Lower Cholesterol without Statins
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a soft, waxy material, and is a natural part of fats. It is found in the bloodstream and in all the cells of the body.
What is the deal with high cholesterol?
While cholesterol in and of itself is not a bad thing per se, too much cholesterol is.
High cholesterol – or hypercholesterolemia – is when there is too much cholesterol in the body. The excess cholesterol can cause sticky deposits on the artery walls, which in turns blocks the blood flow.
Because high cholesterol doesn’t actually have any symptoms, it can undetected for many years. Because of this, it is very important to get cholesterol checked regularly.
As cholesterol gets higher, the risk for heart disease (strokes, heart attacks) gets higher. The consequences of high cholesterol can be dire, and so many people use statins to treat the high cholesterol.
What are statins?
Statins are also known as HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors. They fall under the lipid-lowering medications class. They block the action of a particular enzyme in the liver that helps produce the cholesterol.
Unfortunately, statins can also lead to side effects like memory loss, muscle pain, and elevated liver enzymes.
Natural ways to lower cholesterol
- Limit intake of food that has a lot of saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol. This includes butter, red meat, full-fat dairy, eggs, and shellfish.
- Eat Omega-3 rich fish such as salmon and sardines, and also add more fish in general to your diet.
- Add more fibre-rich foods to your diet. Start your day with a bowl of oatmeal. During the rest of day include many fibre-rich foods such as high-fibre veggies (carrots, eggplant, beetroot), legumes and beans, and grains (barley).
- Choose plant-based foods over meat. These include legumes, beans, seeds, and nuts.
- If you are overweight, work on losing the excess weight.
- Exercise regularly
Remember to always check with your doctor before making any sort of lifestyle change.