Lowering cholesterol naturally isn’t impossible. This is especially true if you know what to do.
High cholesterol is a common affliction today, contributing to dangerous conditions like heart disease.
Most people turn to medication to lower their cholesterol levels instead of turning to the real culprits: diet and activity (or lack thereof).
With today’s discoveries in nutrition, we know that some specific foods can help lower cholesterol. In addition to making simple lifestyle changes, achieving healthy cholesterol naturally is completely possible.
If you’re trying to avoid taking statins, here’s a list of foods that lower cholesterol naturally:
1. Choose Good Fats
The first step to lowering cholesterol naturally is taking control of your diet, starting with fat. Fat has been unfairly demonized in recent decades as being the root cause of America’s obesity epidemic (1). Dietary fats are essential for our bodies to function at full capacity since it is a major energy source (2). However, not all fats are created equal. There are four main types of fats in our diets (in order from best to worst): monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, saturated and trans fats (3).
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are known as good fats, and come mainly from nuts, seeds, fish, and vegetables. A cornerstone of the Mediterranean diet, monounsaturated fats are associated with a very low risk of heart disease (4). Olive oil, avocado, and most nuts are rich sources of this kind of fat. Polyunsaturated fats are an essential fat – meaning your body needs them and must get them from foods. These fats can help lower bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels (5). Salmon, flaxseeds, and walnuts are good sources of polyunsaturated fats.
Whenever possible, replace unhealthy fats and carbohydrates in your diet with the mono- or polyunsaturated fats. Research studies show this helps to lower total cholesterol levels and reduce the associated risk of heart disease.
Saturated fats are ok when eaten sparingly, but trans fats should be completely avoided. Diets high in these two types of fat – such as the standard American diet – raise cholesterol levels and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease (6).