High amounts of cholesterol in the blood can limit blood flow, and increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke. It’s detected by a blood test (lipid test). The normal level of total cholesterol varies between 150 – 200 mg per 100 ml of blood.
There are two kinds of cholesterol, good cholesterol (HDL – high density lipoprotein) , and bad (LDL – low density lipoprotein). High levels of total and LDL cholesterol increase your risk of heart diseases while high levels of HDL cholesterol are a protective factor. Several factors can increase cholesterol levels such as heredity, a diet high in saturated fats, metabolic disorder like diabetes, smoking, alcohol, or stress.
High Cholesterol Symptoms
High blood cholesterol has no symptoms. A blood test is the only way to detect if you have it. As it has no symptoms, but some people may experience:
- heart attack
- peripheral artery disease, or
High Cholesterol Causes
Common causes that can affect your cholesterol levels include:
- Unhealthy diet
- Lack of physical activity
- Being overweight or Obesity
- A diet high in Saturated fats
- Metabolic disorder like diabetes.
- Smoking or exposure to tobacco smoke
Home Remedies for High Cholesterol
Consume 2 or 3 garlic clove daily can reduce cholesterol. Garlic contains sulphur compounds that increase its therapeutic properties. Various scientific studies have shown the benefits of garlic in reducing total and LDL cholesterol significantly. It was also found that garlic can help in maintaining blood pressure.
Include consuming 2-3 cups of green tea in your daily routine. Green tea has the highest concentration of polyphenols associated with not only lowering LDL Cholesterol but also increasing HDL Cholesterol.
Coriander Seed (Dhanya)
Boil two tablespoons of dry seeds of coriander in a glass of water and strain the decoction after cooling. Take this decoction twice a day. Coriander seeds have been mentioned in Ayurveda for multiple ailments. It has a high level of antioxidants that bring down cholesterol.
Apple cider vinegar
Drink one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed in a glass of water. The pectin content and amino acids found in apple cider are effective in neutralizing the bad cholesterol levels in the body.
Honey and lime juice
Add one teaspoon of honey and one teaspoon of lime juice in one cup of hot water and drink early morning.
Honey and cinnamon
Take one tablespoons of honey and half teaspoon of cinnamon powder in one cup of hot water thrice a day.
Indian Gooseberry (Amla)
Amla is rich in essential amino acids and antioxidants which are great for lowering your cholesterol levels. Consume fresh amla or drink a glass of lukewarm water with 1 teaspoon of dried amla everyday.
Soak one teaspoon of fenugreek seeds in water overnight. Eat the soaked seeds on an empty stomach next morning. Do this daily for a few months. Fenugreek has antioxidant and cardio-protective benefits. Also, it is excellent for reducing the risk of atherosclerosis.
Flaxseed has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol, as well as triglycerides levels. In one study in people with high cholesterol, consuming three tablespoons of flaxseed powder daily for three months lowered total cholesterol by 17% and LDL cholesterol by almost 20%
Do’s for High Cholesterol
- Eat fiber rich foods, whole grains, oats, fruits, green vegetables.
- Eat two or three flakes of garlic daily.
- Use olive, coconut, or canola oil for cooking. Olive oil raises good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol circulating in the bloodstream.
- Drink 8-10 glasses of water daily.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise lowers bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol.
- Lose weight if necessary. Sometime, losing fat cells is all that is required to lower cholesterol.
- Manage stress by practicing deep breathing exercise or meditation.
Don’ts for High Cholesterol
- Avoid high-fat foods and hydrogenated oils.
- Don’t use sugary products and alcohol as they stimulate the liver to produce cholesterol.
- Avoid excessive consumption of milk and its products like ghee, butter, and cream, white flour, sugar, cakes, pastries, biscuits, cheese, and ice cream, and non-vegetarian foods like meat, fish, and eggs.
- Avoid palm oil for cooking.
When to See a Doctor
- Having a family history of heart disease.
- Having high blood pressure or diabetes.
- Severe chest pain, or discomfort, pressure, squeezing, or heaviness.
- Severe headache.
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