At the word “cholesterol” we frown in annoyance, imagining fatty plaques on the walls of blood vessels, overweight, the threat of a heart attack and other horrors that frighten us with modern propaganda of a healthy lifestyle. But before giving this concept an almost abusive meaning, let’s figure out what cholesterol is, and how to lower cholesterol at home without medication?
Cholesterol is a building material with which cells are renewed and vital substances are produced: hormones, enzymes. About 80% of the liver provides us with cholesterol, but we must get another 20% from food to stay healthy. The name of the person involved in today’s conversation is formed from two Latin words: bile (chole) and solid (stereo), since for the first-time cholesterol was found in the form of a solid yellow substance in gallstones. But if we need it so much, then why does everyone say that excess cholesterol threatens a person with negative consequences?
The fact is that cholesterol is of two types:
The first type is usually called “bad” cholesterol, and the second type – “good”. The fundamental difference between them is not in chemical composition, but in structure and physical properties.
Bad cholesterol is liquid and sticky, therefore, leaving the liver, it spreads through the vessels and sticks to their walls, especially in those places where there is damage, worn out areas and irregularities. Of course, the older a person is, the more such defects he has, and the higher the risk of the formation of cholesterol plaques.
Good cholesterol is dense and hard, so, on the contrary, like a dish brush, it cleans up debris from the inner surface of blood vessels. That is why it is safe to say that not only an excess of bad cholesterol, but also a lack of good cholesterol leads to negative health effects. And if we want to reliably insure ourselves against atherosclerosis, heart attack and stroke, we need to move in two directions at once, and increasing the level of good cholesterol is much more important than reducing the level of bad.
Anyone over the age of 45 who is overweight should have a blood test for LDL, HDL, and triglycerides twice a year to take action in case of critical imbalance. And today we will tell you how you can quickly and effectively reduce the level of bad cholesterol at home, without resorting to medications, and raise the level of good cholesterol in order to maintain good health for many years.
- Ways to lower cholesterol without medication.
- 9 Proven steps to lowering bad cholesterol.
- What foods lower bad cholesterol?
- Conclusion, and example menu.
Ways to Lower Cholesterol Without Medication
How to Lower Cholesterol at Home?
The first thing that comes to mind is, of course, a change in the diet, because the lipid balance of our blood depends on the foods we eat. But we will start this important conversation not with diet, but with physical activity. Simply by making friends with sports and regularly finding time for simple and enjoyable activities, you can significantly improve your health.
How to increase the level of “good” cholesterol and reduce the level of “bad” through exercise? Cardiologists and fitness trainers reveal the secrets of great health and reliable protection against cardiovascular diseases:
- Aerobic exercise, especially running, is the best way to deal with bad cholesterol. When a person performs monotonous rhythmic movements in the open air for a long time, an even, slightly rapid pulse is established. At the same time, oxygen entering the blood ensures the gradual burning of fatty deposits, including bad cholesterol inside the vessels. He simply does not have time to stay and be deposited in the form of dangerous atherosclerotic plaques. It has been proven that in professional runners, LDL in the blood burns 70% faster than in people who do not play sports at all;
- The muscles of a person must constantly be in good shape, this prevents bad cholesterol from doing its “dirty work”. Therefore, even elderly people who are very overweight and have complex health problems should, by all means, give themselves feasible physical activity: walk in the fresh air, ride a bike, dig in the garden. The longer a person lies on the bed, indulging in apathy and a bad mood, the sooner the day will come when he will not be able to get out of this bed at all;
- Studies by Western cardiologists show that elderly patients who take a forty-minute walk in the fresh air every morning, the risk of sudden death from heart attack and stroke is halved – by 50%! It is only important to ensure that the pulse of an elderly person during walks does not increase by more than 15 beats from a physiologically normal value.
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9 Proven Steps to Lowering Bad Cholesterol
Step One: Quitting Smoking
The harmful effects of smoking on health lie not only in the clogging of the lungs with tar and the development of persistent nicotine addiction. Regularly buying cigarettes, a person buys infertility, impotence and cancer with his own money. The entire body is gradually destroyed: the brain, lungs, liver, kidneys, heart, blood vessels. There is no organ or type of tissue that is not adversely affected by smoking. Moreover, modern cigarette manufacturers are doing everything to reduce the cost of their products as much as possible. And this means that there is less than half of natural tobacco in a pack, everything else is chemical additives, flavors, essential resins and carcinogens.
