Limiting saturated fats in your diet, along with getting regular exercise and engaging in other healthy practices, may help lower the amount of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in your blood.
Lipoproteins carry cholesterol, fat, and fat-soluble vitamins in your blood.
There are two types:
- Low-density lipoprotein (LDL): High levels of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, may result in cholesterol deposits in blood vessel walls. This could lead to clogged arteries and an
increased riskof heart attacks.
- High-density lipoprotein (HDL): HDL, or “good” cholesterol, helps carry cholesterol away from blood vessel walls. Due to this, it helps prevent the conditions mentioned above.
Your liver produces as much cholesterol as your body needs. Yet several factors may influence these levels, including:
This article discusses 10 ways to help improve your cholesterol levels.
Here are a few great sources of monounsaturated fats:
- deep sea tuna like bluefin or albacore
- shellfish (to a lesser degree), including shrimp
Foods that commonly contain trans fats include:
- margarine and shortening
- pastries and other baked goods
- some microwaveable popcorn
- fried fast foods
- some pizzas
- nondairy coffee creamer
Soluble fiber is a type of fiber that is abundant in plants and whole grains. Prioritizing whole grains can
Some of the best sources of soluble fiber include:
Regular strength training alongside aerobic exercise can provide even more benefits.
Having excess weight or obesity can
Overall, weight loss has a double benefit on cholesterol by decreasing harmful LDL and increasing beneficial HDL. Consider working with a doctor to determine a nutrient-dense diet and sustainable weight management plan that works for you.
Smoking tobacco increases the risk of heart disease in several ways, including:
- increasing LDL
- decreasing HDL
- increasing cholesterol buildup in arteries
- affecting cholesterol transportation and absorption
Giving up smoking, if possible, can help reverse these harmful effects. A doctor can help you create a plan to quit smoking that’s best for you.
Alcohol’s role in providing heart-protective benefits is a controversial topic. According to a
If you drink, the CDC suggests you consume only two drinks per day for males or one drink per day for females on days that you drink.
Multiple types of supplements show promise for managing cholesterol. Plant stanols and sterols are plant versions of cholesterol. Because they resemble cholesterol, they’re absorbed by your body like cholesterol.
According to a 2018 research review, clinical studies show that taking 1.5–3 grams of plant sterols or stanols daily can reduce LDL concentration by
Small amounts of plant stanols and sterols are naturally found in vegetable oils and are added to certain oils and butter substitutes.
Certain types of supplements may improve cholesterol and promote heart health:
- Fish oil is rich in the omega-3 fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). However, some fish oil supplements
may increaseLDL despite reducing triglyceride levels.
- Psyllium is a form of soluble fiber available as a supplement and may help lower cholesterol levels.
- Coenzyme Q10 is a food chemical that helps cells produce energy. It’s similar to a vitamin, except that the body can produce its own Q10, preventing deficiency. Research into the efficacy of coenzyme Q10 in lowering cholesterol is ongoing.
Always work with a medical professional before starting or changing supplement regimens.
What are 5 foods that can lower cholesterol?
That said, some foods high in soluble fibers, omega-3 fatty acids, or monounsaturated fats may help lower cholesterol, including:
- fatty fish, like salmon, mackerel, and herring
- oat cereals
- some oils, like olive oil and canola oil
- vegetables, like Brussels sprouts
- nuts, such as almonds and cashews
What foods should you avoid if you have high cholesterol?
Trans fats could raise your total cholesterol and LDL levels while decreasing beneficial HDL levels.
Foods to avoid include:
How can I lower my cholesterol in 30 days?
Several lifestyle changes may help you lower your cholesterol, including:
- limiting alcohol intake, if you drink
- quitting smoking, if you smoke
- exercising regularly
- eating a balanced diet
You may also consider taking certain types of supplements. But speak with a healthcare professional before starting or changing your supplement regimen.
Cholesterol has important functions in the body but can cause clogged arteries and heart disease when it’s not well managed.
If your cholesterol is out of balance, lifestyle interventions are the first line of treatment.
Unsaturated fats, soluble fiber, and plant sterols or stanols can increase “good” HDL and decrease “bad” LDL. Exercise and weight loss can also help.