods.
You can also start by ditching those extra packets of flavors that come with your packaged food and using herbs and spices instead.
Sedentary lifestyle and little physical activity
Being overweight and having an inactive lifestyle also causes high cholesterol. If you are overweight, you most likely have a higher triglyceride level.
To highlight: According to a study published in Lipids in Health and Disease, physically active women have significantly lower levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and higher levels of good cholesterol, compared to sedentary women .
Much research has been done on cholesterol levels in smokers. Smokers tend to have higher levels of bad cholesterol and lower levels of good cholesterol in their blood, putting them at greater risk .
It’s not entirely clear why this happens, but it appears that smoking affects the way cholesterol is transported in the blood. Also, studies have shown that smokers do not get as much benefit from cholesterol-lowering drugs.
According to The Cholesterol Charity , familial hypercholesterolemia is an inherited condition that can lead to high cholesterol levels. It is transmitted from parents to children in the genes .
Note: High cholesterol can clog blood vessels. This condition is passed from parent to child through genes and can usually be traced back through several generations.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) , obesity adds a risk of having high levels of cholesterol and other bad fats in the blood. In obesity, triglycerides and “bad” cholesterol tend to be high in overweight people .
“Good” cholesterol, on the other hand, is too low, increasing your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. In fact, body weight has a direct association with cardiovascular risk factors.
home remedies to reduce cholesterol
Before trying alternative treatments, check with your doctor to determine if they are safe for you. The ingredients in some alternative therapies may interfere with certain medications or have harmful side effects.
To highlight: There are several alternative remedies to combat bad cholesterol, such as apple juice, oats , vegetables for their water and fiber content, soy lecithin, among others that you will see below.
The good thing about these home remedies is that unlike drugs, you can consume them several times a day.
Canary seed is very popular worldwide, since it is usually the food that is distributed for domestic birds.
What many do not know is that it is also suitable for human consumption and, in fact, it has nutritional qualities that make it very beneficial for health.
Thanks to one of the components in its enzymes, birdseed is very beneficial for reducing cholesterol and also favors the elimination of fluids.
A study published by Cochrane suggests that the artichoke has chemicals that can lower cholesterol and protect the liver .
A clinical study published in The American Journal of Nutrition, showed that up to 50 grams of flaxseeds a day reduced bad cholesterol in healthy adults by up to 8%, and 38 grams of flaxseeds a day reduced bad cholesterol by a 14% in people with high cholesterol .
Note: Flaxseeds can easily be incorporated into many recipes.
4. Chlorella algae
Chlorella is a green algae that is marketed as a dietary supplement or incorporated into food.
Animal studies have shown that Chlorella supplementation reduces cholesterol levels in high-fat diets, according to a study published in the Nutrition Journal .
Dandelion can lower cholesterol, thanks to some of the bioactive compounds in dandelion. So it can also decrease the risk of heart disease.
6. Green tea
A new report from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition pools the results of 14 previous trials.
In each of those studies, the researchers randomly divided the participants into two groups: one who drank green tea for periods of three weeks to three months, and another who drank an inactive preparation.
On average, those who drank green tea ended up with total cholesterol levels 7.2 milligrams per deciliter lower than the comparison group.
On the other hand, “bad” cholesterol was reduced by 2.2 mg per deciliter, which represents a decrease of a little less than two percent.
While there is no official consensus on effective doses of turmeric , it was found that a total of 700 mg of turmeric twice a day for 3 months was achieved to lower high cholesterol levels .
8. Blue fish
Blue or white fish is a great ally for lowering cholesterol levels. Some of these include: sardines, trout, bonito, swordfish, hake, mackerel, anchovy or anchovy.
Note: Fish helps regulate cholesterol as it is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce bad cholesterol.
Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are healthy fats that can help lower both cholesterol and blood pressure.
Eating salmon can improve your good cholesterol levels.
Although tuna does not lower bad cholesterol directly, it can help raise good cholesterol levels and lower triglycerides, which improves your ratio and can ultimately result in lower bad cholesterol levels.
A study published by the American Chemical Society found that seaweed as a nutritional supplement can significantly lower cholesterol in animals.
12. Fenugreek Seeds
Taking fenugreek seeds is recommended to reduce cholesterol as it can be effective in lowering total cholesterol and bad cholesterol levels.
13. Oat bran
According to the Mayo Clinic , oats contain soluble fiber, which reduces low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or “bad” cholesterol .
Soluble fiber is also found in foods like beans, Brussels sprouts, apples , and pears.
Note: You can consume several cups a day of soluble fiber, in the form of oat bran , cereals and even vegetables. On the other hand, oats can reduce the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream.
14. Black pepper
A study published by Springer Link argues that black pepper lowers blood lipids in vivo and inhibits cholesterol uptake in vitro, and piperine may mediate these effects.
Eggplant has an antioxidant that can lower “bad” cholesterol , as well as being a good source of fiber, it also provides other important nutrients that support the immune system, help brain function, and promote healthy bones.
How to prevent high cholesterol?
High cholesterol contributes to blood vessel disease, which often leads to stroke.
The main cause of high cholesterol is a diet rich in saturated fats, that is, fats from foods of animal origin or vegetable oils.
There are several ways to keep cholesterol levels under control. There are also foods for good cholesterol and triglycerides . Here are some recommendations.
Maintain a healthy diet
A healthy diet, moderate in saturated fat and high in grains, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats, such as those from salmon, nuts, flaxseed, and avocado, is the best way to keep cholesterol under control.
Choose good quality vegetable oils like extra virgin olive oil instead of blended oils or margarine, and choose lean cuts of meats and dairy products without preservatives and sugars.
Doing physical activity
Stay active, with at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week is enough. Exercise is very good for lowering cholesterol and your body’s ability to synthesize and burn fat.
Note: A walk, swim, gym workout, jog, dance, or even walking the dog can make a big difference.
Moderate alcohol consumption
Alcohol consumption has been linked to higher cholesterol levels. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
Point of note: Too much alcohol can lead to serious health problems, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart failure, and stroke.
Quitting smoking improves cholesterol levels in the body. In addition, smoking causes many other heart problems .
Did you know that after the first three months after quitting, your blood circulation and lung function begin to improve? Within a year of quitting, your risk of heart disease is cut in half that of a smoker.
- Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is not inherently bad. In fact, our body needs it to build cells and keep hormones balanced. It comes from two sources. From the liver, which makes all the cholesterol you need and the rest comes from foods like meat, poultry, and dairy.
- High cholesterol levels, known as “bad” (LDL) cholesterol, are one of the main causes of heart disease. while high levels of HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) are a protective factor.
- “Bad” cholesterol (LDL) can be caused by various causes, including poor diet, that is, consuming a lot of saturated fat, for example. Also another cause is obesity, sedentary lifestyle, cigarette consumption and finally there is a hereditary factor, which can be generational.
- There are several home remedies that can help you reduce cholesterol and it is enough to include them in your diet, such as flaxseed, artichoke, green tea, oats, tuna, salmon, eggplant, turmeric, among others. It is important that before having an alternative treatment, you consult your doctor and verify that this does not pose a risk to your health.
- To prevent high cholesterol we recommend you maintain a healthy diet, perform physical activity, moderate alcohol consumption and avoid cigarettes.