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Health 2 September 2017
By: Natasha Tanga

7 Easy Ways to Reduce Cholesterol

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As Muslim's celebration of Eid-al Adha is being conducted around the country, it is synonymous with red meat consumptions, both mutton and beef. While a moderate consumption of it is highly acceptable, most of the time people will be having a feast during these types of celebrations. This might raise a warning flag for those who already have worrisome cholesterol levels or people who are wary of their red meat intake. To safeguard yourselves, we have compiled a list serving as a reminder to make you aware of the steps on how to reduce cholesterol levels, the simple way.

1. Consume less fatty foods

Reduce your consumption of saturated fat and trans fat in particular. Main sources of saturated fat in the includes red meat, processed meats like bacon or sausage, and cheese. While reasonable consumption of the saturated fats, especially red meat and dairy, can benefit to your health, ensure that you are also keeping a balance in your diet in order not to wreak havoc on your cholesterol levels. On the other hand, foods that are recommendable to stay away from include fried and processed foods & snacks, as they are well-known sources of trans fat that can cause harm to your health in the long run.

2. Bank on your fiber intake

There are a lot of benefits consuming fruits and vegetables, including the ability to obtain much-needed fiber. There are a lot of benefits to fiber, including preventing constipation, cleans the intestines to promote a healthy digestive tract and keeps you feeling full to aid weight loss. A specific type of fiber also helps reduce your risk for heart disease by helping to reduce a type of cholesterol called low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Other good sources of fiber include oats, whole grains, beans and legumes. If you don’t currently get enough fiber in your diet, it is important to increase your intake gradually to allow time for your body to adjust to the increase.

3. Add Omega-3 to your diet

In fact, not all fats are dangerous. Omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat, have become synonymous with cholesterol reduction in recent years. Omega-3s are considered essential fatty acids, meaning that since your body cannot produce them on its own, you must get them from dietary sources. Good sources of Omega-3 fatty acids include wild salmon and other fish, flax seeds and other seeds, walnuts and other nuts.

4. Exercise regularly

Aside from the endorphin rush it delivers, aerobic exercise helps to effectively lower LDL cholesterol levels. The more you do, the better the benefits. A study found that for every extra hour of moderate aerobic activity or half-hour of vigorous aerobic activity completed, there was an associated drop in LDL levels. It is recommended for you do 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise (such as brisk walking or swimming) on most days. Vigorous aerobic exercise includes jogging, running, or dancing.

5. Drink green tea

The tannins found in tea may help lower cholesterol naturally, with several studies showing that green tea is particularly effective. A study found that when taken in the form of a drink or capsule, green tea helps to reduce LDL cholesterol, mainly known as the "bad cholesterol". Moreover, compounds found in green tea called catechins are thought to decrease cholesterol absorption in the gut.

6. Consume temulawak as a supplement

If you have high cholesterol level and has been consuming medicines such as statin in high dosage, it is highly recommended to seek herbal replacement rather than adding the dosage. Temulawak, while is popularly known as a liver cleanser, is also able to lower LDL levels and improve HDL levels. While cholesterol medication like statin can disrupt liver functions if consumed long-term, temulawak can be the perfect replacement to help improve HDL level and while protecting the liver. 

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