Cholesterol is a fatty molecule present inside our body the helps perform various functions.
Cholesterol in its natural form is beneficial for the body, but some of its derivatives are known to be harmful. It maintains the structure of the membranes of cells and acts as a precursor to several hormones in our body.
LDL and VLDL cholesterol are the bad guys. They are synthesized by the liver in case of liver inflammation. High levels of these molecules are related to heart disease and atherosclerosis.
Lower Cholesterol Naturally
To lower cholesterol naturally, it’s necessary to keep the inflammation level to the lowest. The six best ways to lower LDL/VLDL levels naturally are as follows:
1) Avoid Seed Oils
Seed oils are the primary cause of high levels of LDL & VLDL. They contain Omega 6 fatty acids, which are easily oxidized while cooking and cause inflammation to the liver. That makes the liver produce excess amounts of LDL & VLDL.
Almost all vegetable oils are sourced from seeds (except a few). Staying away from these oils can contribute immensely to liver health and lower cholesterol.
2) Consume Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Any oil or fat not containing or containing low Omega 6 fatty acids is considered safe, as they do not cause inflammation or a rise in LDL and VLDL level.
Extra virgin olive oil is less susceptible to oxidation, making it an amazing substitute for other vegetable oils. It has a nice aroma and can be drizzled on salads or used for frying.
3) Animal Fats are Safe Substitutes
Animal fats are often thought to be dangerous to health due to the high levels of saturated fats in them.
However, saturated 100% animal fats do not contain inflammatory agents such as omega 6. Lard, tallow, butter, and ghee are good options and can be heated for cooking without any health concerns. These fats increase the taste of food as well.
4) Consume Omega 3 Rich Fish or Fish Oils
Omega 3 fatty acids are already known for their numerous health benefits. One of them is that they help prevent heart disease.
Certain fish like tuna, herring, anchovy, sardines, salmon, etc are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. Wherever these fish are not available, one can avail oils of these fish in capsules or as syrup.
Omega 3 fatty acids decrease inflammation in the body and keep the heart, liver, joints and eyes healthy. They are also known to improve hair growth and skin quality.
Undoubtedly, exercise is the best thing for the body. Intense physical activity has been found to be helpful in people with high levels of bad cholesterol.
Exercise decreases inflammation in the body. Common aerobic activities like jogging, cycling, running and even walking can aid to alleviate such conditions. Anaerobic training like strength and resistance training help as well.
It's recommended to include exercising at least 3-4 days a week. People aiming for intense training must do so under the supervision of a certified fitness professional.
6) Increase Intake of Fiber
Dietary fiber is found in fruits and vegetables. These are indigestible carbohydrates that ensure better gut health. They provide bulk to the food we eat and aid in their digestion.
Fiber intake has been found to be associated with lower levels of bad LDL. Oatmeal, brown rice, fruits and legumes are high in soluble fiber. Too much soluble fiber may cause bloating, constipation and other issues. One must keep track of the amount of fiber intake every day.
Cholesterol is an essential component in the body and is required for the cells and hormones. Other molecules can also be formed from cholesterol in case of inflammation in the liver. These derivatives, known as LDL and VLDL cholesterol, are bad for health. Inflammation is mainly caused by Omega 6 fatty acids present in seed oil.
A sedentary lifestyle can also contribute to the lipid profile of the body. There are several myths regarding bad cholesterol. Saturated fats and animal fats do not cause an increase in bad cholesterol levels, as they do not contain inflammatory agents.
Few plant fats like extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil are safe. Anyone suffering from high levels of LDL/VLDL must take proper advice from healthcare professionals and following a recommended diet. Overall, a healthy and active lifestyle helps in the normal functioning of the body.
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