The foundation of lowering cholesterol is eating well, not smoking, and maintaining a healthy weight. But for some, those three measures just aren’t enough to bring their cholesterol down to a healthy range. Sure, you can go on statins to lower cholesterol, but if you wanted to continue down the natural path for a bit longer, there are other remedies that have been proven to lower cholesterol that you may not be familiar with.
As you know, high LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) is detrimental to heart health. So, it is very important to keep your HDL and LDL levels balanced to lower your risk for heart-related events.
Surprising and natural ways to lower cholesterol
Onion extract. A study conducted on diabetic rats found that onion extract could lower cholesterol levels. Previous studies have also shown that it not only reduces cholesterol but blood sugar too. Unfortunately, these studies were performed on rats, so it isn’t clear whether the same effects will occur in people. On the other hand, other research shows that both garlic and onion has healing properties, including lowering cholesterol, when eaten regularly.
Red yeast rice. Red yeast is a type of yeast found in rice and it has similar compounds to those found in statins. This compound can block the livers productions of cholesterol. Some studies have found that red yeast rice, in pill form, has been able to reduce LDL cholesterol by 10 to 30 percent.
Laxatives. This suggestion should be taken with caution because overuse of laxatives can be detrimental to health and wreak havoc on your bowels. The takeaway here is that you should be going to the bathroom regularly, as it can help remove cholesterol. So, if you haven’t gone in a while or find yourself backed up, you may need a bit of help to get going. Instead of using a harsh laxative, opt for a gentle fiber supplement to get things moving.
Tofu. Studies have shown that eating tofu and other soy-based products is an effective way to reduce LDL cholesterol. A study from Harvard suggests that consuming two-and-a-half cups of tofu or soy products could lower LDL cholesterol by five to six percent. Tofu can lower cholesterol because it contains essential cholesterol-lowering proteins that aren’t found in meat. You may want to routinely swap out your steak dinners for tofu.
Sleep. This is by far the easiest cholesterol-lowering remedy you can adhere to because everyone needs sleep. A Japanese study found that women who did not get enough sleep tended to have higher cholesterol levels. On the other hand, people who had too much sleep—over eight hours—also had high cholesterol levels. This is just another reason why you should work on getting a proper amount of sleep each and every night.
Indian gooseberry. Indian gooseberry is a fruit that contains as much vitamin C as two oranges. This powerful antioxidant has been proven to have cholesterol-lowering properties, not to mention it boosts cardiovascular health.
If you’re currently switching up your diet, exercising regularly, not smoking, and still not seeing results, you may want to add in some of these other helpful cholesterol-lowering tips for improved results.
Related: Natural cholesterol reducers: Alternative foods and therapies to lower cholesterol