High cholesterol: The simple drink you can make at home to reduce harmful cholesterol
High cholesterol is a condition whereby you have too much cholesterol in your blood. Cholesterol is a fatty substance found in your liver and found in certain foods. Your body needs a healthy amount of the substance to build healthy cells, but high levels of cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease.
This is because certain types of cholesterol, such as LDL cholesterol, stick the inside of artery walls, clogging them up.
In addition to cholesterol, it is also important to keep triglycerides in check.
Triglycerides are another type of fat (lipid) found in your blood that may contribute to hardening of the arteries or thickening of the artery walls (arteriosclerosis).
This too can increase the risk of stroke, heart attack and heart disease.
It is surprisingly simple to eradicate harmful LDL cholesterol levels and triglycerides from your blood.
Diet offers the most effective means of achieving this and certain items have shown to be particularly potent.
One simple mixture you can make at home to lower harmful cholesterol and triglycerides levels is garlic and lemon juice.
A study published in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine examined the effects of garlic and lemon juice mixture on lipid profile and some cardiovascular risk factors in people 30–60 years old with moderate hyperlipidemia.
Lipid profile is a blood test that can measure the amount of cholesterol and triglycerides in your blood.
Hyperlipidemia means your blood has too many lipids (or fats), such as cholesterol and triglycerides.
A total of 112 hyperlipidemic patients, 30–60 years, were recruited from Isfahan Cardiovascular Research Center.
People were selected and randomly divided into four groups.
Control blood samples were taken and height, weight, and blood pressure were recorded.
Group one received 20g of garlic daily, plus one tablespoon lemon juice; group two received 20g garlic daily; group three received one tablespoon of lemon juice daily, and four did not receive garlic or lemon juice.
Results showed a significant decrease in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol in group one, in comparison with other groups.
A greater reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressure was also observed in group one compared with the groups three and four respectively.
This is significant because high blood pressure performs a similar function and is connected to high cholesterol.
The condition causes the artery walls to constrict and harden – reducing the flow of blood to the heart and allowing plaque such as cholesterol to build up.
General tips to lower cholesterol
“To reduce your cholesterol, try to cut down on fatty food, especially food that contains a type of fat called saturated fat,” advises the NHS.
Foods high in saturated fat include:
- Meat pies, sausages and fatty meat
- Butter, lard and ghee
- Cream and hard cheese, like cheddar
- Cakes and biscuits
- Food that contains coconut oil or palm oil