Are you one of those with high cholesterol, and do you often hear from your doctor to lower your cholesterol levels? 

But exactly what cholesterol is? Cholesterol is a waxy substance which is attached to each and every cell present in our body. The cholesterol is not always bad as the age old belief. It actually serves an important purpose for our bodies and helps in the production of Vitamin D, balancing hormones and digestion. 

There are 2 types of cholesterol, HDL the good cholesterol, and LDL, the bad one. The ratio between the 2 should be aimed at 2:1 at all times. And this is where the trouble starts. When the bad cholesterol starts overpowering the good cholesterol, you get prone to risks related to heart diseases.

But fret not! You can still do your little bit and keep cholesterol levels within the control by following a few simple tips. Let’s check out.

  • Choosing the right fats

Fats are vital for our overall health but not all fats are equal. While some fats promote good health and brain development, there are some which do just the very opposite. These infamous fats are the trans- and saturated ones. The intake of these fats should be less than a percent of your daily meals. 

  • Exercise

If your weight scales point towards overweight and obese, then you are in for the cholesterol treat. Measuring yourself on the safer weight range is one of the best ways to loosen and reduce your cholesterol. We advise you hit the road or the gym to shed those extras. 

A little diet modification with the same is recommended.

  • Quit vices

Smoking and drinking can accelerate the damage already done by these fat cells. These bad habits have been reported to lower the good cholesterol levels, thus making way for the bad ones. Quitting all these bad habits would improve your cholesterol levels and reduce the risks associated with heart drastically. 

Undoubtedly, quitting smoking and drinking takes time, but you can make an attempt with the help of various rehab centers. You might like to switch to vaping to get rid of smoking and try soft drinks to quit drinking.

  • Omega 3 fatty acids

It is highly recommended to escalate the intake of omega 3 fatty acids. These acids lower the risks of heart ailments, develop your brain and aid in normal growth. Sources rich in omega 3 acids include fish, chia seeds, flaxseed, walnut, and cod liver oil. Omega 3 is also found in the form of capsules and can be taken on a regular basis.

  • Increase fiber intake

Fiber helps in easy digestion and breaks down the bad fats in our body, making you more healthy and active. Fiber dissolves the fats and whisks them out of our bodies. Eating a fiber-rich diet like cabbages, broccoli, squash, and carrots will help you remain fit.

  • Include cholesterol lowering foods in your diet

Certain foods and beverages can help you in lowering your cholesterol levels and should be a part of your regular diet. Here are a few of them:

Green tea

Green tea is a self-doctor and helps you in losing weight. Green tea should be consumed without sugar. 

Dark chocolate

Yes, you read it right! Cocoa increases the HDL levels and its powerful antioxidants have been proved to reduce cholesterol levels. As compared to the other types of chocolate, dark chocolate is 3 times richer in antioxidants and helps prevent the blood platelets from sticking together and unclog the arteries. 

Herbs & spices

Garlic not only just dashes its flavor into your food but also prevents clots, reduces blood pressure and protects against any infections. It keeps the cholesterol at bay and avoids it sticking to the walls of the cells. 

Ginger at the same time is again an antioxidant, and weight reducing agent. Consuming such herbs and spices regularly would help you in maintaining your heart health. 

Spinach

This dark green leaf is said to contain an agent which guards against muscular degeneration, heart attacks, and artery clogs. A handful of this vegetable can shrug off many cholesterol and age-related obstacles.

Red wine

The perfect way to enjoy a quiet evening meal can be nothing better than being blessed with a perfect family and a perfect glass of wine. One glass of red wine for 4 weeks increases your good cholesterol levels by up to 16%. Now, with this, we have just given you the perfect excuse to enjoy your wine with your meals.

Olive oil

Brimming with monounsaturated fats, this oil lowers your bad cholesterol levels and also helps trim your belly fat as an added advantage. Use it for salads, dressings, roasting and much more. 

Beans

A half cup of beans a day has been proved to lower cholesterol levels. The secret is its abundance of fiber and slow rate of absorption of cholesterol. Try consuming about 1/3 of this in your daily food intake. 

=> Your Turn

Cholesterol, undoubtedly, plays a vital role in our body’s day to day processes. However, the increased levels of bad cholesterol make us prone to heart-related risks. And this is perhaps why; a sincere effort must be made to keep your cholesterol levels within control.

A balanced meal, proper sleep, lifestyle are a few factors which can help you in controlling the cholesterol levels. However, changes do not happen in the blink of an eye. Be patient, and keep monitoring your levels periodically.

What are your views on this? How do you keep your cholesterol levels within control? Do let us know in the comments.