Can you naturally lower your cholesterol without investing in potentially harmful medication? The answer is a resounding yes. Natural cholesterol reducers are all around you and very easy to make part of your everyday lifestyle.
Some of these substances can only be ingested through supplements, but many are simply food that you can eat every day. In this article we’ll discuss the best foods for naturally reducing your cholesterol, and explain exactly why they are so beneficial.
Soluble fiber is the great cholesterol trapper. Working somewhat like a gluey gel in your intestines, cholesterol binds to the fiber, preventing it from being absorbed into the bloodstream.
In a Harvard study on the effects of soluble fibers on blood cholesterol, the results were promising, although not stellar. The study did find that increasing the intake of soluble fiber can decrease total and LDL cholesterol by small amounts while making no significant changes to HDL cholesterol.
The difference soluble fiber makes may not be enormous, but scientists agree that, when combined with the benefits of additional cholesterol lowering foods and a healthy lifestyle, increasing your fiber intake is worth it.
The best sources of soluble fiber include: oats, flax seeds, barley, pears, oranges and other citrus fruits, prunes, apples, peaches, plums, carrots, peas and broccoli.
Lowering cholesterol is touted as one of the many health benefits of garlic. This, however, has turned out to be a fairly controversial point of view, with some studies showing that garlic has no significant effect on cholesterol.
However, an extensive June 2012 study by the Institute of Toxicology in Shandong, China, has made the benefits of garlic on cholesterol very clear. Drawing on data gathered from 26 clinical studies, the results show that garlic was superior to the placebo control in reducing total cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
The longer the treatment continued, the more effective garlic became.
Red Yeast Rice
Here we have yet another traditional Chinese medicine that has made its way into the Western mainstream. Red yeast rice is extracted from rice that has been fermented with a very particular type of yeast (called monascus purpureus, if you must know).
It has proven itself to be extremely effective at lowering cholesterol. However, we have to extend a few cautions here.
Firstly, during the fermentation process a toxic by-product called “Citrinin” is released. Before you take any supplement containing red yeast rice, you should make sure that citrinin has been removed from it.
Also, red yeast rice contains lovastatin, which is the active ingredient in certain prescription cholesterol drugs. So, consume in large quantities red yeast rice can produce the same negative effects as statins. Therefore, while this is undoubtedly a potent cholesterol lowering substance, a supplement consisting of mainly red yeast rice may produce adverse effects in the long run.
To gain its benefit with minimal risk, we recommend using a supplement like Choleslo, which combines a small amount of red yeast rice with multiple other natural cholesterol reducers.
Policosanol is derived from, among other sources, sugar cane and beeswax. It is one of those magical ingredients that not only lowers LDL cholesterol, but also raises HDL cholesterol.
It also reduces the stickiness of platelets, meaning that it can help prevent blood clots. This does of course mean that it should be taken with caution by people who already use some form of blood thinners.
As with most natural ingredients, study results provide conflicting evidence. Many studies have shown that policosanol can lower total cholesterol by between 12 and 22 percent over the course of 12 to 24 weeks. However, there are also studies that failed to produce significant results in favor of policosanol.
While still a bit of a wild horse, the fact that policosanol is quite safe to use and that there is plenty of evidence supporting its cholesterol lowering benefits, it should be a part of your natural cholesterol management regimen.
The easiest way to use policosanol is via a well formulated supplement, like Choleslo.
Several studies have established a firm link between stress and elevated cholesterol levels. The more intensely you experience emotional stress, the more your cholesterol levels are elevated by it.
That is why something as simple as de-stressing can be a potent natural cholesterol reducer. Exercise is a great way to lower stress levels. Meditation, relaxing bubble baths, a change of scenery and regular timeouts from the daily grind can all contribute to lower stress levels.
Just like with all the natural cholesterol reducers in this article, the effects are small. When combined into a total lifestyle adjustment however, it all comes together to produce significant results.
Keep it simple. You don’t need big changes to fight high cholesterol. Add a few little things to your diet, take a good supplement like Choleslo and take time to exercise and reduce stress. Over time these will all add up.