Genes and gender have their own role in causing several cholesterol related problems, but for many of us, what we eat is a crucial factor too. The good news is that there are many things you can do to keep your cholesterol in check. Listed below are things you can do to lower your cholesterol.
1. Eat meat sparingly
Meat should not be the major portion of your diet. Trim off the skin and fat from poultry and meats. Avoid fatty cuts of lamb, pork and beef; instead opt for lean meats, or substitute skinless white-meat poultry or fish. When eating out, choose to have a smaller portion of meat. Fish dishes and meatless pasta are some of the foods you can eat when dining out.
2. Choose low-fat milk products
Avoid dairy products that contain cream or whole milk; instead, use non-fat or low-fat versions.
3. Watch the snacks
Choose to have low-fat snacks (fresh fruits, dried fruits, carrots and homemade popcorn) over those that have high fat (candy bars and potato chips). Avoid products bought from stores unless you trust them to be explicitly low in trans fats and saturated fats.
4. Minimize saturated fats in cooking
Use liquid cooking oils as opposed to margarine or butter. Make use of nonstick pans. Rather than frying your meal, stew, steam, roast, broil or bake it. Baste with broth or wine and discard the drippings.
5. Avoid coconut and palm oils
Most of the vegetable oils present in the market are unsaturated; nevertheless, these two carry high amounts of unhealthy fat. Choose peanut, olive, soybean, corn, safflower and canola oils.
6. Eat vegetables and fruits
In order to guard your heart and lower your LDL (bad cholesterol) levels, eat a lot of vegetables and fruits.
7. Choose nuts
Nuts present a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. They are healthy and provide a filling supply of protein. However, do not consume too much of them; they have too many calories that can cause weight gain.
8. Add fish to the diet
Countries where fish is consumed in high amounts have lower number of deaths caused due to cardiovascular problems. Like nuts, oily fishes have omega-3s and omega-6s fatty acids. These are the acids that our body can’t make, so we need to eat foods that are rich in these fatty acids in order to benefit from the positive effects they have on our body. One among several other benefits of omega 3s and omega 6s fatty acids is that they keep your LDL levels in check.
9. Start taking psyllium if you are not able to get enough fiber
Fiber can help reduce LDL levels and is a part of a healthy diet plan. Fiber will also help lower triglycerides. For those who can’t get enough fiber from foods, psyllium is the best alternative to fill in the gaps. Like other fibrous foods, it will make you head towards bathroom more frequently.
10. Consider having soy protein supplements
Soy can lower your LDL levels. In addition to that, it helps in improving HDL (good cholesterol) levels. Eating soy protein as an alternative to animal protein (like full-fat dairy and meat) will certainly help you reduce your LDL levels.
11. Use Coenzyme Q10
This powerful antioxidant is known to not allow LDL to stick to the blood vessels. For those that are taking statin to keep their LDL levels in check and having muscle ache as a side effect, coenzyme Q10 might help ease it.
12. Use garlic based supplements
Garlic supplements are known to reduce the LDL levels in the body. Garlic is also well known to benefit you in several other ways.
13. Use Niacin based supplements
B vitamin has the ability to reduce LDL and boost the levels of HDL in the body. It is recommended that you only use it after proper consultation with the doctor. For niacin to function properly, you need to take a lot of it, and this can cause serious adverse reactions.
14. Use red yeast rice based supplements
This supplement has the same active component that is found in statin drugs. Red yeast rice can significantly reduce the LDL levels in your body. However, make sure that you take this supplement after proper consultation with the doctor as it might interact with other drugs to cause several negative effects.
Keeping your LDL levels in check is certainly not easy when there is lack of proper guidance. Follow the above mentioned tips and help yourself reduce the LDL levels in your body.