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High cholesterol means you have too much of a fatty substance called cholesterol in your blood. It is important to make a distinction between the different types of cholesterol because they are not all inherently bad. Having too much of a particular type of cholesterol can spell serious problems. According to experts, there are three proven and natural ways to help lower your cholesterol.
Fibre is not only beneficial for digestion but can also help lower cholesterol levels when eaten as part of a diet low in saturated fat.
Studies also have shown that high-fibre foods may have other heart-health benefits, such as reducing blood pressure and inflammation.
Nutritionist Cassandra Barns said: “Try Porridge Oats – the fibre in porridge oats may help to lower cholesterol naturally.
“Oats are a much better way to lower your cholesterol than popular cholesterol-lowering foods, which are made with hydrogenated, unnatural fats.”
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“Red yeast rice is a natural substance created by fermenting red rice with a type of yeast called Monascus purpureus, added Cassandra.
She continued: “The fermentation process produces a substance called monacolin K, which has been found to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
“It may help lower both total and LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol. Red yeast rice supplements are a popular choice among those who are trying to lower their cholesterol in a more natural way than via medication.”
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Garlic is one of the best-known supplements for reducing cholesterol, said the Mayo Clinic.
The health site continued: “Earlier studies on garlic produced conflicting results, but some indicated that garlic might lower cholesterol.
“However, more recent research has shown no evidence of cholesterol-lowering benefits.”
Omega-3 fatty acids, commonly found in oily fish such as mackerel and salmon, are important because they can also help to prevent blood clotting abnormally, advises nutritionist Dr Marilyn Glenville, author of Natural Solutions for Dementia and Alzheimer’s.
“The use of Omega 3 fish oils has been shown to reduce the risk of coronary artery disease and heart attacks.
The anti-inflammatory effects they have on the body are very important in prevention of heart disease and lowering cholesterol.”
“Government guidelines recommend eating two portions of oil fish a week, so try adding them to a salad or grilled with green veggies in the evening for a diet rich in Omega-3.”
Dietician Helen Bond added: “Cholesterol can change quite quickly, which is why exercise and eating healthy should be embedded into your everyday routine.
“But we’re talking a few weeks, rather than days – the odd meal or day where you eat a bit more than usual (including too much saturated fat) won’t make a difference to your cholesterol levels in the long run, but if your healthy eating and exercise habits have totally gone out the window during the lockdown, this could have a big impact on your cholesterol levels and your weight.
“Therefore, if your habits have changed over lockdown, now’s the time to reinstate healthy eating habits and get daily exercise (within UK Government guidelines to stay active and stay safe) before those new overindulgences become a habit that’s hard to break.”
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