raise High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol. With your doctor’s OK, work up to at least 30 minutes of exercise five times a week or vigorous aerobic activity for 20 minutes three times a week. Adding physical activity, even in short intervals several times a day, can help you begin to lose weight. Consider:
- Taking a brisk daily walk during your lunch hour
- Riding your bike to work
- Playing a favorite sport
Increase Soluble Fiber.
Soluble fiber can reduce the absorption of cholesterol into your bloodstream. Soluble fiber is found in such foods as oatmeal, kidney beans, Brussels sprouts, apples, and pears.
Reduce Saturated Fats.
Saturated fats, found primarily in red meat and full-fat dairy products, raise your total cholesterol. Decreasing your consumption of saturated fats can reduce your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol – the “bad” cholesterol.
Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids don’t affect LDL cholesterol. But they have other heart-healthy benefits, including reducing blood pressure. Foods with Omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, mackerel, herring, walnuts, and flaxseeds.
Eliminate Trans fats.
Trans fats, sometimes listed on food labels as “Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable oil,” are often used in margarine and store-bought cookies, crackers and cakes. Trans fats raise overall cholesterol levels. The Food and Drug Administration banned the use of trans fats in 2018, however, some foods may still contain them as a result of the processing methods used.
Add whey protein.
Whey protein, which is found in dairy products, may account for many of the health benefits attributed to dairy. Studies have shown that whey protein given as a supplement lowers both LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol as well as blood pressure.