Cholesterol is made in your liver and has many important health functions such as keeping the walls of your cells flexible and assisting in the manufacture of hormones. But according to Healthline, too much cholesterol in the blood can lead to clogged arteries, strokes, heart attacks, and kidney failure.
While statin drugs can lower your cholesterol, experts say you do not always have to rely on these medications to reduce your levels.
“I have often told my patients to consume more garlic, onions, and extra virgin olive oil in their salads to improve cholesterol levels,” Dr. Stephen Sinatra, a leading integrative cardiologist and co-author of "The Great Cholesterol Myth," tells Newsmax. “Many were able to achieve a better cholesterol profile by simple dietary changes, including restricting sugar at the same time.”
Sinatra says that for those who struggle with dietary concerns, he recommends taking 500 to 1000 milligrams daily of Citrus Bergamot.
“Honestly, lowering cholesterol without high dose statins was an easy endeavor in my practice,” he said.
Here are other easy ways to reduce your cholesterol levels without drugs:
- Reduce added sugars. According to Eat This, Not That!, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that when people increased their consumption of sugar, their HDL or “good” cholesterol went down and their triglycerides went up. Stop drinking soda and beverages that contain added sugars or syrups. Remove cookies, cakes, and other sugary substances from your diet, say experts.
- Eat only fats that are liquid at room temperature. Foods like olive oil, canola oil, and the oils in nuts and seeds are good examples. “You can also benefit from the oil in avocados and fish,” says cardiologist Dr. Elizabeth Klodas. “Plant and fish-based oils are a good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. These help lower LDL, raise HDL, and lower triglycerides. They are also anti-inflammatory.”
- Eat more soluble fiber. Dietary fiber lowers cholesterol, but adding soluble fiber like oatmeal, beans, barley, apples, and pears helps reduce your LDL, the “bad” cholesterol, according to Eat This, Not That!
- Get regular exercise. Aerobic exercise like walking, running, biking, and swimming, coupled with resistance training provide a win-win situation for your heart. This combination helps lower LDL levels and boost the level of HDL, the so-called “good” cholesterol in the blood, according to Healthline. Aim for 85% of your maximum heart rate and increase the duration gradually.
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