Ways to reduce cholesterol without using statins include lifestyle changes, such as increasing exercise and changing diet, according to Mayo Clinic. These changes also help patients to lose weight, which is another way to lower cholesterol counts. Stopping smoking and using alcohol in moderation can also improve cholesterol readings.
Patients attempting to improve their cholesterol should exercise at least 30 minutes on most days. Before beginning any exercise program, the patient should check with his doctor, warns Mayo Clinic. The program can begin slowly and work toward the target time. Options for exercise include walking, playing a favorite sport, swimming laps or commuting by bicycle.
Adding soluble fiber helps to lower the levels of bad cholesterol, reports Mayo Clinic. Foods high in soluble fiber include oats, fruits, beans and vegetables. Foods rich in omega-3 vitamins and whey protein are also useful in improving cholesterol numbers. The diet should eliminate most trans fats and replace them with healthier fats.
Stopping smoking has several benefits including improving cholesterol count. Smoking increases the risk of heart disease and blood pressure. The benefits of quitting begin within minutes of the last cigarette, indicates Mayo Clinic.
A loss of 5 to 10 percent body weight can help to improve cholesterol. Small changes, such as taking a walk when bored instead of eating, add up to help with weight loss, according to Mayo Clinic.