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11 fast ways to lower cholesterol

11 fast ways to lower cholesterol Doctors name ways to lower cholesterol without medication (Collage: RBC-Ukraine)

A high cholesterol level increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases several times. But the good news is that you can control it. You can lower your "bad" cholesterol and raise your "good" cholesterol, writes WebMD.

Cut out trans fats

"They raise your LDL, lower your HDL, and increase your risk of developing heart disease and stroke,” says cardiologist Suzanne Steinbaum.

That's why the FDA has taken steps to eliminate artificial trans fats from foods. However, small amount of trans fats can still be present in some products. Therefore, when you buy food, check the labels and the ingredients for their nutritional value. If you see "partially hydrogenated oil" on the packaging, that's just a fancy name for trans fats.

Lose weight

To lower cholesterol, it is not necessary to lose a lot of weight. If you are overweight, lose just 8-10 kg and you will reduce your LDL level by 8%. But to really lose extra pounds, you will have to do it gradually. A reasonable and safe goal is 1 to 2 kg per week.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute notes that overweight, inactive women typically need 1,000 to 1,200 calories per day to lose weight, and overweight, active women and women who weigh more than 150 kg typically need 1,200 to 1,600 calories daily.

If you are very active during your weight loss program, you may need extra calories to avoid feeling hungry.

Move

"Exercising at least 2 1/2 hours a week is enough to raise HDL and improve LDL and triglycerides,” says Sarah Samaan, MD, a cardiologist.

If you haven't been active, start slowly - even 10-minute blocks of activity count. Choose an exercise that you like.

Fill the diet with fiber

Foods such as oatmeal, apples, prunes and beans are rich in soluble fiber, which prevents the body from absorbing cholesterol. Studies show that people who ate 5-10 g more of this product daily had a decrease in LDL levels.

Eating more fiber also makes you feel fuller, so you won't crave snacks as much. But be careful: too much fiber at one time can cause stomach cramps or bloating. Increase your intake slowly.

Eat fish

Try to eat it two to four times a week. Not only are the omega-3 fats found in fish good for your health, substituting fish for red meat will lower your cholesterol by reducing your exposure to saturated fat, which is abundant in red meat.

Some species, such as sharks, swordfish, and king mackerel, contain high levels of mercury. This can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Opt for wild salmon, sardines, and bluefin tuna instead.

Choose olive oil

Replacing butter with olive oil can lower LDL cholesterol by as much as 15%, similar to the effect of a low-dose medication. The "good" fats in olive oil are good for your heart. Choose extra-class olive oil. It is less processed and contains more antioxidants that help prevent disease.

Nuts

Most types can lower cholesterol. They contain sterols, which, like fiber, prevent the body from absorbing cholesterol. Just don't overdo it, as nuts are very high in calories.

Get proper rest

Did you know that when you’re stressed, your cholesterol can skyrocket? Relax. Get lost in a good book or take to your yoga mat. It’ll help keep your cholesterol in check.

Use spices

If you're not already sprinkling cinnamon on your cappuccino and adding pepper to your pasta, listen up: spices like garlic, curcumin, ginger, black pepper, coriander, and cinnamon not only add flavor to your food, but they also raise your cholesterol.

Studies show that eating half to one clove of garlic daily can lower cholesterol by up to 9%. Bonus: adding extra seasoning also suppresses your appetite, making it easier for you to lose those extra pounds.

Give up smoking

Smoking can increase the level of "bad" cholesterol and lower the level of "good". Quitting smoking often improves these indicators.

In one study, the level of "good" cholesterol increased by 5% in a year in people who quit smoking.

If you are regularly around smokers, be careful: daily exposure to secondhand smoke can also raise your bad cholesterol.

Laugh more

Laughter is like a medicine: it increases the level of "good" cholesterol. Watch pet videos online, sign up for a daily joke newsletter, or watch a funny movie.