3 All-Natural Ways to Keep Cholesterol in Check
Cholesterol isn't always the enemy. In fact, it's essential to your body's functioning (it aids in digestion and the production of vitamin D). But when you have too much, it can create plaque that builds up in arteries, putting you at risk for heart disease. While there are meds that can help keep cholesterol in check, lifestyle interventions are the first—and best—line of defense. Mehmet Oz, MD, has three pill-free solutions.
Load Up On Legumes
Beans, lentils and chickpeas occupy a well-earned spot in my pantry. Why? One report found that about a serving a day of these cholesterol-fighting power players decreased bad (LDL) cholesterol by 5 percent.
Keep the Heart Doctor Away With an Apple a Day
A 2013 review in the journal BMJ used mathematical models to compare the protective effects of taking statins versus eating an apple daily. The result: a virtual tie. Both options were predicted to prevent roughly the same number of deaths from heart attack, stroke and other vascular diseases each year.
Physical activity has been shown to give good (HDL) cholesterol a boost. and research suggests that for every point HDL goes up, your risk of coronary heart disease comes down by as much as 3 percent. Get your aerobic activity any way you like, but make sure to clock at least 30 minutes five times a week.