Cholesterol is necessary for the body to function properly. The risk of cardiovascular illness, including heart attacks and strokes, is raised by high cholesterol, particularly low-density lipoprotein (LDL.
Changes in your way of life can help lower your cholesterol and increase the effectiveness of prescription drugs that lower it.
Heart disease can be avoided by keeping your cholesterol levels within acceptable ranges.
A person with high LDL cholesterol can gradually lower their LDL cholesterol to a healthy level by making dietary and behavioral modifications.
Your chance of developing heart disease and having a heart attack is increased by high cholesterol. Your cholesterol may be improved by medications.
Try these five healthy changes, though, if you’d want to alter your way of life first to lower your cholesterol.
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What is cholesterol and how does it affect health?
The liver naturally produces Trusted Source cholesterol, a fatty substance that aids in the production of hormones and the digestion of fatty foods.
Animal-based foods, such as eggs and meat, also contain cholesterol.
The body does not require cholesterol from food and can produce enough cholesterol on its own.
Cholesterol tests distinguish between two types of cholesterol:
LDL (low-density lipoprotein): This is the “bad” cholesterol, according to many people.
High LDL cholesterol levels can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, clogged arteries, and other heart-related problems.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL)
This “good” cholesterol can assist in the removal of cholesterol and transporting it back to the liver.
Higher HDL levels may reduce a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease. Total cholesterol is a composite of HDL, LDL, and triglycerides.
A person is more likely to develop heart disease if they have low HDL and high LDL cholesterol.
How long does it take for cholesterol to be reduced?
Following a few days of healthier living, cholesterol decreases gradually rather than immediately. There is no specific time frame within which cholesterol is assured to decrease.
Drugs that decrease cholesterol often cause a change in LDL within 6 to 8 weeks. Within a few weeks, cholesterol levels may vary as a result of lifestyle changes.
However, it could take more time—typically 3 monthsTrusted Source—or even longer.
After around 12 weeks of lifestyle adjustments, some doctors may advise adding a cholesterol-lowering medication if a patient’s LDL cholesterol has not decreased.
What is a normal cholesterol level?
Healthy cholesterol levels for the majority of people are as follows:
Total cholesterol: less than 200 milligrams per deciliter
LDL “bad” cholesterol: less than 100 mg/dL
HDL “good” cholesterol: higher than 60 mg/dL
Triglycerides: less than 150 mg/dL The most effective methods for lowering cholesterol
How to Reduce Cholesterol
A person can incorporate a number of habit changes into their daily routines to gradually and consistently lower their LDL levels over time. Including:
- Consume heart-healthy foods ~ How to Reduce Cholesterol
A few dietary changes can lower cholesterol and improve heart health:
Reduce your intake of saturated fats ~ How to Reduce Cholesterol
Saturated fats, which are mostly found in red meat and full-fat dairy products, raise total cholesterol.
The “bad” cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), can be decreased by consuming fewer saturated fats.
Get rid of Trans fats ~ How to Reduce Cholesterol
Margarine, store-bought cookies, crackers, and cakes frequently contain trans fats, which are occasionally indicated on food labels as “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.”
Trans fats cause an increase in total cholesterol. By January 1, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration has outlawed the use of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.
How to Reduce Cholesterol ~ Consume omega-3 fatty acid-rich meals.
LDL cholesterol is not affected by omega-3 fatty acids. However, they also offer additional heart-healthy advantages, such as lowering blood pressure.
Walnuts, flaxseeds, salmon, mackerel, herring, and mackerel are foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids.
How to Reduce Cholesterol ~ Boost soluble fiber intake
The amount of cholesterol absorbed into your system might be decreased by soluble fiber.
Oatmeal, kidney beans, Brussels sprouts, apples, and pears all contain soluble fiber.
How to Reduce Cholesterol ~ Include whey protein
Many of the health benefits attributed to dairy may be attributed to whey protein, which is found in dairy products.
Whey protein taken as a supplement has been shown in studies to lower LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, and blood pressure.
- Increase your physical activity by exercising on most days of the week.
Exercise can help lower cholesterol. Moderate physical activity can aid in the increase of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol or “good” cholesterol.
Work up to at least 30 minutes of exercise five times a week, or 20 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity three times a week, with your doctor’s approval.
You can start to lose weight by increasing your physical activity, even for brief periods of time multiple times a day. Consider:
- Daily brisk walks during your lunch break.
