10 easy ways to fight heart disease by lowering your cholesterol

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Like most people, I've often heard that having high cholesterol levels is "bad." However, I never realized just how serious high cholesterol can be for your health.

According to the American Heart Association, "Too much cholesterol in the blood can lead to heart disease and stroke — America's No. 1 and No. 4 killers."

And not only are high levels dangerous, but they are also extremely common. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention writes, "73.5 million adults in the United States have low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or 'bad' cholesterol."

As someone who likes to be in control of my own health and my own body, all of this begs the question: what am I supposed to do about it?

Luckily, just like there are techniques for lowering high blood pressure, there are plenty of ways to easily lower bad cholesterol as well.

Scroll through this exclusive list of cholesterol-lowering techniques below. While this should never take the place of medical advice, these lifestyle tips are great ways to take charge of your cholesterol levels on your own.

I'm so glad I know these now. This is some of the most important information I've seen in years!

Will you be trying these simple ideas yourself? Let us know in the comments below!

Staying physically active can, of course, have many health benefits. One of these benefits is that physical activity is known to reduce levels of bad cholesterol.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, you should "engage in moderate activity most days of the week. The American Heart Association recommends physical activity up to 30 minutes per day, or 60 minutes if you are trying to lose weight."

1. Go for a jog

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Staying physically active can, of course, have many health benefits. One of these benefits is that physical activity is known to reduce levels of bad cholesterol.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, you should "engage in moderate activity most days of the week. The American Heart Association recommends physical activity up to 30 minutes per day, or 60 minutes if you are trying to lose weight."

2. Fiber Up

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There are many reasons to eat a diet that is high in fiber. One of the specific benefits of keeping your fiber intake high is that it helps to lower your cholesterol levels.

Dr. Thomas Pearson told Health.com of fiber's importance, "Dietary fiber — found in beans, fruits, and other foods — binds to cholesterol, lowering LDL levels by about 5%."


3. Grab a Drink

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Drinking a lot of alcohol can lead to a whole host of health problems. However, a simple glass of red wine can be helpful in controlling cholesterol levels.

According to WebMD, "Red wine contains resveratrol, a substance found in the red grape skin, which may prevent damage to blood vessels by reducing the risk of blood clots and lowering LDL [or bad cholesterol]."

4. Go Nuts

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Certain fatty acids can be helpful in lowering cholesterol levels. Nuts can be a great source of these acids.

According to WebMD, "Nuts are high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, so almonds, walnuts, or pistachios can help reduce your LDL levels... Just be sure to choose the low-salt option, and keep it to about 1.5 ounces a day – nuts are also high in calories."

5. Drop the Cigarette

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It seems that everyone knows that there are health risks involved with smoking. One of those risks can be dangerous cholesterol levels.

According to the Mayo Clinic, "If you smoke, stop. Quitting might improve your HDL cholesterol level. And the benefits don't end there. Within 20 minutes of quitting, your blood pressure and heart rate decrease. Within one year, your risk of heart disease is half that of a smoker."

6. Shed the Weight

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Weight can have a significant impact on your cholesterol levels.

According to the Mayo Clinic, "Carrying even a few extra pounds contributes to high cholesterol. Losing as little as 5 to 10 percent of your weight can improve cholesterol levels."

7. Sip on Green Tea

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It might surprise you to hear that green tea and black tea can be a great help in lowering bad cholesterol levels.

Prevention.com writes, "While tea has become well known for its cancer-fighting antioxidants, it is also a great defense against LDL cholesterol levels." They continue that research has shown that tea can "reduce blood lipids by up to 10 percent in only three weeks."

8. Add Garlic

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Another surprising and easy way to control cholesterol levels is to add a little more garlic into your diet.

According to Prevention.com, "Garlic has been found to lower cholesterol, prevent blood clots, reduce blood pressure, and protect against infections. Now research finds that it helps stop artery-clogging plaque at its earliest stage by keeping cholesterol particles from sticking to artery walls.

9. Catch a Fish

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Salmon and other fish can be a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can be crucial to the cholesterol-lowering process.

According to WebMD, "Fish and fish oil are chockablock with cholesterol-lowering omega-3 fatty acids... The American Heart Association also recommends fish as the preferable source... but fish oil capsule supplements can be considered after consultation with your physician."


10. Consume Colors

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It of course makes sense that certain foods can be more helpful than others in lowering cholesterol. But it might surprise you to hear that color can be a factor.

According to Harvard Women's Health Watch, "Fruits and vegetables have scads of ingredients that lower cholesterol – including fiber, cholesterol-blocking molecules called sterols and stanols, and eye-appealing pigments. The heart-healthy list spans the color spectrum – leafy greens, yellow squashes, carrots, tomatoes, strawberries, plums, blueberries. As a rule, the richer the hue, the better the food is for you."

These smart and simple ways to keep your cholesterol levels under control can be the health-conscious, lifesaving tips you've been looking for.

Will you be trying these out yourself? Let us know in the comments.

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