People are often shocked to discover they have high cholesterol after a routine check up with their healthcare practitioner.
Before turning to medication, it may be beneficial to try lowering cholesterol naturally through dietary and lifestyle measures to avoid the potential short-term and long-term side effects of statins and other medications.
Following a diet that is rich in high fibre foods will help to bind excess cholesterol and excrete it from the body. Include foods such as brown rice, lentils, whole grain oats, garlic, fresh fish, green tea, turmeric, healthy fats and a variety of colourful seasonal vegetables in the diet.
Avoid trans fats (found in fried foods, baked sweets, biscuits, cakes, margarine), saturated fats (found in fatty cuts of meat, cheese, processed meats such as bacon, sausages and salami, dairy products including butter and cheese), alcohol and high glycaemic index foods.
Reduce your intake of refined/simple carbohydrates including white bread/pizza/pasta, white rice, sweets, pastries and many commercial breakfast cereals
Following a primarily plant-based diet is helpful in lowering and managing high cholesterol and ensure you are drinking 30-50mls of water per kilo of body weight each day.
Regular exercise is essential in lowering cholesterol. Include at least 30 minutes of moderate to high intensity exercise 5 days each week (daily if possible). Cycling, swimming, brisk walking (include hills and stairs), gym classes, active team sports or pilates/yoga are good options. Aim to get the heart rate elevated for at least 30 consecutive minutes each session.
Avoid smoking, limit alcohol and keep a regular sleep-wake cycle to support healthy hormone production.
Putting measures in place to reduce stress levels will be helpful in lowering cholesterol as well as having a wider positive effect on your general health and wellbeing. Relaxing pastimes such as meditation, gardening, reading, journaling, painting, etc will help to balance stress levels and lower cholesterol levels.
Herbal medicine such as Globe Artichoke and Gymnema can be formulated to specifically target high cholesterol and support liver, gut and cardiovascular function.
Nutrients helpful in the treatment of high cholesterol include vitamin B3, vitamin C, chromium, coenzyme Q10, fibre, bromelain, inositol and biotin. Always speak to your natural healthcare practitioner before self-prescribing supplements to ensure optimal quality, dosage and suitability.
If you need further support managing or treating high cholesterol, feel free to get in contact with our clinic.