You’ll be happy to hear that there are lots of ways to lower cholesterol levels. Some of the factors involved in developing elevated cholesterol are uncontrollable – for example, gender, family history, or age. Making a few small changes to set out towards a healthier diet and lifestyle, however, is something you can do something about.
Five ways to lower cholesterol levels
One of the best ways to lower cholesterol is to make a series of small changes to your diet and lifestyle to make them as healthy as possible. You could:
- Swap bad fats for good fats to lower cholesterol
Replace foods high in saturated fats like sausages, butter, biscuits, cake, full fat diary and fatty meats with those containing unsaturated fats (mono- and poly-unsaturated), or opt for reduced-fat options – for example, low fat cheeses, low fat yoghurts, vegetable oil based soft spreads, and lean meat. You could also try out our Simple Swaps page to find delicious alternatives for foods high in saturated fat.
- Try to add variety in your diet as much as possible
A healthy diet includes many different kinds of food. Along with the NHS recommended five or more fruit or vegetable portions a day, include plenty of whole grains and pulses for soluble fibre. Nuts, seeds, vegetable oil based soft spreads, vegetable oils and oily fish are all good sources of unsaturated fat.
- Introduce plant sterols into your diet
Eating foods with added plant sterols is an effective way to lower cholesterol. Switching your usual spreads (such as butter) or milk for the spreads or milk from the ProActiv range . The plant sterols in ProActiv foods are clinically proven to actively lower cholesterol. A daily consumption of 1.5 – 2.4g of plant sterol can lower cholesterol with 7-10% in 2-3 weeks as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle with sufficient fruit and vegetables.*
- Cut out bad habits like smoking and limit alcohol consumption
According to the NHS, men should avoid regularly drinking over 3-4 units of alcohol (more than one full glass of red wine or one pint of beer) in a day, and women should try not to regularly drink over 2-3 units in a day. Tips on cutting down on smoking can be found on the relevant section of the NHS site.
- Reduce your stress levels and get some exercise
If you’re too stressed, it can be hard to catch 40 winks, and this will actually put your body under physical pressure. Doing 30 minutes of exercise five days a week is a positive step towards a healthier lifestyle, so why not try some of our 10 easy 10-minute workouts to get started?
If you want to know more, but you still have no idea where to start, it’s a good idea to consult your GP or pharmacist, who will be able to give you personalised information on how to lower your cholesterol. You could also order our free Cholesterol Lowering Starter kit, join us on Facebook, or try our 21 Day Challenge app. Full of practical ideas to help you find out how to lower cholesterol levels, the app offers three tips a day to help you jumpstart a healthier lifestyle – why not sign up today?
*High cholesterol is a risk factor in the development of coronary heart disease. There are many risk factors for coronary heart disease and it is important to take care of all of them to reduce overall risk of it.