Q:

How do you reduce cholesterol naturally without medicine, and what happens if cholesterol is high?

A:

Quick Answer

Exercising and eating heart-healthy food naturally reduces cholesterol levels, states Mayo Clinic. Having high cholesterol levels causes atherosclerosis, which eventually leads to stroke, heart attack and peripheral arterial disease, according to WebMD.

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Full Answer

Exercising at least 30 minutes a day is a good start in losing weight and reducing bad cholesterol. Brisk walking, biking and swimming are examples of moderate exercise that promote weight loss. Losing at least 10 percent of body weight significantly reduces bad cholesterol levels, according to Mayo Clinic. Physical activity helps in raising high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, which is better known as good cholesterol.

Diet modification also reduces cholesterol. Avoid binging on dairy products and red meat that raise low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, also known as bad cholesterol. Lessen or totally eliminate the consumption of commercially produced cookies and snack foods that are rich in trans fat, which is also an unhealthy type of fat that raises bad cholesterol levels, states Mayo Clinic. Eat fruits, vegetables and whole grain foods to lower bad cholesterol. Eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as ground flaxseeds, walnuts and almonds also decreases unhealthy cholesterol.

Having too much bad cholesterol can lead to atherosclerosis, which is the hardening of the arteries due to cholesterol and calcium buildup. Without lifestyle changes, the buildup worsens and blocks the blood flow through the arteries, which eventually leads to heart diseases and stroke, states WebMD.

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