Step Two: The Right Approach to Drinking Alcohol
Extremes are rarely beneficial, and a person’s attitude toward alcohol is no exception. Alcohol abuse is very harmful: in addition to the formation of persistent dependence and the loss of a person’s moral character, alcoholism leads to the gradual destruction of the brain, liver, kidneys and blood vessels. But a complete rejection of alcohol is a loss of natural opportunities, since high-quality alcohol in small doses has a beneficial effect on the composition of the blood and the functioning of the cardiovascular system.
The advice of doctors on this matter is contradictory: someone threatens with a green snake, and someone calls to abandon obscurantism and drink in moderation. This is a tribute to fashion, but human history is a much more serious indicator than the momentary mood of the medical community, lobbied by manufacturers of drugs and alcohol. Countries where the consumption of good wines and spirits is an integral part of the culture, show higher life expectancy rates, and not such depressing statistics of mortality from cardiovascular diseases as in Russia. Take the same France, Spain, Portugal or Scotland with its love for good whiskey.
So how much should you drink to lower your bad blood cholesterol? For this, 50 ml of strong alcohol or 200 ml of dry red wine per day is enough. No less and no more. For our mentality, these are ridiculous numbers: it is believed that since we drink, so drink. But the correct drinking culture does not imply the desire to get drunk, but the dosed use of good alcohol at lunch or dinner to improve digestion and enrich the blood composition.
Step Three: Green Tea Instead of Coffee
If your health basically allows you to consume drinks containing caffeine, then let it be not coffee, but natural green tea. It contains flavonoids that help break down LDL cholesterol, strengthen vascular and capillary walls, and increase HDL levels. It is important to learn how to properly brew this drink and use it correctly. Green tea should not be strong and bitter, and it is recommended to arrange tea drinking no more than twice a day, and in the first half of the day.
Step Four: Juice Therapy
Natural organic acids contained in freshly squeezed juices from fruits and vegetables effectively dissolve bad cholesterol, and therefore are the fastest and most effective way to cleanse blood vessels at home. Juices are also a tasty source of vitamins, minerals, fiber and just a good mood. They heal, rejuvenate, help fight excess weight, cellulite and atherosclerosis, improve the complexion, the quality of nails, skin and hair. Therefore, buying a convenient, high-tech juicer is a smart investment in your health and that of your family.
A five-day course of cleansing blood vessels from bad cholesterol using fresh juices is carried out according to the following scheme:
- 1st Day: 130 ml of carrot juice + 70 ml of juice from celery stalks;
- 2nd Day: 100 ml of carrot juice + 70 ml of cucumber juice + 70 ml of beet juice, kept in the refrigerator for 2 hours to remove unwanted substances;
- 3rd Day: 130 ml of carrot juice + 70 ml of apple juice + 70 ml of juice from celery stalks;
- 4th Day: 130 ml of carrot juice + 50 ml of cabbage juice;
- 5th Day: 130 ml of orange juice.
Step Five: Fish Oil and Coenzyme Q10
Regular intake of fish oil significantly improves the levels of C-reactive protein in the blood, the so-called CRP. There are two more important amino acids for human health: DHA and EPA, the content of which can be artificially increased.
According to the American Heart Association, a daily intake of 2-4 grams of DHA and EPA reduces triglyceride levels to physiological levels, and even one gram of these amino acids per day is enough to protect against the risk of cardiovascular disease.
How to provide yourself with essential amino acids? For example, you can take coenzyme Q10 at a dosage of 90 mg/day, this will increase the level of DHA in the blood by 50% in a few months. However, keep in mind that taking statins (drugs that lower LDL cholesterol) together with coenzyme Q10 is undesirable, since in this combination the coenzyme is less well absorbed.
Step Six: Avoiding Trans Fats
Trans fats are a real disaster of our time, because they are the bad cholesterol in its pure form, moreover, it is found in almost all finished products: confectionery, fast food, sausages and sausages, margarine and mayonnaise. Whatever we buy in the store, wanting to save time on cooking, we will get trans fats that will be deposited on the walls of our vessels.
Research shows that cutting your daily calories by just 1% by cutting out trans fats can cut your risk of heart disease in half.
Just remove 2 grams of trans fats from the menu, subtract only twenty (but the most harmful) calories from two thousand calories and you will make yourself the best gift.
