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7 of the Top Drug-Free Ways to Lower Your Cholesterol

Tiny, spherical LDL particles bring cholesterol directly to your cells. When LDL levels are too high, you risk developing a blood clot that can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Fortunately, lowering cholesterol doesn’t have to mean popping pills.

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Cut trans fats from your diet

Eat chopped veggies instead of snack crackers, and fruit instead of boxed cookies or store-bought cakes and pastries. Choose margarines that clearly state on the label that they contain no trans-fat. Trans fats are worse for your heart than saturated fats because they boost levels of LDL cholesterol and decrease levels of HDL, the good kind of cholesterol. Avoiding these processed fast could cut your heart attack risk by 55 percent. Check out these clues you’re eating too much bad fat.

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Keep your slow cooker on the counter and use it

Eating leaner cuts of meats can cut your LDLs because you’re getting less cholesterol-raising saturated fat in every bite. Low-fat meats can be tough; cooking them in a slow-cooker is an easy way to tenderize without adding lots of fat. These slow-cooker recipes for diabetics are healthy for the whole family.

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Make your own salad dressing

Use olive oil and vinegar or lemon juice, spices, and crushed garlic, or try one of these homemade salad dressing recipes. You’ll get more cholesterol-lowering unsaturated fat and avoid the trans fats and saturated fats in most bottled dressings, especially the creamy types. Here are more salad tricks that can help you lose weight.

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Eat oatmeal most mornings

Oats are packed with a soluble fiber called beta glucan that whisks excess cholesterol out of your body. Having 1 ½ cups of oatmeal on a regular basis could lower your LDLs by 12 to 24 percent. You’ll get addicted to these tasty oatmeal toppings.

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Spend 10 minutes a day doing resistance training

Just 10 minutes a day performing exercises as simple as sit up, leg-lifts, and hip extensions will help lower LDL levels. Pay attention to these signs you need to move more.

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Have a pear or grapefruit half every morning

Both fruits are rich in pectin, another soluble fiber that helps lower LDLs. Other great pectin sources include apples and all types of berries. These are some of the healthiest fruits you can eat.

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Add a half-teaspoon of cinnamon to your coffee before brewing

Researchers have found that this reduced LDL levels by 30 percent in people with type 2 diabetes. Check out these other 15 superfoods for diabetes.

Excerpted from the book The Long-Life Prescription.