How to Help Lower Cholesterol Without Medication
5 min read
fairly difficult
There is good and bad cholesterol. You should try these tips in order to help keep it under control.
Cholesterol gets a bad rap, but it is actually an essential component in the membrane of nearly every cell in your body. Cholesterol also serves as a necessary precursor in the production of steroid hormones, bile acids, and vitamin D. That said, high cholesterol, or hyperlipidemia, is an adverse health condition characterized by excessively high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, often referred to as "bad cholesterol."

In contrast with high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, or "good" cholesterol, which actually helps remove excess LDL cholesterol from the bloodstream, high LDL cholesterol increases the risk of atherosclerosis, or arterial hardening and plaque buildup, along with heart disease and other vascular diseases. For example, studies show that compared to those with normal cholesterol levels, people with high cholesterol are about not twice as likely to develop cardiovascular disease, one of the leading causes of death in the United States.

Cholesterol is naturally produced in the liver, but it is also consumed in the diet through foods like meat, cheese, eggs, full-fat dairy, butter, snack cakes, ice cream, shellfish, commercially-fried foods, and organ meats. While regular consumption of these types of foods, along with foods high in saturated fat and trans fats, can cause high cholesterol, hyperlipidemia isn't necessarily solely attributable to poor diet; rather, there are numerous risk factors at play. In addition to poor diet, risk factors for high cholesterol include genetics, smoking, a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, certain diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, and some medications.

The good news is that several of these risk factors are modifiable, meaning you can lower your risk of high cholesterol with a few healthy lifestyle choices. In fact, there is evidence to suggest that several lifestyle choices can lower cholesterol as effectively as stains, the go-to type of medication for hyperlipidemia. Moreover,…
Amber Sayer
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