How To Lower Blood Cholesterol Naturally?

How To Lower Blood Cholesterol Naturally?

Do you know that the risk of heart disease drops by 25% to 30% with every 10% decrease in your cholesterol level? Your body needs to build hormones, healthy cells, and some vitamins with the help of cholesterol, but not all cholesterol is beneficial for health.

Cholesterol, if in excess, increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and hypertension. But here’s the good news: high cholesterol can be completely controlled by making some characteristic lifestyle modifications. 

You can reduce your cholesterol levels without medications and pills. All you need to do is incorporate a healthy dietary routine into your lifestyle, and you’re good to go. Read on to find what cholesterol is and some of the natural ways to lower blood cholesterol. 

What Is Cholesterol?

Your body synthesises a fat-like, waxy substance in the blood to build up healthy cells and protect nerves, called cholesterol. The foods you eat, such as dairy products, meat, and eggs, are sources of cholesterol.

Cholesterol is produced in the liver and transported to the body with the help of lipoproteins. Your body makes three types of cholesterol:

High Density Lipoprotein (HDL):

This is healthy cholesterol because it helps the body to remove bad cholesterol (LDL). Moreover, you’re at a lower risk of heart disease if you have high HDL levels in your body. 

Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL): 

This is the “bad or lousy” type of cholesterol that clogs the arteries by plaque build-up. Your chances of stroke and heart disease increase if you have LDL higher than recommended (higher than 100 mg/dL). 


When your body does not need calories, it converts them into triglycerides and stores in fat cells. When you need energy, your hormones release triglycerides. High triglycerides can also contribute to plaque build-up in arteries. (1)

A simple blood test is required to measure your blood cholesterol levels. After you give a blood sample, HDL levels, LDL, triglycerides, and total cholesterol will be checked. 

High Blood Cholesterol?

When your body starts making higher “bad” cholesterol levels than HDL, the result is high cholesterol. Your blood vessels become clogged with fat deposits due to high cholesterol, which causes an interruption in blood flow. A sudden break in these deposits can result in stroke or heart attack.

High levels of LDL cholesterol affect 39.65% of the population, mainly older adults in the UK. (2)

High cholesterol, along with the following risk factors, increase your risk of having circulatory and heart disease:

-    Obesity
-    Smoking (Smoking causes the build-up of tar in your blood vessels, causing cholesterol to stick to the walls of arteries)
-    Alcohol consumption
-    High blood pressure (hypertension)
-    Diabetes
-    Physical inactivity
-    Family history of coronary heart disease
-    Eating too much-saturated fat
-    An underactive thyroid gland
-    Liver or kidney disease
-    Ethnic background
-    Getting older
-    Familial hypercholesterolemia

Genetics plays an important role in causing high cholesterol. If your mother, father, or grandparents have a history of familial hypercholesterolemia (FH), you’re at greater risk of having high cholesterol. It can be dangerous for you because FH causes premature atherosclerotic heart disease. (3)

How Can You Lower Your Blood Cholesterol Naturally?

If you want to improve your blood cholesterol by natural means, lifestyle modification can play a significant role. A major cause of high blood cholesterol is unhealthy lifestyle, says the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

Therefore, healthy life choices along with regular exercise and a healthy diet can significantly reduce the risk of high cholesterol. If these changes do not show any improvements, your doctor may prescribe you medications for high cholesterol. 

Avoid Trans Fats

If your food ingredient list has labelled “trans fat” on it, you must avoid such foods. Trans fats are also called partially hydrogenated vegetable oils because the process of hydrogenation modifies them. Trans fats are long-lasting and inexpensive; that’s why food manufacturers use them in commercial processes, but they are very dangerous for your health.

Trans fats are typically found in fried foods, cookies, pastries, and pizza crusts, which you cannot seem to give up!

Trans fats raise LDL cholesterol levels in your body and reduce good (HDL) cholesterol by 20%. If LDL cholesterol is produced in high amounts, it accumulates in blood vessels and causes stroke and heart attack. (4)

According to a study, people with type 2 diabetes have an increased risk of a heart attack because of low levels of HDL. (5) In another study, elaidic acid present in LDL cholesterol negatively affects neuron-like cells, increases oxidative stress, and ultimately causes cell death. (6)

If you want to improve your HDL cholesterol levels, read the ingredients of your favorite food. If it contains trans fats, avoid them as much as possible. 

