High cholesterol is a serious problem that can put you at risk for developing heart disease, or suffering a heart attack or stroke. If you have elevated cholesterol levels, your doctor may recommend prescription medication. However, it is possible for you to raise your HDL (good) cholesterol and lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol without some simple and natural lifestyle changes.
The following natural treatments can help manage high LDL (or bad) cholesterol while preventing heart disease, a heart attack or a stroke:
1. Eat heart-healthy foods
A huge way to reduce high cholesterol is by making a few changes to your diet. That starts with limiting the consumption of saturated fats and trans fats. Saturated fat is found in full-fat dairy products and red meats. You don’t have to avoid those foods completely, but you should eat them sparingly. Trans fat is found in store-bought cookies, cakes, fast foods, and crackers. It is important to read the food labels before buying. If the label lists high amounts of trans fat, then you should opt for a healthier food.
2. Regular exercise for weight management
Exercising is one of the best things that you can do in order to lower your cholesterol as it helps manage weight. Studies show that people who are overweight are more likely to develop high cholesterol. Exercising can keep your weight within a healthy range. Additionally, exercise can raise good cholesterol. There are several ways that you can ensure that you get enough exercise in your day. You can take a brisk walk during your lunch break. You can also ride a bike or walk to work or play a sport.
3. Stop smoking
Smoking has a direct effect on your cholesterol levels. It can also increase your risk of lung cancer and heart disease. You will notice the benefits of smoking shortly after you quit. In fact, your heart rate and blood pressure will return to normal quite quickly after butting out for good.
Additionally, your lung function and blood circulation will improve within three months of quitting, and cut your risk of heart disease by 50 percent within a year of quitting smoking.
4. Drink alcohol in moderation
There are several health risks associated with drinking excess alcohol, including damage to the liver and kidneys. If you choose to drink alcohol, so in moderation. That means one drink per day for women and two drinks daily for men. Excess alcohol consumption can elevate bad cholesterol and put you at risk for developing heart disease, liver disease and high blood pressure. You are also more likely to have a stroke if you consume a lot of alcohol regularly.