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Top Tips to Help Manage Cholesterol, Naturally

If your cholesterol keeps inching up, it’s smart to work with your doctor to manage it, since high cholesterol increases your risk for heart disease. In most cases, cholesterol management involves boosting your HDL (good) levels and lowering your LDL (bad) levels. In addition to taking medication as prescribed, there are also natural ways you might want to consider.  The following tips can help.

Top Foods to Help Manage Cholesterol

  • Avocados – They give you a one-two punch of good-for-you monounsaturated fats to help reduce LDL while also boosting healthy HDL.
  • Almonds – A couple ounces a day give you unsaturated fat that helps raise HDL.
  • Salmon – Salmon and other fatty fish like tuna, trout and herring, offer polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats that help lower unhealthy LDL.
  • Blueberries – Colorful fruits and vegetables are not only loaded with fiber, but they also contain cholesterol-blocking molecules called sterols and stanols to lower cholesterol. Other fruits and veggies include leafy greens, carrots, tomatoes, strawberries and plums.
  • Seeds – Nutritious seeds like flaxseed and chia have shown great promise for reducing total cholesterol and helping to keep your heart healthy.

Foods to Avoid in Managing Cholesterol

  • Margarine, lard, shortening, butter
  • Commercial prepared goods like cookies, crackers, cakes
  • Fatty red meat, poultry with skin, lamb, pork
  • Dairy products made with whole milk including cream cheese and ice cream
  • Liver or other organ meats
  • Mac & Cheese
  • French Fries

Top Herbs to Help Manage Cholesterol

As long as you’re switching up your diet, you may also want to consider adding supplements to your cholesterol-lowering efforts. Here are a few to consider.

Other Cholesterol-Lowering Tips

Exercise. Moderate exercise can improve cholesterol by raising HDL. After consulting with your doctor, work out an exercise plan that’s right for you and one that you’ll stick with. Typically, this means working up to about 30 minutes of exercise per week. This can include taking a walk after work, riding your bicycle, dancing, playing a sport, taking the stairs, or joining an exercise group.

Quit smoking. Smoking is a huge risk for heart disease, among many other health issues.

Lose weight. If you’re overweight, try shedding a few pounds to help reduce high cholesterol.  Start small by cutting out one unhealthy food habit a week – maybe mindlessly munching while watching TV, switching from sugary soda to water, or swapping out white bread for wheat. Build from there. Small changes can make a big difference.

Working with your doctor, along with incorporating some of these tips, will go a long way to keeping your cholesterol in check and your heart in tip-top shape. If you are looking for some extra support, discover how supplementing your diet and lifestyle with natural, botanical products can help you.

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