Go for Monounsaturated Fats

With only one double bond, monounsaturated fats have the tendency to turn into liquid at room temperature. Foods that are rich in monounsaturated fats include avocados, canola oil, olive oil, seeds, and nuts. Lipoproteins, when oxidized, clog the heart arteries by forming plaque.

Monounsaturated fats prevent the oxidation of these lipoproteins and improve the levels of HDL cholesterol. 

A small 6-weeks study of 10 men reported that reduced levels of LDL were associated with a low-fat diet rich in monounsaturated fats. (7) Another study found out that consuming monounsaturated fats instead of polyunsaturated fats prevented the oxidation of cholesterol and fats in 26 participants. (8)

Fill Up on Fibre Content

Humans cannot digest soluble fibre, but bacteria present in our gut can. Probiotics (good bacteria in our gut) require soluble fibre for their own nutrition. Probiotics regulate good HDL levels and reduce both VLDL and LDL. 

Good sources of soluble fibre include legumes, beans, lentils, oatmeal, brown rice, fruits, and vegetables. However, too much consumption of soluble fibre can cause bloating, constipation, and stomach pain. (9)

Eat More Polyunsaturated Fats

Omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids present in polyunsaturated fats keep your LDL cholesterol levels at bay without affecting HDL levels. In a research study of 115 adults, it was reported that by replacing a saturated fat diet with a polyunsaturated fat diet, a 10% reduction in LDL levels was observed. (10)

Omega-3 fatty acids are heart-healthy fats present in seafood and fatty fish like mackerel, salmon, herring, tree nuts, seed, and fish oil supplements. 

Quit Smoking

Smoking not only increases the risk of lung cancer and heart disease; it also speeds up the build-up of plaque in blood vessels. Tobacco tar present in cigarettes affects the immune cells, which become inefficient in transporting cholesterol from vessels to the blood.

Dysfunction of these immune cells thus increases the risks of heart disease and stroke.

One study conducted in Pacific Asia reported that total cholesterol was increased, and HDL was decreased because of smoking. However, quitting smoking can reverse these harmful effects. (11)

Exercise Regularly

Your physical fitness and heart health depend on exercise, which helps maintain weight and boost your HDL cholesterol level. In one study of 40 adult women, a 12-week resistance training plan was suggested for participants.

Those participants who followed the plan increased HDL cholesterol and reduced total cholesterol. (12) In another study, 20 overweight women were suggested to follow resistance and aerobic exercise for 12 weeks. These women reported a reduction in harmful oxidized LDL cholesterol.

An increase in HDL is also linked with low-intensity exercise like walking. (13) So, incorporate exercises like jogging, walking, lightweight lifts, and cycling to keep your cholesterol levels in check. 

Consider Plant Stanols and Sterols

Just like human cholesterol, plant versions of cholesterol are stanols and sterols, which we absorb from our diet. Plant stanols and sterols are different from human cholesterol in the sense that they do not cause plaque build-up in arteries. Instead, they reduce cholesterol levels when absorbed from the diet. 

Vegetable oils are the natural sources of plant stanols and sterols.

They are also added to many dietary supplements and foods, such as yogurt, orange juice, spreads, and margarine. 

According to one study, a reduction in LDL cholesterol by 15-20% in participants who consumed one gram of plant stanols with yogurt. (14)

Add Supplements to Your Diet

In addition to dietary changes, several supplements like soluble fibre and fish oil:

Psyllium: A type of soluble fibre that greatly helps remove extra cholesterol from the body is Psyllium husk. In a small research study of one month, cookies enriched with Psyllium decreased bad cholesterol and total cholesterol by 15% in 33 participants. (15)

Fish Oil: Eicosatetraenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and omega 3s are naturally found in fish oil. One study reported that omega 3s from fish oil supplements increase life expectancy and improve heart health. (16)

Things to Consider

If you have a family history of heart disease, you should take extra care of your cholesterol levels and try to keep them in-check. It is because high cholesterol increases the risk of death due to a heart attack or stroke. It is, therefore, important to test your blood cholesterol every month or two.

As there are no symptoms associated with high cholesterol, extra cholesterol starts storing itself in the form of plaque around the arteries. Your arteries start to narrow down because this plaque build-up. This can cause a stroke or a heart attack in the long run. Many of us don’t know that we have high cholesterol levels unless a tragic event happens So beware of the cholesterol levels and try to keep it in-check by natural means.


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