High cholesterol puts your body at considerable risk for developing heart disease and dramatically decreases your health if consumed in excess. But not all cholesterol is bad for you. In fact, cholesterol called HDL (high-density lipoprotein) can actually clear your blood vessels and prevent heart disease. But LDL (low-density lipoprotein) is the form of cholesterol that is very bad for your health and clogs up your arteries when it is consumed. So, see below for the top 4 ways to lower the harmful LDL cholesterol and improve your physical health today!
Change Your Diet
The most significant way to start lowering your cholesterol is to change your diet. High cholesterol directly comes from the foods that you eat, so to begin to lower your cholesterol, you must cut out foods that are high in cholesterol and replace them with healthier alternatives. See below for the specific ways to start shifting your diet to improve your cholesterol levels.
- Cut out foods with saturated fats which are high in LDL (the bad kind of cholesterol) such as butter, cheese, and red meat
- Eat foods with unsaturated fats instead which are high in HDL (the good kind of cholesterol) such as olive oil, tree nuts, and avocados
- Consume foods with more omega-3 fatty acids that are high in healthy polyunsaturated fights and HDL, fish and tree nuts are the best way to get this nutrient
- Avoid foods with trans fats which are high in LDL and is common in foods such as pastries and processed foods
- Eat more fiber from natural sources such as beans, lentils, fruits, and whole grains
Reducing your weight can both decrease the levels of LDL cholesterol and decrease the levels of HDL cholesterol, thereby improving your heart health and lowering your cholesterol levels. Weight loss programs also often incorporate diet changes that focus more on eating healthier foods and improving your overall physical fitness, which can be highly beneficial for your health.
Get Regular Exercise
Exercise is a great natural way to improve your physical health, lose weight, and lower your cholesterol at the same time. Regular physical activity can reduce the harmful levels of LDL cholesterol in your body by breaking it down in your bloodstream. Exercise also generally improves your heart health, which is the primary target for high cholesterol.
Consume Alcohol in Moderation
Research has shown that moderate alcohol consumption can actually increase your body's levels of HDL, which is the good form of cholesterol, and reduce your risk of heart disease. By drinking one glass of white wine per day, you can actually improve your physical health. But alcohol consumption should only be done in moderation because if it is consumed in excess, it can cause adverse health outcomes as well.
High cholesterol is extremely harmful to your health, but not all cholesterol is made equally, and increasing the good HDL cholesterol in your body can actually be good for your health. So, try following the above-described steps for lowering harmful cholesterol in your body to start improving your physical health today!