Can I Really Lower My Cholesterol Naturally?

The answer is a resounding "Yes!" Many people are choosing to lower their cholesterol levels naturally, without the side effects of prescription drugs. The key to successfully reducing the level of 'bad" cholesterol or LDL, is by first understanding how cholesterol is made and used by the body. The second step is making dietary and lifestyle changes that are designed to bring the total cholesterol readings within a safe figure.

What Is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is made in the liver and is a vital part of the digestive process. About 80% of the body's total cholesterol is produced in this organ, while only 20% comes from the diet. Now that doesn't mean that diet can't play a significant role in managing cholesterol. The foods you eat actually have a disproportionate effect on the total cholesterol ratio that is in your body. To put it simply, poor food choices can tip the balance of cholesterol in the body, thereby making that 20% figure factor in more prominently.

When your doctor checks your cholesterol readings, he will analyze the connection between HDLs ("good" cholesterol), LDLs ("bad" cholesterol) and triglycerides (blood fats). All of these components are present in your blood, but it's their ratio to each other makes up the important "total cholesterol" figure. A total reading of 200 is in the safe range, which means the LDLs are around 120 and the HDLs are around 80. If your numbers are over that, it's time to lower your cholesterol naturally or with prescription drugs.

How To Go Natural

With an increase in dangerous side effects from prescription drugs, many people want to lower their total cholesterol naturally. This will involve removing certain foods from the diet while increasing more beneficial ones. Sugar, refined foods and saturated fats should be avoided since they all contribute to an increase in the LDL level. But there are many delicious food choices to take their places.

One of the most important foods to add to your diet is oatmeal. It has been scientifically proven that oatmeal can decrease LDL levels in the body, while providing other nutritional benefits. Many people who consumed at least three-fourths of a cup of oatmeal per day lowered their cholesterol naturally without the use of drugs. Oatmeal can also be used to prevent the rise in LDL levels as well. Red yeast rice, often sold in capsule form, is another effective way to lower cholesterol naturally. Garlic and olive oil, taken as supplements or in their natural state, are recommended to maintain heart health.

So before starting prescription drugs, consider the very real alternative of lowering your cholesterol naturally. These simple dietary changes, combined with exercise and weight loss, will make you a healthier and more informed patient.