(WXYZ) – Roughly 33% of Americans have high LDL otherwise known as the “bad” cholesterol. Exercise and a heart-healthy diet are two key ways to reduce your LDL along with your risk for heart disease.
When considering natural supplements, one study found “aged garlic extract” reduced total cholesterol and LDL by 7 and 10 percent.
Another study looked at Flaxseeds and found they may reduce LDL cholesterol by 15 percent in 1 month.
Hawthorn is a plant that produces berries. The leaves, fruit and flowers have been used for medicinal purposes since the first century.
Research has found hawthorn can lower cholesterol in the blood, however, it can interact with medicines.
If you’re considering this, please talk to your doctor first.
When trying to lower your cholesterol levels, it’s best to make lifestyle changes:
- Lose extra weight and exercise regularly. Aim for 30 minutes every day and any activity is beneficial.
- Choose foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, mackerel and herring. Eliminate or reduce trans fats found in fried foods, cookies and cakes.
- Cut back on dietary cholesterol found in organ meats, egg yolks and whole milk. Choose lean meat and skim milk instead.
- Don’t smoke or take steps to quit. Cigarette smoke can speed up the hardening of arteries, increasing your heart disease risk.
Fiber is very important, especially for digestion. There are two kinds, soluble and insoluble. Both are beneficial for your heart. But soluble fiber, the kind that absorbs water can help to reduce LDL cholesterol. Foods containing soluble fiber are oats, fruits, beans and vegetables. Try to get 5 – 10 grams of soluble fiber a day.
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