Best Ways To Lower Cholesterol: 4 Keys To Staying Healthy Most Recommended By Experts

By Melissa Kraus

Doctors and scientists are always looking for new ways to improve human health and increase longevity, but there’s no debate over the long-echoed message to keep cholesterol levels in check. Of course, our bodies need some cholesterol to function properly, but too much can build up in our arteries, increasing the chances of developing heart disease or suffering a stroke. That’s why always keeping in mind the best ways to lower cholesterol and making them part of your daily routine really is so vital to our long-term health.

To that end, new research published by the American College of Cardiology projects the cardiovascular disease rates in the U.S. will skyrocket by the year 2060. According to the CDC, one person dies every 34 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease.

There’s also been much written about “good” cholesterol, also known as high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL). However, there may be no such thing as good cholesterol after all, according to researchers with the National Institutes of Health. Their study reports that the “healthy” blood fats do not protect against cardiovascular disease and can even increase the risk. Known medically as high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, the team adds these levels may not be an effective screening tool for patients at risk of heart disease.

That brings us back to the main takeaway: let’s keep our cholesterol levels low, even the so-called “good” kind. So what are some easy suggestions to help lower cholesterol? StudyFinds compiled a list of the four best ways to lower cholesterol, from 10 expert websites, for a healthier lifestyle. As always, we’d like to see your own recommendations in the comments below!

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The List: Best Ways To Lower Cholesterol, According To Medical Experts

1. Make Healthy Food Choices

You are what you eat. When you make healthy food choices, your overall health improves. You can start by keeping an eye on your fat intake.

“Monounsaturated fats like those in olive oil, canola oil, tree nuts, and avocados reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol, increase HDL (good) cholesterol, and reduce the oxidation that contributes to clogged arteries,” points out Healthline.

Add some fiber to your diet.  Fiber can help to lower cholesterol in your blood.  “Some high-fiber foods include oatmeal, beans, peas, leafy vegetables and root vegetables.  Raw vegetables and fresh fruit, and particularly their skins, are good sources of fiber,” notes WeightWatchers.

Don’t forget the fish!  Eating fish two or three times a week can lower LDL in two ways: by replacing meat, which has LDL-boosting saturated fats, and by delivering LDL-lowering omega-3 fats.  Omega-3s reduce triglycerides in the bloodstream and also protect the heart by helping prevent the onset of abnormal heart rhythms,” according to Harvard Health.

Try to cut back on butter, red meats, fried foods, and baked goods too.

2. Get Some Exercise

Physical activity is a great way to lower your cholesterol levels.  According to the American Heart Association– “At least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise a week is enough to lower both cholesterol and high blood pressure.  And you have lots of options: brisk walking, swimming, bicycling or even yard work can fit the bill.”

“If you haven’t been active, start slowly — even 10-minute blocks of activity count.  Choose an exercise you enjoy.  And buddy up: An exercise partner can help keep you on track,” suggests WebMD.  If you can’t dedicate a long block of time to daily exercise, don’t worry.  “You can divide your time up into 10- or 15-minute intervals to achieve the total recommended amount of exercise daily and get the same health benefits,” notes Verywell Health.

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3. Get A Good Night’s Sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep on a consistent basis, plays a big role in our overall health.  However, new research shows that the average person experiences ten sleepless nights per month.

“Poor sleep quality is equally responsible for increasing your cholesterol levels. Sleep apnea leads to sudden breathing pauses and starts at nighttime. This causes an increase in triglyceride and HDL levels and gives rise to obesity,” according to Oklahoma Otolaryngology Associates.

Having a regular sleep schedule can help to improve your sleep quality.  “Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, including on the weekends,” notes the CDC.

Try to avoid eating large meals, and drinking alcohol too close to bedtime.  Exercising regularly can also help you to get a good night’s sleep.

4. Reduce Stress

For many of us, trying to reduce stress in our lives can be a constant battle.  A recent survey of British adults showed one in six feel stressed the moment they wake up.

“Chronic stress leads to consistently high levels of stress hormones, which in turn can lead to consistently high blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and/or triglycerides.  Stress hormones can also promote plaque buildup in the arteries, which increases the risk of heart attack, and they can affect how the blood clots, increasing the risk of stroke,” notes Forward Health.

One way to reduce stress is to embrace mindfulness.  “Practice deep breathing and being present, paying close attention to your breath while you let go of any thoughts about the past and future,” adds BrightSide.

Other stress busters to consider– yoga, meditation, a hobby, or even a nature walk.

Don’t forget to schedule your annual physical, and discuss any health concerns with your doctor, who can determine if you need a prescription medication to help lower your cholesterol levels.

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Source: Study Finds

Melissa is a freelance writer, based out of New Jersey. She has over two-decades of writing, editing, and producing experience for Radio, TV, and Digital Media.

Top image: Pixabay

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