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Lower Cholesterol – The Natural Way

Lower Cholesterol – The Natural Way

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 95 million US adults aged 20 or older have total cholesterol levels higher than 200 mg/dL. Many people don’t know that their cholesterol is too high because they have no symptoms. Unhealthy lifestyle choices are the leading cause of high cholesterol; however, genetics, certain medical conditions, and medications can contribute to high cholesterol. Some ways that you can inform your patients how they can try to lower their cholesterol levels include:

  • Avoiding unsaturated fatty acids (trans fats) like margarine, vegetable shortening, fried foods, processed and prepackaged foods
  • Consuming fewer saturated fats like fatty beef, lamb, pork, poultry with skin, lard, cream, butter, and cheese
  • Consuming monounsaturated fats like avocados, nuts (almonds, peanuts, and Brazil nuts), seeds, and vegetable oils such as olive, peanut, sesame, and sunflower oils)
  • Consuming polyunsaturated fats like walnuts, fish (salmon, tuna and trout), plant oils (soybean, corn or sunflower oils), and omega-3s
  • Consuming soluble fibers like vegetables, fruits, whole grains (oatmeal and brown rice), legumes, and beans
  • Exercising regularly—at least 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75-150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity per week
  • Losing weight reduces total cholesterol, in part by decreasing the creation of new cholesterol in the liver
  • Not smoking or vaping
  • Using alcohol in moderation (1-2 drinks per day)
  • Trying a supplement like fish oil, psyllium, coenzyme Q10, garlic
References
  • American Heart Association. Saturated fats. www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/fats/saturated-fats. Accessed May 14, 2019.
  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. High blood cholesterol. www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/high-blood-cholesterol. Accessed May 14, 2019.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. High cholesterol facts. www.cdc.gov/cholesterol/facts.htm. Accessed May 14, 2019.
  • US Department of Health and Human Services. Physical activity guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition. Chapter 4. Active adults. health.gov/paguidelines/second-edition/pdf/Physical_Activity_Guidelines_2nd_edition.pdf#page=55. Accessed May 14, 2019.

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Filed under: Preventive Medicine

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