The pursuit of Lower Cholesterol levels is practically a national pastime at this point. As everyone knows, a good diet, lots of exercise, and statins are your best bet for winning the HDL/LDL numbers game. But what about all the other weird techniques people are trying? Some of those work too, as it turns out.
Although many of ideas below have same effects on their own, Stanley Hazen, section head of preventive cardiology at the Cleveland Clinic, says they’re great when put together. “You may get 5 or 10% here and there, but when you add them up you get something effective”, he says.
Surprising And Natural Ways to Lower Cholesterol
A study recently presented to the Endocrine Society found that onion extract lowered total cholesterol in diabetic rats. A handful of other stories in the few past years also find onion to be very effective in reducing both LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol) and blood sugar. The catch is that all of the research was done on rats -not people- and scientists are still unsure how well onion extract would work on human cholesterol. Onion and garlic are both very useful in lowering cholesterol, based on what we have seen in our traditional cooking.
Red Yeast Rice
Yeast rice, which is pretty much what it sounds like- a type of yeast grown on fermented rice- contains a compound called monacolin K, which is the same compound found in a statin called lovastatin. Like the medication, monacolin K blocks the liver from creating the cholesterol your body needs to protect your cells. With a lack of naturally produced cholesterol, the liver turns on its LDL receptor that pulls bad cholesterol out of the blood. Studies have shown red yeast rice taken in pill form can reduce LDL cholesterol by 10% to 30%.
This suggestion should be taken with caution because overuse of laxatives can be detrimental to health and wreak havoc on your bowels. The takeaway here is that you should be going to the bathroom regularly, as it can also help remove cholesterol. So, if you haven’t gone in a while or find yourself backed up, you may need a bit of help to get going. Instead of using a harsh laxative, opt for a gentle fibre supplement to get things moving.
Studies have found that eating tofu and other soy products in moderation reduces LDL cholesterol and has either no effect or a positive effect on breast cancer tumors. Harvard Medical school doctors say eating about 10 ounces of tofu a day can reduce bad cholesterol by 5 to 6%. Tofu also contains phytosterols and is a low-cholesterol protein, so replacing meat with tofu at least one night a week cuts the amount of cholesterol in your diet.
This is by far the easiest cholesterol- lowing remedy you can adhere to because everyone needs sleep. A Japanese study found that women who did not get enough sleep tended to have higher cholesterol levels. On the other hand, people who had too much sleep over eight hours also had high cholesterol levels. This is just another reason why you should work on getting a proper amount of sleep each and every night.
The Indian fruit has much vitamin C as two oranges, which Gopal says gives it its cholesterol fighting power. “It’s a very potent antioxidant that helps your cardiovascular system”, she says. Here’s how: LDL cholesterol is oxidized in your bloodstream and transforms into plaque that gums up the arteries. Antioxidants like vitamin C stop the oxidation and therefore reduce the amount of plaque deposited in your arteries.