Your 101 on how to reduce cholesterol

By | October 28, 2016

It all begins with the sedentary lifestyle that we are so used to leading. Rising levels of cholesterol is one of the effects of a lifestyle which lacks physical activities and uncontrolled eating habits.

And high cholesterol increases the risk of heart diseases and heart attacks. If we think about how to reduce cholesterol, there are ways to improve cholesterol with medicines; but if we consider making some changes to our lifestyle to improve cholesterol, these healthy changes mentioned below are worth trying.

And in case you are already under medications, these changes can help with their cholesterol lowering results.

  • Even if you have given in to unhealthy eating for years, making some minor changes in your diet can decrease cholesterol and improve the heart health.

Saturated fats, which are found mainly in red meat and dairy products, increase overall cholesterol levels including the “bad” cholesterol i.e. low-density lipoprotein (LDL). As a rule, we must make sure to consume less than 7 percent of our daily calories from these saturated fats. Go for lean meat and low fat dairy products or monounsaturated fats for healthier options.

Trans fats also increase the “bad” cholesterol level and lower the “good” cholesterol. This is very alarming since it increases the risk of heart attacks. Trans fats are found in fried foods and junk food items such as cookies, crackers and snack cakes. Though many of these items come in packages marked “trans fat-free”, it may not be entirely free of trans fat, since, in the United States, if a food item contains less than 0.5 gram of trans fat, it can be marked “trans fat-free”. It is much more recommended to read the ingredient list and avoid foods with partly hydrogenated oils.

  • Secondly, exercise can improve cholesterol levels markedly. Moderate physical exercise can help increase the “good” cholesterol i.e. high-density lipoprotein (HDL). With the doctor’s consent, we can engage in at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. Including physical activity even in short intervals several times during the day, can help us to lose weight. We just need to make sure to keep up the changes we decide to make. People engage in taking a brisk walk daily during the lunch hour, cycling to work or even swimming which is perhaps the best form of exercise and also playing a favourite sport. We can motivate ourselves by joining an exercise group or with a friend.

Dumping the elevator or escalator and hitting the stairs instead, or doing a few sit-ups while watching TV can even make a healthy difference.

  • How to reduce cholesterol would also definitely include your decision to quit smoking to improve the HDL cholesterol level. Within several minutes of quitting, the blood pressure and heart rate lowers, bringing relief. And within a year, the risk of a heart disease is lowered by half of that of a smoker. Within 15 years, the risk of a heart disease becomes similar to one who has never smoked.

Nutralite helps you live a healthier life and works as a wonderful table spread. This contains MUFA and PUFA which are cholesterol fighters. This makes for a good addition towards fuelling a healthy lifestyle.

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RD Neha Kava

National Registered Dietitian at
Neha Kava is a National Certified Registered Dietitian in India. She likes to share her knowledge about daily health, nutritition and diet tips. You can contact her on

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