When buying ready-made products in the store, carefully read the information on the label. If it says that a product does not contain trans-fat, in practice this means that there is less than 0.5 g of it per serving. And yet – under the concepts of “saturated” or “hydrogenated” is still the same trans-fat that threatens us with diabetes, heart attack, stroke and cancer.
Step Seven: Take Magnesium
The endothelial cells lining our vessels from the inside cannot effectively repel LDL molecules if they lack magnesium. A deficiency of this valuable mineral leads not only to an increase in the level of bad cholesterol, but also to the development of migraines, muscle and heart weakness, angina pectoris and ischemia.
In people suffering from migraines all their lives, the frequency and severity of attacks are reduced by 40% with the regular use of vitamin-mineral complexes enriched with magnesium.
If you are diagnosed with magnesium deficiency, it is recommended that you start taking it at a dosage of 250 mg per day, and best of all, in combination with calcium, as this way these micronutrients are better absorbed and bring more benefits. We recommend adding fatty fish, whole grain breads, pumpkin seeds, and wheat germ to your diet – these are the best natural sources of magnesium.
Magnesium is the most important mineral for hypertension.
Step Eight: Cut Back on Sugar
A lot has been said about the dangers of white sugar, but do you know how much excess consumption of it exacerbates the situation with high levels of bad and low levels of good cholesterol?
Studies have shown that if you lower the glycemic index of foods you eat from 61 to 46, you can raise your blood HDL levels by 7% in a week.
It is also important that sharp jumps in blood sugar levels resulting from the intake of large doses of simple carbohydrates increase the stickiness of red blood cells, that is, they thicken the blood and provoke the formation of blood clots. Therefore, if you want to protect yourself from atherosclerosis and thrombosis, reduce the use of sugar or give it up altogether, replacing, for example, with natural honey.
Step Nine: Take Vitamin D3
Vitamin D3 is called a solar vitamin: for example, during one day of being on the beach, our skin cells produce from 10-20 thousand IU of this valuable substance, but even residents of sunny, warm regions suffer from vitamin D3 deficiency. According to various estimates, from 60 to 80% of the population of our country need to take vitamin supplements in order for the condition of blood vessels, skin and bones to remain good until old age.
Previously, it was believed that vitamin D3 should not be taken in large doses, since then it can have a toxic effect on the body.
But more recent research shows that taking at least 500 IU of vitamin D3 per day can reduce CRP, an indicator protein for bad cholesterol, by an average of 25%. In some patients, HDL levels rise concurrently. In general, an excess of vitamin D3 reduces the risk of developing all dangerous diseases leading to death in a person.
You can also provide yourself with an important vitamin in a natural way: for example, in a glass of whole cow’s milk it is about 100 IU, and in one hundred grams of fatty fish sockeye – as much as 675 M.E. Keep in mind that taking vitamin D3 capsules or tablets is contraindicated in people with severe kidney and thyroid dysfunction and in people with sarcoidosis .
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What Foods Lower Bad Cholesterol?
Some foods contain phytosterols, natural styrenes that effectively regulate the ratio of bad to good cholesterol in the blood. Knowing about your problems, you can enrich your diet with appropriate foods, and normalize lipid balance, without making any effort.
For example, if you eat 60 grams of almonds daily, you can increase your HDL content by 6% while reducing your LDL content by 7%.
It is recommended that you soak almonds overnight and consume them throughout the day for amazing results.
List of record holders among products containing useful phytosterols (per 100 gm of weight):
- Sprouted wheat grains – 400 mg;
- Brown rice bran 400 mg
- Sesame seed – 400 mg
- Sunflower seeds – 300 mg;
- Pistachios – 300 mg;
- Pumpkin seeds – 265 mg;
- Pine nuts – 200 mg;
- Flax seeds – 200 mg;
- Almonds – 200 mg;
- Olive oil – 150 mg;
- Avocado – 76 mg
Avocado is the leader in beta-phytosterol content among all fruits and vegetables. Just one half of a medium avocado, that is, seven tablespoons of pulp, is enough to reduce total cholesterol and triglyceride levels by 8% and increase good cholesterol by 15% in three weeks.
Nuts and Seeds
All seeds and nuts are very rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, which means they enrich our body with good cholesterol. Doctors recommend at least five times a week to pamper yourself a handful of nuts 30gm favorite: forest, walnuts, cashews, almonds, Brazil, pistachios. Seeds, especially flaxseeds, contain a lot of omega-3 fatty acids, so they should also be added to your diet, for example, as a savory seasoning for vegetable salads. Try sprinkling lightly toasted sesame and flax seeds on your food to add flavor, decorate the dish, and help raise HDL levels.
