WARTAINDONESIA EN – Cholesterol is a waxy substance found throughout the body. Your body needs cholesterol to make cells, hormones, and vitamin D. However, high cholesterol levels can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.
There are several ways to lower cholesterol, including with medication and lifestyle changes. Healthy lifestyle changes can help lower cholesterol levels without medication.
Here are some ways to treat high cholesterol naturally:
Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are rich in soluble fiber, which can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. Fruits and vegetables that are high in soluble fiber include:
Limit your intake of saturated and trans fats
Saturated and trans fats can raise LDL cholesterol levels. Saturated fat is found in animal products, such as red meat, dairy products, and coconut oil. Trans fat is found in processed foods, such as fast food, cookies, and crackers.
Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids can help lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels. Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include:
Fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines, and tuna
Eat foods rich in insoluble fiber
Insoluble fiber can help reduce the absorption of cholesterol from food. Insoluble fiber is found in foods such as:
High-fiber fruits, such as apples, pears, and berries
High-fiber vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots, and peas
Regular exercise can help lower LDL cholesterol levels and raise HDL cholesterol levels.
- Maintain a healthy weight
People who are overweight or obese are more likely to have higher cholesterol levels. Maintaining a healthy weight can help lower cholesterol levels.
- Quit smoking
Smoking can raise LDL cholesterol levels and lower HDL cholesterol. Quitting smoking can help lower cholesterol.
If you have high cholesterol, it is best to consult with your doctor to determine the right treatment method. Your doctor may prescribe medication or suggest more specific lifestyle changes.
Here are some additional tips for lowering cholesterol naturally:
- Choose healthy vegetable oils, such as olive oil, canola oil, and peanut oil.
- Avoid processed foods and fast food.
- Choose lean or low-fat meat.
- Bake, steam, or boil food instead of frying it.
- Limit your intake of sugary drinks.
Limit saturated and trans fat consumption
Saturated and trans fats can increase LDL cholesterol. Saturated fats are found in animal products such as red meat, dairy products, and coconut oil. Trans fats are found in processed foods, such as fast food, cakes, and biscuits.
To limit saturated fat intake, you can:
- Choose lean or low-fat meats
- Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products
- Use healthy vegetable oils, such as olive oil, canola oil, and peanut oil
To limit trans fat intake, you can:
- Read food labels carefully and avoid foods containing trans fats
- Cook your own meals at home
- Consume foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids can help lower LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol levels. Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include:
- Fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines, and tuna
- Nuts and seeds
- Whole grains
As a general guideline, it is recommended to consume at least 2 servings of fatty fish per week.
By making healthy lifestyle changes, you can help lower your cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.
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