The popular assumption is that cholesterol is bad and should be avoided at all costs. The truth however is that it is needed by the body to allow proper functioning of cells, nerves, and hormones. The liver manufactures it, and the body will usually regulate its levels naturally. The challenge nonetheless is that much of what we consume today contains huge amounts of hydrogenated fats and refined carbohydrates that obstruct the body’s ability to balance cholesterol levels. The imbalance is characterized by a surge of bad cholesterol (LDL) and a drop in the good cholesterol (HDL). The former is low in proteins and high in cholesterol, which puts you at risk of health complications such as heart attacks and while latter, is high in proteins and low in cholesterol, making it useful to body processes.
Since it is important to ensure you have the right balance of cholesterol levels. Below are some natural ways on how to lower bad cholesterol level:
Make Dietary Adjustments
Since the main culprit of imbalance cholesterol levels is what you consume, it is advised that you limit your intake of foods with saturated fats, trans fats, and dietary cholesterol. Such foods include butter, fatty red meats, egg yolks and processed foods. Go for healthier food options with more fiber and replace animal protein with plant protein such as legumes, nuts and beans. To ensure you consume the right foods, always read food labels to see what they contain and make decisions accordingly. Changing how you prepare certain foods could also help reduce your levels of cholesterol. For instance, instead of deep-frying consider steaming, boiling or using alternative ingredients that help lower the number of fats in food.
As your weight increases so does the amount of bad cholesterol in the blood. Therefore, by exercising regularly, you can lose or maintain weight to an optimal level. Additionally, exercise is thought to stimulate enzymes that help eliminate bad cholesterol from the blood and blood vessel walls to the liver. Once in the liver, the cholesterol is converted to bile, which is used in digestion, or it is excreted. Exercise also increases the size of the protein particles that carry cholesterol, reducing chances of it clogging up your blood vessels. Therefore, the more you exercise the effective the body becomes in dealing with cholesterol.
Quit Excessive Drinking and Smoking
While moderate drinking wine or beer can be beneficial,Especially drinking red wine, excess drinking increases the risk of stroke, raises blood pressure and contributes to obesity. Obesity, in turn, increases the level of triglycerides in the blood, which eventually increases bad cholesterol levels. Smoking is also shown to lower good cholesterol in the blood, leaving you with more of the bad cholesterol. Therefore, by moderating smoking and drinking habits, or quitting them all together, you reduce interference with cholesterol balance in the body. Other than raising your bad cholesterol levels, smoking and drinking have other potential health risks, so it may be e wise to avoid them.