Eating a low-cholesterol diet is good for our heart health as well as our brain health.
It’s no surprise that eating a diet that’s high in fat is bad for our health. The fat builds up and clogs our arteries, preventing blood flow to essential parts of our body such as our heart and brain.
When the blood stops flowing to our brain and we don’t have oxygen, that’s called a brain attack also known as a stroke. And when the blood flow to our heart is impeded, and we are not receiving oxygen-rich blood to our heart, we experience a heart attack.
Both are awful and cost the United States billions of dollars annually in health care and lost productivity costs.
So how do we go about eating a low-cholesterol diet?
And what if you have high cholesterol?
Can you lower it naturally or do you have to start taking cholesterol-lowering medications?
If you’re trying to lower your cholesterol naturally, without the use of medications then you have come to the right place.
I will share with you some tips on how to lower your cholesterol naturally. But of course, before you start any changes in your diet, consult your healthcare provider and see if it’s safe for you before you start.
At the end of this blog post, I have included a free downloadable menu plan that you can use today to begin your cholesterol-lowering journey.
Continue reading for some helpful tips to lower your cholesterol naturally and don’t forget to download your meal plan!
I hope that it will help you to take immediate action and take care of your health.
How to Lower Your Cholesterol Naturally
1. Cut Out The Trans Fat and Saturated Fats In Your Diet
Trans fats are artificially created in the industrial process. It is a process of turning liquid vegetable oil into a shelf-stable solid fat. Manufacturers use trans fat in their products because it increases the shelf life and makes packaged foods last longer.
Trans fats are incredibly bad for our health. Although the US Food and Drug Administration has banned the use of trans fats in our food products, some can still sneak their way into our foods.
Trans fat can be found in:
- Solid fats like margarine, shorten
- Frozen foods like frozen pizza, frozen dinners, ice cream, and frozen desserts
- Store-bought pies, cakes, doughnuts, and cookies
- Fast food
- Snack foods
Cut out packaged, processed foods that have trans fat or “partially hydrogenated oils” listed in their ingredients list.
2. Walk 30- 60 Minutes Daily
Walking is a great low-intensity cardiovascular exercise. The best part about walking is that anyone can walk.
You can walk fast. Or slow. You can bring your kids with you on your walk. Or you can walk your dog. You can walk and talk to your friends on the phone.
It’s a physical activity that individuals of all ages can do.
Walking 30 to 60 minutes a day might sound like a lot but it’s very doable. If you think about it, you’re walking to and from your car at work or the grocery store. You’re walking to and from the school and picking up your kids.
There are a lot of little opportunities for you to walk so instead of parking your car close, park your car a little bit further, and walk a little bit more. Those extra little steps that you get in will add up.
3. Incorporate Little Chunks Of Exercise Into Your Daily Routine
There are plenty of ways that you can incorporate exercise into your daily life.
You can go for a brisk 15-minute walk on your lunch break.
You can do some jumping jacks and sit-ups during a commercial break.
If you’re watching a movie, you can do 10 push-ups every time an actor says a favorite work or does a certain motion repeatedly.
There are many creative ways to incorporate a little bit of exercise into your daily life. You just have to be a little thoughtful and creative about including it in your daily routine.
4. Drink Green Tea Daily
Green tea has antioxidants and can help to lower cholesterol. The catechin extract that is found in green tea has been found to lower cholesterol. In one 2003 study, 375 mg of catechin extract from green tea lowered cholesterol by 11.3 percent, LDL cholesterol by 16.4 percent, triglycerides by 3.5 percent, and raised HDL by 2.3 percent in individuals following a low-cholesterol diet.
There are many varieties of delicious teas out there. During the holidays, there are lots of seasonal teas that you can enjoy. There’s pumpkin spice chai, peppermint green tea, and warm apple cinnamon tea.
You can also add fresh fruit, dried fruit, and herbs to enhance and flavor your teas. Just take a few orange slices or fresh mint leaves and add them to a cup of freshly brewed green tea.
You’ll have naturally flavored, sweetened green tea. You’ll also reap the benefits of drinking it with additional antioxidants as well.
5. Cut Back On Animal Fat
Animal fat is where there is a lot of trans fat and cholesterol. You’re going to need to cut back on eating prime cuts of red meat like beef, pork, veal, and lamb. Omit the skin on chicken and turkey. You’ll also want to cut back on full-fat dairy products like milk, cheese, sour cream, cream cheese, and butter. These are loaded with lots of cholesterol that can clog your arteries.
6. Omit Refined Sugars From Your Diet
Doing a sugar detox and cutting refined sugars from your diet can have a positive impact on your physical health, mental health, and skin. You will look and feel better and your skin will glow.
Not only is refined sugar empty calories that can lead to excess weight gain, but it can also cause cavities, lead to type II diabetes, increase inflammation, and damage nerve and blood vessels.
7. Load Up On Fiber
Eating fiber is good for you because it can help with weight loss, digestion, and heart health. Fiber can also help to regulate blood sugar levels and can reduce the risk of some types of cancer.
There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble.
Soluble fiber dissolves in water and forms a gel-like substance that can help to lower cholesterol levels and slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream.
Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and helps to keep the digestive system healthy by adding bulk to stool and preventing constipation.
Good sources of fiber include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans. Apples, oatmeal, prunes, and beans can help keep you feeling fuller and longer and prevent cholesterol from being absorbed in the body.
Increasing your intake of fiber by just 5-10 grams daily can help to see a drop in your LDL levels.
8. Eat Whole Grains
Whole grains such as whole wheat, brown rice, and steel-cut oats are less processed and contain all of their nutritious counterparts.
The fiber in whole grains has not been washed out during the processing period. Soluble fiber helps keep you feeling fuller longer. It also reduces the absorption of cholesterol in your body.
9. Limit Your Alcohol Intake
As a mom, this hasn’t been an issue for me. I didn’t drink at all when I was pregnant and I felt as though my body changed after having my baby. I can’t tolerate alcohol like I once could before having my kids. Now I’m so sensitive to beer and wine.
For the average healthy adult, that means one drink a night for women and two drinks a night for men. One drink is equivalent to one 5-ounce glass of wine or one 8-ounce glass of beer for women.
Laughing and spending time doing active leisure activities is an excellent way for you to also lower your cholesterol. Spend time with the ones that you love and encourage one another to eat a heart-healthy low- cholesterol diet.
Life is short and so I encourage you to laugh and don’t things too seriously if they’re not that serious. At the end of the day, what matters most is that you and your loved ones are healthy and happy.
Download Your Free Printable Menu Plan
I’ve included a free low-cholesterol menu plan at the end of this blog post. You’ll find that it’s an easy menu plan to follow and most of the lunches include meats and sides from the previous night’s dinner.
Let me know in the comments below what you’re starting lipid levels were and what you’ve done to improve them. I’d love to hear from you! Good luck on your journey!