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Protect your heart: Know how you can reduce cholesterol levels naturally

Protect your heart from bad cholesterol.

While high cholesterol can be inherited, mostly it is the result of unhealthy lifestyle choices. A combination of healthy diet, regular exercise and sometimes medication can help reduce high cholesterol.

Written by Editorial Team |Updated : January 17, 2020 11:15 AM IST

What is cholesterol? It is a waxy substance found in your blood and your body needs it to build healthy cells. However, high levels of cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease.

Total cholesterol levels less than 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) are considered desirable for adults. A reading between 200 and 239 mg/dL is considered borderline high and a reading of 240 mg/dL and above is considered high.

While high cholesterol can be inherited, mostly it is the result of unhealthy lifestyle choices. As we grow older, cholesterol levels also increase. For this reason, doctors suggest taking steps earlier in life to prevent high levels of cholesterol in later stage of life. A combination of healthy diet, regular exercise and sometimes medication can help reduce high cholesterol.

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Tips to help reduce cholesterol naturally

Several factors like poor diet, obesity, lack of exercise, diabetes, smoking, can increase your risk of bad cholesterol. Follow these tips to reduce the risk.

  • What you eat can increase your LDL (bad) cholesterol. Limit your intake of animal fats and use good fats in moderation. Eating foods containing saturated and trans fats can raise the level of "bad" cholesterol in your blood.
  • If you are overweight, try to lose extra pounds and maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese may increase bad cholesterol (LDL) and lower good cholesterol (HDL).
  • Smoking is not at all good for your health. Cigarette smoking can raise levels of LDL, or "bad" cholesterol, and a blood fat called triglycerides. The sooner you quit it, the better for you.
  • Eat organic, locally grown foods. Inorganic vegetables may contain chemicals that can be toxic to the body.
  • Stop eating processed or packaged foods. The chemicals and toxins present in these foods can create imbalances in the production of fat tissue.
  • Eat your dinner four hours before going to bed. Undigested food in the stomach can create toxicity in the body.
  • Exercise is one of the best ways to lower your bad cholesterol. Exercise for at least 30 minutes five times a week.

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