When it comes to cholesterol—we all want lower cholesterol, but to get lower cholesterol levels, well, we have to work at it! However, it's not THAT hard to get lower cholesterol. In fact, there are a few ways to get lower cholesterol levels, without really doing much at all! In fact, there are incredibly SIMPLE things that you can do in order to get lower cholesterol!
So, here are a few ways that YOU can get lower cholesterol—and get lower cholesterol levels!
1. Keep in mind that you do need SOME cholesterol
However, you mainly need a type of cholesterol called HDL. This is “good” cholesterol—and it helps to lower cholesterol levels, such as those that actually are pretty bad for you. These are called “LDL” cholesterol. To lower cholesterol that's bad for you, you need to start with your diet—start replacing the things with bad cholesterol, with good cholesterol! This will help you to start to feel better and hopefully unclog your arteries as well! Plus, it's also an awesome preventative as well!
2. Watch what you're eating—not just the cholesterol
Try to cut down on portions. Unfortunately, a lot of us eat way more than we probably should. Instead of eating out or eating something with a lot of calories, you could instead replace it. Say, for example, you had a cherry poptart and a class of milk every day...you could swap it out for six cherries (not the cocktail cherries!) and a glass of soy milk or rice milk instead, to help lower cholesterol levels and to help with any other lower cholesterol things you might be doing! The main thing is to try to change what you're eating to something healthier—and then keep moderate portions while you do so. (In case you were wondering—cherries are just as filling as a cherry poptart!)
3. Start munching on more fresh veggies and fruits and juices
You want to shoot for fruits and veggies that have high anti-oxidant counts—and that have a lot of nutrients. Swap them out. If you're hungry, just eat a few berries to lower cholesterol levels. They're bite-size and delicious. If you like sweet and tart and want lower cholesterol, cherries are a good alternative, oranges can be great if you need something you can carry with you, but not get all over the place. Blackberries and raspberries are a soft, delicious alternative if you're older and don't have dentures...or just want something quick to pop in a smoothie.
You can also try dark chocolate—but you need to keep it to a minimum dose for the effects (like, one small piece of a Lindt chocolate bar). The chocolate cannot have any milk in it and you shouldn't drink any milk and then eat it or vice versa—it will actually cause problems, since the milk reverses the effects of the anti-oxidant flavanols IN the chocolate. Try to find some that has over 70% pure cocoa and also hasn't been through the Dutch process. Either way, still a great way to lower cholesterol levels, and still get a little treat. If you're into veggies, try sliced bell peppers and shredded carrots that you shred yourself—they're both fun to eat and they're delicious! Just eating better is half of the work of obtaining lower cholesterol!
4. One Fish, Two Fish! Red Fish, Blue Fish!
Fish is another way to go when trying to lower cholesterol! It has a lot of stuff that's actually really good for you! However, be careful of mercury levels and don't fry or bread the fish—it's much better for you to go ahead and broil it instead. Add a little bit of lemon juice and voila! A quick and easy way to lower cholesterol levels!
5. Pop in some whole grains
Whole grains have more ingredients—the bleaching process actually takes out a lot of the stuff that could help you with lower cholesterol levels! Plus, it helps to keep you full for a lot longer than regular old pasta would or regular oatmeal. So, if you're trying to lower cholesterol levels and you're trying to find a way to get lower cholesterol! Lower cholesterol is actually quite a bit easier to achieve than you might have thought!
6. Get moving
One way to help lower cholesterol is to make sure that you're using up some of what you're taking in—so it goes somewhere OTHER than to your heart! Instead, make sure that you're getting fairly decent exercise a few times a week to help build up your endurance and to also help you burn off calories. This doesn't just work to lower cholesterol levels though! It also helps to make you feel better—people never realize how much better they can feel if they just exercised a little bit more. 'Tis one of the reasons that you should definitely try to up your exercise routine while trying to lower cholesterol levels and get your lower cholesterol in gear!
7. Stick to whole grains and beans instead of whole grains
This might be a little bit repetitive, but you have to understand that it makes a lot more sense when you think about it—white grains, such as white rice, bread that's white, and potatoes (not exactly a grain, but they are white!) raise your blood sugar—like lots of things do. However, they raise them. Then they leave them there for a few...hours and then drop again and make you hungry. They're like the caffeine high of meals—you go up, then you crash. With whole grains and beans and quinoa, you avoid the sugar level crash and actually end up feeling fuller for longer—another great to lower cholesterol levels and get lower cholesterol!
8. Add workouts into your daily routine
You can lower cholesterol levels by getting your heart racing—just by doing regular old things, such as taking the stairs, pacing briskly while you're talking on the phone, or even walking to the corner store instead of going by car. Keep in mind that there are loads of things you can do—around your house to lower cholesterol levels and get lower cholesterol fast!
9. Stay motivated and stay moving
Lower cholesterol levels don't come to you quickly—you need to keep working and stay working towards your goal of lower cholesterol. Let's face it—if things in life were easy, would it really be worth it? Just imagine a better, healthier you—it'll definitely make you feel better when you realize how much healthier and better off you are!
10. Keep seeing your doctor.
Your doctor can give you the very best information about getting lower cholesterol. Keep in mind—they don't have magic answers. Lower cholesterol levels start and end with you—and you can do it!