How to Lower LDL Cholesterol Numbers Naturally
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You probably already know, cholesterol is a naturally occurring waxy substance that is manufactured by the human body. A certain amount of cholesterol is healthy but too much can lead to a variety of serious health problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease and stroke.
LDL stands for "low-density lipoprotein" and is sometimes referred to as bad cholesterol. The LDL transports cholesterol into the arteries while the good cholesterol, HDL, takes it away and delivers it to the liver. The more HDL you have in your body the better while the less LDL you have is also good.
There are a number of ways to lower your LDL level. Aim to drink at least two glasses of orange juice with your breakfast every morning. Make sure you choose a brand that contains the cholesterol-lowering plant sterol. Choosing orange juice from concentrate is also the wisest choice.
Instead of eating three large meals a day, consume five or six small meals throughout the course of the day. Research has shown that eating more frequent smaller meals helps to significantly lower LDL levels in the body.
Always eat and drink low fat or no fat (skim) dairy products and only consume whole grain breads and whole grain products such as rice and pasta. Whole grains can contribute to lowering triglycerides and to increase the level of good cholesterol. Begin your day with a bowl of oatmeal. Oatmeal is high in a soluble fiber known as beta glucan. Studies have shown that eating oatmeal on a regular basis can decrease your LDL cholesterol by 12 to 24 percent.
Instead of drinking coffee, drink green tea or drink black tea at least three or four times a day. Instead of adding sugar to your tea, add honey and in turn instead of spreading jam on your toast, flavor it with honey. Drinking cranberry juice is another way to lower LDL. Cranberries are rich in flavonols, anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins, which are all beneficial in preventing LDL from oxidizing (in other words, clinging to the walls of the arteries).
Be careful about consuming too much saturated fat and trans fat. Use olive oil for cooking and as a part of your salad dressing recipe. Olive oil is a healthy fat, the monosaturated type, and it helps to reduce levels of LDL, in particular in those who suffer from diabetes or have problems with metabolism.
Eating a grapefruit every day can help lower LDL cholesterol because grapefruits are high in a soluble fiber called pectin that can greatly reduce bad cholesterol in the bloodstream. As well eating an avocado every day (such as in guacamole) can manage to decrease LDL by as much as 17 percent while at the same time increasing levels of good cholesterol.
Other suggestions for decreasing LDL include setting aside 10 minutes every day to engage in strength-training exercises such as sit-ups, push-ups and leg lifts; having a glass of purple grape juice once a day; eating edamame as a snack on a regular basis and drinking a glass of red wine once every day or every couple of days.
By John Masters