Cholesterol is an important part of your body. It helps in forming new cells and manufacturing hormones. However, excessive cholesterol can build up in blood vessels and arteries. This leads to formation of plagues that result in heart stroke or heart attack. Several medication programs are present to treat high cholesterol. However, if you want you can treat cholesterol the natural way. Natural cure for cholesterol is much easy and highly beneficial for the body.
Let us look at the various ways on how you can control high cholesterol naturally.
Exercise: If you exercise daily for 30 to 60 minutes, you can lower your cholesterol levels. Try exercise like swimming, biking and walking.
Lose weight: Excessive fat allows your body to store more cholesterol. Thus, try to shed extra pounds and this will automatically lower the cholesterol level.
Supplements: Consume natural supplements like oat bran, sitostanol, artichoke extract and beta-sitosterol.
Diet: The type of diet plan you follow plays an important role in lowering your cholesterol level. To understand the right type of High Cholesterol Diet, you first need to understand basic cholesterol facts.
There are mainly two types of cholesterol:
HDL – high-density lipoprotein (good cholesterol)
LDL – low-density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol)
High cholesterol diet works upon both HDL and LDL. It aims to reduce LDL and increase HDL.
Dieticians recommend low fat diet for high cholesterol patients. The diet should be rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Diet should have:
- Fat not more than 30% daily
- Dietary cholesterol not more than 300mg per day
- Sources of fat should be: seeds, nuts and healthy oils
American Heart Association states that dairy products are high in cholesterol. They should be a small percent of your daily diet. Ideal diet plan should be
- 50 to 60 percent of cholesterol free food
- 30 to 40 percent of low protein foods like low fat meat, turkey and seafood.
Importance of vegetarian diet
Cholesterol is mainly present in animal products. Therefore, vegetarians carry less chance of increasing their cholesterol. As a result, doctors and dieticians stress upon vegetarian diets for high cholesterol patients.
There are several low cholesterol vegetarian food options. Let us take a look at some of them.
Oatmeal, nuts, olive oil and oat bran are some top cholesterol-lowering foods. Apart from these, you can also opt for foods with high content of sterols and stanols – present in plants that prevent cholesterol absorption.
Flax meal contains Omega 3 fatty acid – highly nutritious and good for fighting cholesterol
- Eat oatmeal along with oat bran flakes. To bring in taste, you can dress oat bran flakes with honey and cinnamon.
- Bananas and walnuts are good additional breakfast items you can try. Many vegetarians eat eggs. If you are one of them, prepare scrambled egg white made in olive oil. Add spinach to the dish and team the egg with no-sugar jam toast.
- Go for large green salads.
- Use lemon juice and olive oil for salad dressing.
- Do include avocado and flax meal in the salad.
- For dessert – you can try low fat yoghurt with strawberries
- Special lunch items can include grilled cheese sandwich stuffed with sprouts and tomatoes.
Go for tomato and onion salsa. Baked tortilla and pinto beans dip or flax meal are also good veggie snacks.
- Include whole-wheat pasta, cooked broccoli, or crumbled tofu for daily dinner meal.
- Baked potato, green salad and low-fat yoghurt are good options too.
- Do include legumes like pinto beans, lentils, chickpeas and black beans in soups and stews.