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How to Lower Your Cholesterol in 7 Easy Steps

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High cholesterol is one of the most difficult conditions to treat. One reason is that changing the diet is a challenging ordeal because most people don’t want to give up the foods they enjoy. Treating high cholesterol is also tough because it requires a change in lifestyle that many people aren’t willing to commit to. But lowering your cholesterol doesn’t have to be hard. There are ways around the difficult challenges so that you don’t have to give up your favorite foods.

1. Take CoQ10 Supplements

Taking coq10 and statins, which are prescription drugs, can help lower cholesterol. The human body makes CoQ10 or Coenzyme Q10 naturally. Cells use it to generate energy. Research has shown that coenzyme Q10 can lower bad LDL cholesterol’s ability to stick to the blood vessels. Thus, the body is better able to get rid of bad cholesterol.

2. Consume More Monounsaturated Fats

Because monounsaturated fats only have one double chemical bond, it changes the way they’re used in the body. For example, it doesn’t bind to the blood vessels as easily as saturated fats and trans fats do. In fact, monounsaturated fats have been shown to reduce cholesterol more effectively than a low-fat diet. This is because while a low-fat diet for weight loss can reduce levels of harmful LDL, it can also reduce beneficial HDL.

However, a diet high in monounsaturated fats can greatly reduce harmful LDL and protect higher levels of healthy HDL. Great sources of monounsaturated fats include:

  • Olives and olive oil
  • Canola oil
  • Peanut oil and peanut butter
  • Avocados
  • Tree nuts (i.e., almonds, walnuts, pecans and cashews)

3. Avoid Trans Fats

Trans fats, which are unsaturated fats, are altered by a process known as hydrogenation. These fats make the unsaturated fats in vegetable oils more stable. They also provide texture in products like cookies, pastries and spreads. While trans fats make food taste better and the eating experience more pleasant, the body doesn’t handle them that well. Studies not only show that trans fats significantly increase LDL and overall cholesterol levels, but they also decrease beneficial HDL.

4. Eat Soluble Fiber

Soluble fiber is a great addition to the diet. The good bacteria in your intestines need soluble fiber to help your body digest food. The healthy bacteria in your gut, also known as probiotics, reduce harmful kinds of lipoproteins, LDL and VLDL.

Soluble fiber is also a great supplement to your diet because it can help increase the effectiveness of statin medications. Foods that contain high amounts of soluble fiber include beans, peas, lentils, oats and fruit.

5. Exercise

Exercise not only promotes a healthy and fit lifestyle, but it also reduces harmful LDL and increases beneficial HDL. Exercise can also be a great addition to your regimen because it helps with weight loss by burning excess calories. That’s because weight loss increases the absorption of cholesterol from the diet, which means that it decreases the creation of new cholesterol in the body.

6. Stop Smoking

Smoking can raise LDL and lower HDL. By quitting, you have a good chance of improving those numbers. In fact, lots of people who stop smoking see their “good” cholesterol rise within one year. Furthermore, f you know someone who smokes and you’re around them often, you may see an increase in bad cholesterol levels. That’s because breathing secondhand smoke can cause your bad cholesterol to rise.

7. Laugh More

You’ve likely heard the saying, “Laughter is like medicine.” This saying is very true. That’s because in addition to decreasing stress hormones and reducing artery inflammation, laughing more can also increase LDL, the “good” cholesterol. Did you know that the positive effects of laughter last 24 hours, according to the American Heart Association (AHA)?

If you want a healthier heart and an overall healthier life, it’s important to make these sacrifices for your wellbeing. They’re not that bad, after all.