High cholesterol is when you have too much cholesterol in your blood. Cholesterol is a fatty substance produced by your liver that has many important roles, such as making hormones.
However, having too much of it can clog up your arteries, thereby raising your risk of a host of complications, such as a heart attack.
Fortunately, modifying your diet can reduce the amount of cholesterol in your blood.
According to a study published in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine, a simple remedy you can make at home to lower high cholesterol is garlic and lemon juice.
The study was performed to examine the effects of garlic and lemon juice mixture on lipid (cholesterol) profile and some cardiovascular risk factors in people 30–60 years old with moderate hyperlipidaemia (medical term for abnormally high levels of fats (lipids) in the blood, such as cholesterol).
A total of 112 hyperlipidaemic patients aged 30–60 years were recruited from Isfahan Cardiovascular Research Centre in Iran. 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 of 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.
All participants presented three days of dietary records and three days of physical activity records during the eight weeks. Blood samples were obtained at study baseline.
Results showed a “significant” decrease in total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) in the group receiving the garlic and lemon mixture in comparison to other groups.
A greater reduction in blood pressure was also observed in the group receiving the garlic and lemon mixture in comparison to other groups.
Furthermore, a great reduction in body mass index (BMI) was observed in the mixed group compared to the lemon juice and control groups.
This is significant because a high BMI indicates obesity — another heart disease precursor. The natural mixture also lowered high blood pressure.
To avoid high cholesterol, you need to get off saturated fat found in meat pies, sausages and fatty meat; butter, lard and ghee; cream and hard cheese; cakes and biscuits, as well as fried foods.
You can still have foods that contain a healthier type of fat called unsaturated fat, which includes oily fish, like mackerel and salmon, brown rice, bread and pasta.
Other good things to try include exercises (walking fast enough so your heart starts beating faster, swimming, cycling and aerobics).