How to Lower Your Cholesterol Naturally

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Filed Under: Heart Health, Cholesterol
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

How to Lower Your Cholesterol Naturally

Reduce cholesterol by reducing your risk factors for cardiovascular disease

Because high cholesterol is a “risk marker” for atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease, the best way to lower your cholesterol level is to lower your risk factors for cardiovascular disease. By reducing the amount of damage to your arteries, you will automatically bring down your cholesterol levels.

Dozens of things contribute to cardiovascular disease, but here are some actions you should take to protect yourself:

Avoid Chemically or Heat-Altered Fats

There’s so much to say about fats and cholesterol. But it all boils down to the fact that the oxidation of fat and cholesterol causes damage to artery walls and makes arteries more susceptible to plaque buildup. So, cutting down on your intake of fat is important. These include margarine and cooking oils. Stick with products like butter, extra virgin olive oil, and flax oil, and cut out fried foods.

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Include Nuts in Your Diet

Include fresh nuts in your diet. Several studies have shown nuts to be beneficial for your heart. In addition to nuts, be sure to include these other foods that help reduce cholesterol in your diet.

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Drink Only Skim Milk

If you drink milk, drink skim milk. Because skim milk contains no fat, its processors don't homogenize it. Homogenization of richer milks is a problem because it breaks down fat molecules, making them easy to absorb. It also allows the enzyme xanthine oxidase to tag along and wreak havoc in your arteries. If you like a slightly richer taste than skim milk, add a small amount of pure whole cream to the container and shake it each time before using it.

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Minimize Drugs and Medications

It seems that more adverse cardiovascular effects from popular medications are identified every year. Surprisingly, one of the side effects of many anti-cholesterol medications is interference with heart function. This is also true of some heart medications. The more you can use natural treatments to address your health concerns, the better off you are.

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Stop Smoking

Knowing what we know about smoking, I can't imagine why anyone would still do it. If you smoke throughout your life, there's a one in two chance that smoking will be responsible for your death (by way of lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema, and so forth.). I take risks in my life, as I'm sure you do, but I certainly wouldn't accept odds like that. They are the same as if you flipped a coin; heads, you live, tails you die.

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Eliminate Sugar

Quite simply, sugar is slow suicide, and high fructose corn syrup is our method of choice. It’s hard to find a sweetened food product that doesn’t contain high fructose corn syrup—it’s in candies, soda, cereals, crackers, bread, and hundreds of other items.

When you ingest fructose, rather than staying in the bloodstream like sugar, it gets shut-tled directly to your liver. In the liver, it becomes one of the building blocks of triglycerides, which are fat-storage molecules. Triglycerides are released into the bloodstream, carried by LDL cholesterol, and deposited on the walls of the arteries. High levels of fructose also contribute to increased levels of glycation in the body.

Since many people refer to fructose as “fruit sugar,” I should clarify one point. While the sweetness in fruits is from fructose, this sugar is present in only very small amounts and nature binds it with complex plant fibers and other nutrients and minerals. As such, fructose-containing fruits and vegetables help prevent cardiovascular and other health problems.

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Exercise

Exercise as if your life depends on it. In many ways, it does. In a study involving 30 men, walking as little as 20 minutes a day showed LDL reductions. Exercise also improves and builds collateral circulation, and it can also help burn extra fats and fatty compounds so they are not stored in the body as triglycerides.

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Avoid Chlorinated Water

Chlorine is a very strong oxidizing agent. In rabbit studies, researchers have clearly demonstrated that drinking chlorinated water can cause atherosclerosis. The concentrations used in these studies were only slightly higher than the amount used by municipalities to chlorinate drinking water. It's no wonder that, after drinking chlorinated tap water all their lives, so many people just happen to end up with heart disease.

A healthier option is drinking distilled water or unchlorinated water. But if you can’t do this, then simply add a couple of pinches of vitamin C powder to the tap water before drinking it. This will help neutralize the chlorine. Also, most of the chlorine will dissipate from water if you let water sit out overnight.

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Take a High-Quality Daily Multivitamin

A high-quality multivitamin will help provide nutrients and antioxidants that prevent oxidation of cholesterol. In addition, you may also want to look at targeted nutrients that support overall heart health as well as nutrients that support healthy cholesterol levels.

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More Dr. Williams Advice on Cholesterol

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