An estimated 102 million Americans have cholesterol levels that are considered borderline high-risk. No matter what your cholesterol–whether it’s a low 130 or a high 300, there are things you can do now to naturally lower it and improve your heart health. Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in many parts of the body. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or the “bad” cholesterol, builds up in the arteries and results in heart disease. High-density lipoprotein (HDL), or the “good” cholesterol, protects against heart attack by carrying cholesterol away from the arteries and back to the liver where it’s passed from the body. Healthy levels of cholesterol can be maintained with simple steps and lifestyle modifications. Five things we all need to do to naturally lower our cholesterol:
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Take psyllium fiber daily
The first and simplest tip is to get more fiber in your diet. There’s just one catch. It must be viscous soluble fiber like psyllium fiber, which is the kind in Metamucil. Psyllium fiber has been proven to help lower total and LDL “bad” cholesterol. It works by forming a thick gel that traps and helps remove some cholesterol, as well as bile acids and waste in the gut. In total, women should get 25 grams of fiber every day from all sources, while men should get 38 grams. To improve your cholesterol, get 7 grams of soluble fiber from psyllium daily.
Wear a pedometer and increase your daily activity
Walking is an easy way to get active and lower your cholesterol. By wearing a pedometer, you can actually see how many steps you take in a day. Aim for a minimum of 7,000, but 10,000 is optimal. You can do this with small changes. Take the stairs five or six times a day. Walk around the neighborhood after dinner. Park as far away from the office or store as you can. Hop on a treadmill for 30 minutes. Use the pedometer to track your progress throughout the day.
Get an exercise buddy
A healthy lifestyle requires motivation, encouragement and a friend to lean on. Grab an exercise buddy and support each other in the challenge to lower your cholesterol. Take long walks together and encourage each other to try new types of physical activity to get the heart pumping and to keep cholesterol levels down. Enjoy each other’s company and laugh. Reduced levels of stress will help your heart, too.
Beware of hidden fats and sugars
Be an informed eater. Read nutrition labels and know the ingredients in your favorite foods. Hidden sugars and unhealthy ingredients can cause weight gain, which can lead to high cholesterol. Stay away from foods that contain high levels of saturated fat, cholesterol and hidden sources of sugar, such as high fructose corn syrup, some dextrins or evaporated cane juice.
DHA is short for docosahexaenoic acid, a polyunsaturated fatty acid. Regular intake of DHA can aid in proper heart function and help lower levels of LDL the “bad” cholesterol, while at the same time raising levels of HDL “good” cholesterol. Popular sources of DHA are salmon, sardines and tuna, but if you aren’t a seafood fan, try fish oil supplements.
The Complete Guide to Natural Healing believes that food, vitamins, supplements, and alternative medicine can be your best medicine. Our staff will show you the truth about health and wellness, so you can help your family and closest friends get even healthier. You’ll learn exactly what you should do and how to eat to get healthy, exercise to get your leanest, healthiest body and how to take control of your family’s health, using natural remedies as medicine.