There are two kinds of cholesterol in your body: good (HDL) and bad (LDL). It is the latter that we are concerned about, and the latter that we need to lower for you to take up a blood test and be diagnosed healthy.
How To Lower Cholesterol Quickly For Blood Test?
According to Pritikin, a mere 10% cholesterol drop in your system can mean a 20% to 30% drop in heart attack risk. Good news is you can reduce your cholesterol using simple methods, without recourse to anything strictly medical.
Things to do to reduce cholesterol before the blood test
There are a handful of natural everyday modifications that you can implement into your daily routine to drop your cholesterol levels.
From full-fat dairy and sugary beverages to processed madness, you simply must avoid this range of food-types if you want to take cholesterol-lowering seriously.
- You can still consume meat. As long as you pair your meals with fresh fruits, whole grains, and veggies.
- Plants rich in fibre are excellent choices, particularly soluble fibre.
- Recommendations: berries, barley, beans (black, pinto, etc.), oats, yams.
In close connection to the previous point, consuming plant-based protein is a step in the best direction.
- Beans, beans, and more beans.
- Recommendations: Pinto, soy, lentils, red.
- Unlike animal protein, which raises blood pressure, beans are renowned for bringing it down.
- They also reduce blood sugar and insulin levels that have led scientists to believe beans play a significant role in cancer prevention and treatment.
If you’ve heard the name ‘omega-3 fatty acids’, then you can be sure the Diet-Universe has spoken to you.
- This is not just good fat, but great fat, owing in large part to how well it fights heart disease.
- Food sources: sardines, herring, salmon, trout, mackerel, halibut.
Below are some bad fats you absolutely need to avoid if you have any plans of getting your cholesterol under control.
- Dietary Cholesterol – Large amounts of natural cholesterol can be found in foods like shellfish, offal, and egg yolk. Try avoiding these.
- Trans Fats – Any food products’ label that lists the word ‘hydrogenated fat’ is better off remaining on the shelf than in your shopping basket. Transfats are notorious for actually reducing HDL (good cholesterol) and raising LDL (its bad cousin).
- Saturated Fats–Too much palm oil, coconut oil, meat, butter, cream, and cheese can result in excess saturated fat content in your body, which in turn is terrible for your cholesterol levels.
Disclaimer: All the good fats mentioned need to be taken in moderation. They have still classified ‘fats’, meaning they have strong calorie content.
Be it baked goods made using white processed flour or white pasta/rice/bread, you won’t be helping your cholesterol levels and if you happen to be on these foods on an almost daily basis.
- Start by replacing all refined grains in your diet with whole grains.
- Most department store products will boast the label ‘whole’ on them. The closer to 100% the better.
- Preparation is notably easy. You merely need to boil them to make them edible.
- Recommendations: couscous, kasha, polenta (cornmeal), wild rice, quinoa.
You knew this point was going to land at your door sooner or later.
- From shedding excess weight to getting your heart pumping, regular exercise (even the simplest kind) can and has shown to reduce LDL levels in the body.
- Recommendations: stretching, full-body, aerobics.
Counter-intuitive idea! You can eat fat to lower cholesterol in a matter of days
To honour the promise of that deadline, here is the layout, courtesy BulletProof.
- LDL (low-density lipoproteins, aka bad cholesterol) is also known to perform the crucial task of distributing energy from fat.
- They carry ‘triglycerides’ from your liver and ferry them to your bloodstream.
- Your liver relies on body fat to fuel various functions when you consume too many calories. This is when your cholesterol spikes.
- Emphasis on the word ‘calories’. If instead, you consume adequate portions of good fat, your liver starts to delay LDL production.
- Reason: the chylomicrons, rich in energy, go straight from your liver to your bloodstream, with no need for LDL carriers.
- Maintain a low-carb high-fat diet for 3 days.
- Drink only water 12 hours before your cholesterol test on day 4. Fasting is a sound idea, it will not negatively affect your test results.
- Follow the day with plenty of good fat foods. Carry it over through days 4-6. You can actually go 4000-5000 good fat calories per day.
- On day 7, get your final cholesterol test. Remember to drink only water for 12 hours beforehand.
- Test results: ideally low cholesterol levels.
- This ‘cheat sheet’ idea is brought to you by BulletProof.
Why are we even trying to lower our cholesterol so quickly?
The crux of this entire article rests on this answer.
- Maybe you wish to show your health or life insurance company a certificate of health. It certainly involves a blood test.
- Is it ethical? That is not for us to decide. However, lowering your cholesterol in a week or less can actually end up inspiring you to pursue fitness and healthy eating afterwards.
There are interesting ways you can trick your own body into lowering its cholesterol levels. In addition to the above…
- The antioxidant content in virgin olive oil has proven to help.
- The sterol content in nuts absorbs cholesterol from your system. Just eat them in moderation.
- Take up Yoga. More stress results in higher cholesterol.
- Spices and condiments also come to the rescue. Recommendations: garlic, cinnamon, coriander, curcumin, black pepper, ginger.
As a cautious note, it will also be better for you to briefly quit smoking until you get your cholesterol test. The same applies to second-hand smoke. Smoking has actually shown to raise cholesterol levels.
On a pleasant note, laughter is a great counter for cholesterol. By reducing stress, it improves HDL in your system. The best win-win, if ever there was one.