Each tablespoon of good olive oil enriches your food with 22 mg of phytosterols. Replacing all the animal fat used in cooking with olive oil can reduce your blood LDL cholesterol levels by 18%. And unrefined olive oil also has a positive effect on the state of the endothelium, healing minor damage inside the vessels and preventing the formation of cholesterol plaques.
The main supplier of healthy omega-3 fatty acids to our table is fatty ocean fish (salmon, halibut, chum salmon, sardine, mackerel, sockeye salmon). The only drawback of this category of food is the high cost, due to the difficulties in obtaining and breeding. Salmon and sockeye salmon contain the highest amount of omega-3, while they have the lowest content of heavy metals, in particular mercury, among marine fish. But such valuable breeds are regularly caught by poachers, and they are reluctant to spawn in artificial ponds. That is why red fish is so expensive, but if the budget allows, you should definitely buy and eat this healthy product.
Fruits and Berries in Blue, Purple and Red
The red, purple and blue color of the fruit indicates the content of polyphenols in them, and these natural substances naturally regulate the lipid balance of the blood, stimulating the production of good cholesterol by the liver and removing bad cholesterol from the vessels. If you consume 150 g of berry puree or juice daily for at least two months, you can increase your HDL level by 5%. Raspberries, strawberries, cherries, blueberries, blueberries, currants, red grapes and especially cranberries are very useful in this regard ., which, in addition to polyphenols, contains a large amount of the antioxidant vitamin C. Half a glass of cranberry juice a day will allow you to increase your HDL levels by 10% and, along the way, insure against cancer.
Absolutely all fruits and berries of red, burgundy, purple, blue and gray colors contain useful polyphenols that regulate cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood. Therefore, adding such fruits and berries to your diet is necessary for all people with poor lipid blood tests.
Whole Grains and Oatmeal
If you have high levels of bad cholesterol, the first thing to do is to skip white bread sandwiches and buns for breakfast. Instead, it is better to eat cereals, muesli, whole grain bread and oatmeal, so you will enrich the body with fiber and help eliminate LDL from the body through the intestines. All unprocessed grains are healthy: buckwheat, wheat, oats, rye, millet, wild rice. And refining removes valuable fiber from them, leaving only carbohydrates. Sprouted grains are also good because they contain a lot of fatty acids that increase HDL levels. Muesli with nuts is perfect for breakfast for the same reason.
A group of students from an American medical university replaced their usual breakfast with two oat bran scones for four weeks. As a result, the level of LDL in their blood decreased by 5.3%. Another study involved two groups of people: the first simply ate a healthy, low-cholesterol diet, and the second ate 2.3 cups of oatmeal daily. As a result, it turned out that oatmeal accelerates the normalization of blood lipid balance by 20%.
Corn grains are lower in calories compared to other cereals – 100 gm contains only 97 kcal. There is no cholesterol in them, but there is a lot of fiber, vitamins and microelements, in addition, corn is one of the most delicious cereals, so modern American nutritionists are actively promoting the regular use of cornflakes, bread and cereals. This allows you to lower the level of bad cholesterol in the blood no less effectively than using oatmeal or wheat.
This substance is obtained from sugar cane and is sold in health food stores and pharmacies as a dietary supplement. Policosanol not only lowers LDL levels, but also prevents blood clots, suppresses appetite, helps you lose weight, and normalizes blood pressure.
Beans and Soy
All legumes (peas, beans, soybeans, beans, lentils) are rich in fiber, which we need to eliminate bad cholesterol through the intestines. But the advantage of beans over grains lies in the content of easily digestible plant proteins. For people with high LDL levels, doctors recommend replacing red meats with legumes. You can also diversify your diet with the help of original products of Asian cuisine – miso, and tofu, made from fermented soybeans.
Legumes are also a valuable source of soluble plant fibers, otherwise called prebiotics (oligosaccharides, inulin). These substances reduce the deposition of lipids in the liver, reduce the level of triglycerides in the blood and promote the reproduction of another useful group of substances in the body – probiotics. For example, probiotics such as lactobacilli and bifidobacterial successfully feed on fermentation products of the prebiotic’s inulin and oligofructose in the intestines, at the same time lowering LDL levels by 5-8% and increasing HDL levels by 25%.