- Commuting to work on a bicycle
- Engaging in a preferred sport
- To maintain your motivation, think about finding a workout partner or joining a group.
- Give up smoking ~ How to Reduce Cholesterol
When you stop smoking, your HDL cholesterol level rises. The advantages appear right away:
- Your blood pressure and pulse rate return to normal within 20 minutes of quitting, reversing the cigarette-induced rise.
- Your blood circulation and lung function start to improve three months after stopping.
- Your chance of developing heart disease is halved within a year of quitting smoking.
- Shed pounds ~ How to Reduce Cholesterol
Having even a few extra pounds makes your cholesterol higher. Small adjustments add up. Switch to tap water if you drink sugary beverages. Snack on air-popped popcorn or pretzels, but keep the calories in mind.
If you’re craving something sweet, try sherbet or low-fat candies like jelly beans.
Find ways to incorporate more activity into your daily routine, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking further away from your office.
Take walks during your work breaks. Increase your standing activities, such as cooking or yard work.
- Consume alcohol in moderation ~ How to Reduce Cholesterol
Moderate alcohol consumption has been linked to higher levels of HDL cholesterol — but the benefits aren’t compelling enough to recommend alcohol to anyone who doesn’t already consume it.
If you do consume alcohol, do so moderately. That means that for healthy individuals, women of all ages and men older than 65 can have up to one drink per day, while males 65 and younger can have up to two drinks per day.
Drinking too much alcohol increases the risk of developing significant health issues such high blood pressure, heart failure, and strokes.
If a change in lifestyle isn’t enough…
Sometimes adopting a healthy lifestyle change is insufficient to reduce cholesterol levels.
Take the medication as directed while continuing to make healthy lifestyle changes if your doctor prescribes it to lower your cholesterol.
You can reduce the dosage of your medicine by making lifestyle modifications.
Ask about cholesterol-lowering drugs.
For some people, cholesterol medications such as statins may be the quickest way to lower cholesterol, usually within 6 to 8 weeks.
This allows a person to reduce their risk of heart disease while also cultivating a healthy lifestyle.
During this time, a person can concentrate on lowering cholesterol gradually through lifestyle and dietary changes.
Because high cholesterol is a risk factor for serious heart problems, the American Heart Association and American College of CardiologyTrusted Source both recommend statins for many groups of people who have high LDL cholesterol.
If diet and lifestyle changes, as well as statins, do not reduce LDL cholesterol sufficiently, a person may require additional medications.
Lowering LDL cholesterol can lower a person’s risk of developing heart disease.
Maintaining a healthy weight and enhancing blood glucose control in those with type 2 diabetes are two additional benefits of heart-healthy behaviors that can lower cholesterol and enhance overall health.
This suggests that a cholesterol-friendly lifestyle may benefit even those with moderately high cholesterol.
Maintaining these healthy behaviors can enhance long-term health even when cholesterol levels decline.
Consult a physician to learn more about a person’s unique risk factors for heart disease and the best methods for lowering cholesterol given their current state of health.
What foods immediately lower cholesterol?
Oat bran, high-fiber meals, and oatmeal.
Other foods that contain soluble fiber include kidney beans, Brussels sprouts, apples, and pears.
The amount of cholesterol absorbed into your system might be decreased by soluble fiber.
You’re LDL cholesterol drops if you consume five to ten grams or more of soluble fiber per day.
How long does it take to flush out cholesterol?
It can take three to six months to see lower LDL readings with simple food and exercise, according to the Tisch Center for Women’s Health at NYU Langone Medical Center; it also takes women longer to notice changes than men.
Can you improve your cholesterol in 2 weeks?
There is no set time frame during which cholesterol is guaranteed to fall. Cholesterol-lowering medications typically produce a reduction in LDL within 6 to 8 weeks.
Changes in lifestyle can affect cholesterol levels within weeks. However, it may take longer, typically 3 months — sometimes longer.
What can I drink on a daily basis to lower my cholesterol?
Certain drinks can help you maintain a healthy cholesterol level.
Green tea, pomegranate juice, citrus juice, soy milk, plant-based smoothies, and red wine are some of the best drinks for cholesterol management.
Does a week of fasting lower cholesterol?
What effect does it have on cholesterol? Fasting on a regular basis was found to lower bad LDL cholesterol in one study.
Over a six-week period, participants were instructed to fast for 12 hours during the day, three times per week.
This study discovered that fasting also raises your levels of “good” HDL cholesterol.