Do Natural Methods of Lowering Cholesterol Really Work?

Melanie Thomassian Health Pro
  • Are you worried about your cholesterol levels?

     

    Perhaps you've already started exercising and eating healthier foods, but are wondering if adding a cholesterol-lowering supplement to your diet would be helpful.

     

    It is true that very few natural products have actually been proven to reduce cholesterol, however some may be helpful.

     

    Let's take a closer look at a few of them:

     

    #1 Pomegranate juice

    Preliminary evidence suggests that drinking concentrated pomegranate juice may help to reduce cholesterol levels.

    Like many fruit juices, pomegranate juice contains high levels of antioxidants, particularly polyphenols, and this is why it is thought to be so beneficial.

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    However, the problem with the studies so far is that they have been small, and therefore more research is needed before a clear benefit can be stated.

     

    #2 Noni juice

    The noni fruit is another good source of vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants.

    At present however, there are no reliable scientific studies to say that drinking noni juice can help reduce your cholesterol levels.

     

    #3 Acai berry

    Acai berries are also a very good source of antioxidants, however many of the claims surround the acai berry have yet to be substantiated.

     

    Products made from the acai berry are said to help with weight loss, lowering cholesterol, and increasing energy levels, however sound scientific research into acai berries is very limited at present.

     

    #4 Kefir

    Kefir is a fermented milk product containing various bacteria and yeasts.

    In the past it has been claimed that Kefir can help to lower cholesterol levels, however initial research showed little or no effect on cholesterol levels.

     

    A note of caution

     

    You should discuss all alternative remedies with your doctor before you begin taking anything new. Your doctor will be able to check its safety; not only with any health conditions you may have, but also with any other medicines you are taking.

     

    Many products on the market do have serious safety issues you may not be aware of, and this is why talking to your GP first is so important for your own safety.

     

    How to lower your cholesterol naturally:

     

    Lifestyle changes can be very effective in helping you lower your cholesterol levels. Try to:

    • Lose at least 5 percent of your current weight if you're overweight
    • Consume smaller portions
    • Include physical activity for at least 30 minutes 5 times each week
    • Quit smoking
    • Eat healthy foods - limit saturated and trans fat, and increase your fibre intake:
    • Soluble fibre: eat 25-35g of fibre per day (at least 15g should be soluble fibre)
    • Stanols: up to 4g per day
    • Sterols: up to 6g per day
    • Psyllium: 5g seed husk twice per day
    • Fish oil: 2-4g per day
    • Ground flaxseeds: 40-50g per day

    Do you struggle with healthy eating or weight loss? Get your free ebook on how to break bad habits by visiting the award winning Dietriffic.com. Authored by registered dietitian, Melanie Thomassian.

     

Published On: March 30, 2009