Just two juicy carrots a day, and after a few months, your LDL levels in your blood will drop by 10-20%. And it is unnecessary to remind about the benefits of carotene, which carrots are rich in there.
Garlic is the most effective aid in the fight against bad cholesterol, as this vegetable contains the most natural statins. Garlic is rich in phytoncides, natural antibiotics, so its use is beneficial from any point of view. There are only two disadvantages of garlic: a specific aroma, due to which many people simply do not like this product, and an aggressive effect on the mucous membrane of the digestive tract, which is why garlic is not recommended for gastroenterology patients.
Red Fermented Rice
A by-product of red rice fermentation, monacolin K, is effective in lowering triglyceride levels, so Asian food lovers are in a better position. Red fermented rice is used in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and other regions of Southeast Asia as a flavoring and food coloring, but in some European countries this product is banned for import, so it is difficult to get it.
What product you can easily enrich your diet with is everyone’s favorite white cabbage. Both fresh cabbage juice and dietary cabbage dishes perfectly remove excess cholesterol from the body, so doctors recommend consuming at least one hundred grams of fresh, stewed or sauerkraut every day. This vegetable is rich in fiber and vitamins, and the organic acids contained in it gently cleanse the vessels from the inside.
Commiphora Flour and Turmeric
Not only South Asian, but also some Arabian traditional foods are effective in lowering bad blood cholesterol levels. The plant myrtle, also known under the ethnic names of guggul and commiphora mucul, contains natural resins that perfectly cleanse blood vessels from cholesterol plaques.
But the name “turmeric” is probably familiar to you – this aromatic spice is added to pilaf, and also the dye of the same name curcumin is obtained from it, with the help of which products (butter, mayonnaise) are given an appetizing yellowish color. Turmeric is a powerful natural antibiotic and cholesterol cleaner for blood vessels.
Any fresh greens – dill, parsley, celery, spinach, beet tops, lettuce – contain a lot of fiber, as well as lutein, carotenoids and organic acids that cleanse the walls of blood vessels from accumulated fat deposits. That is why, for example, in the North Caucasus, where greens are an integral part of traditional cuisine, people are famous for enviable health, slimness and longevity.
Conclusion and Example Menu
So, in order to lower the level of “bad” cholesterol, and increase the level of “good”, you need to make several beneficial changes to your diet:
- Avoid white flour bread and pastries in favor of cereals, bran and baked goods made from unprocessed grains, and also enrich your diet with nuts, seeds and legumes instead of fatty meats and sausages;
- Regularly consume healthy vegetables, fruits, berries and fresh herbs, drink freshly squeezed juices, use honey instead of white sugar;
- At least once a week, serve fatty ocean fish cooked in an oven or double boiler as a main dish;
- Quit smoking (if you smoke), and limit your alcohol consumption to a glass of dry red wine a day. Grapes contain resveratrol, a natural phytoalexin that effectively lowers blood LDL levels;
- Start taking fish oil, coenzyme Q 10, magnesium or vitamin D3, depending on test results and your doctor’s instructions.
An example of an anti-cholesterol menu for one day:
Breakfast: A serving of oatmeal, wild rice or any other cereal with olive oil, an omelet made from two egg whites, a cup of green tea or chicory coffee drink with honey, oatmeal cookies or a couple of whole grain breads.
Second Breakfast: Two or three of any fruit or a glass of berries, a cup of rosehip broth, bread or oatmeal cookies.
Lunch: A portion of vegetable soup made from cabbage, beans, green peas or lentils, a piece of baked fish with vegetable salad, a glass of freshly squeezed fruit or vegetable juice, whole grain bread.
Afternoon Snack: A serving of carrot and cabbage salad with olive oil or a couple of any fruits.
Dinner: A baked piece of chicken, veal or turkey with a garnish of vegetables or mashed potatoes, a portion of cottage cheese with fruits or berries, a cup of green tea with honey, oatmeal cookies or bread. Before Going to Bed: A glass of kefir or yogurt.
Hope you got the answer of the question – how to lower cholesterol at home with medication. By following above mentioned advice and using the cholesterol lowering diet, you can definitely lower your cholesterol with in 2-3 weeks. Please share this article to your loved one who have any cardiac health issues they’ll love and appreciate your efforts.