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How to Reduce Cholesterol in 30 Days

Key Takeaways

  • It takes most people 3 months or more to lower blood cholesterol levels with diet and exercise alone, but adding cholesterol-lowering drugs such as statins to your lifestyle changes may help reduce cholesterol faster. 

About 86 million adults aged 20 or older in the United States have high cholesterol levels above 200 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter). High cholesterol is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, peripheral arterial disease, and other serious health problems. The best way to lower cholesterol is through healthy lifestyle changes. But if this isn’t enough, doctors can prescribe cholesterol-lowering drugs such as statins to reduce cholesterol fast, maybe even in 30 days. Please continue reading for some tips on lowering cholesterol quickly.

What reduces cholesterol quickly?

Taken in combination with lifestyle modifications, cholesterol-lowering drugs such as statins may be the fastest way to reduce cholesterol. You may see results within 2-4 weeks of starting treatment, provided you take the cholesterol medication regularly as prescribed. For some people, it can take 6-8 weeks for cholesterol numbers to improve. 

It’s important to make healthy lifestyle changes at the same time as taking cholesterol medication to get the best results. Over time, you may be able to reduce your medication dose or come off cholesterol medication with lifestyle modifications. 

How long does it take to lower cholesterol?

It takes most people 3 months or more to lower blood cholesterol levels. Many people want to know the trick to lower cholesterol fast. However, getting cholesterol to the desirable ranges will take time. While there may not be any visible changes within the first few weeks, incorporating healthful habits into your daily routines will help get your cholesterol level under control in the long run while improving your overall health.  

Lowering cholesterol can be achieved with lifestyle changes that have heart-healthy benefits. This includes eating a healthy, balanced diet, getting regular exercise, stopping smoking, limiting alcohol intake, managing stress, and getting enough sleep.

If you are unable to lower cholesterol levels after 12 weeks of healthy lifestyle changes, your healthcare provider may prescribe a cholesterol-lowering medication such as a statin drug.

How to reduce cholesterol naturally?

You can lower your cholesterol naturally with the following lifestyle changes:

Follow dietary guidelines to lower your cholesterol

Reduce the amount of saturated fat in your diet. Saturated fats are found in foods such as red meat and full-fat dairy products. They can raise your LDL (bad) cholesterol. 

Besides saturated fat, you should also avoid trans fats. These are often listed as partially hydrogenated vegetable oils on food labels. They are present in margarine and many processed foods like cookies, cakes, and crackers. As a matter of fact, in August 2023, the Food and Drug Administration issued a direct final rule to ban partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. This ruling reflects the agency’s 2015 determination that partially hydrogenated oils in foods are no longer Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) in human food. 

Eat healthy unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fat is found mainly in plant-based foods like vegetable oils (olive oil), nuts, seeds, and avocados. The Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet are highly recommended due to their generous content of fiber and healthy fats. Talk to your healthcare provider to learn more about heart-healthy diets.

Get more exercise

Regular physical activity can improve cholesterol, including increasing good (HDL) cholesterol. Doctors recommend moderate physical activity (such as a brisk walk for 30 minutes 5 times a week) for a total of 150 minutes a week, or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise, such as running, riding a bike, or playing a sport. This will also help with weight loss. Start slowly and gradually build endurance.

Stop smoking

Smoking cessation helps improve lung function and reduce the risk of different types of cancers. Quitting smoking also improves cholesterol levels and promotes blood circulation, while reducing the risk of high blood pressure. The risk of heart disease reduces significantly within 1 to 2 years after cessation, and this risk continues to reduce slowly in the long run.

Lose weight

Weight loss of just 5-10% of your body weight can improve cholesterol and lower your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancers.

Limit alcohol consumption 

It is best to avoid drinking alcohol or to drink in moderation. While the relationship between red wine and heart health is not completely understood, there are some suggestions that moderate alcohol consumption of red wine can result in higher HDL (good) cholesterol due to its antioxidant properties, but the evidence supporting these benefits isn’t strong enough. Healthy adults should limit themselves to no more than one drink a day (for women and men over 65) and no more than two drinks a day (for men under 65). Though this suggestion of alcohol consumption may even be too high if you have certain medical conditions. 

Alcohol can also interact with certain medications, worsening side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, and impaired concentration. Talk to your doctor to see how much alcohol is safe for you and if any of your medications can interact with alcohol. 

What foods can help lower bad cholesterol?

If you have high cholesterol, eating the following foods is good for heart health:

  • Foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids, such as fatty fish and oily fish (herring, salmon, mackerel) and nuts and seeds (walnuts, flaxseeds)

  • Foods with more soluble fiber, such as oatmeal, Brussels sprouts, kidney beans, pears, apples, and whole grains

  • Foods that contain whey protein, such as dairy products

Talk to your healthcare professional to learn more about the DASH diet and Mediterranean diet, as they consist of foods with high fiber content and healthy fats.

What drink reduces cholesterol quickly? 

While water does not reduce cholesterol directly, staying hydrated is essential for your overall health while keeping your kidney and liver healthy. The liver plays a major role in breaking down cholesterol. Therefore, keeping your liver healthy may also help with clearing out cholesterol. Other healthy beverage options include green tea, vegetable juices like tomato juice, fruit juices with no added sugar, plant-based milk like soy milk and oat milk, and smoothies with fruits, vegetables, and superfoods that are antioxidant-rich and loaded with fiber, minerals, and vitamins. 

What is HDL and LDL cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a waxy or fatty substance made by the liver. We also get dietary cholesterol from certain foods like full-fat dairy products and red meat. Cholesterol is necessary for many body functions, such as building healthy cell membranes and maintaining the structure of neurons. However, health complications such as heart disease and clogged arteries arise when there is an excessive level of blood cholesterol. 

There are different types of cholesterol (lipids or fats) in our blood. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is commonly referred to as the “bad” cholesterol. It is a lipoprotein, i.e., a combination of cholesterol, triglycerides, and protein. High levels of LDL cholesterol in the body lead to atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease or the hardening of arteries. As cholesterol plaques continue to build up over years, the blood vessels become narrower, interfering with blood flow to vital organs such as the heart and brain. Other types of fats in the blood, such as triglycerides and VLDL (very low-density lipoprotein), can have the same effect. 

High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is called “good” cholesterol. It carries cholesterol back to the liver for removal from the body. Having low LDL, triglyceride, and total cholesterol and high HDL levels is good for heart health. 

Doctors can order cholesterol tests called a lipid profile or lipid panel to measure total cholesterol, LDL, VLDL, triglyceride, and HDL cholesterol levels in the blood.



  1. https://www.cdc.gov/cholesterol/facts.htm#:

  2. https://medlineplus.gov/ldlthebadcholesterol.html#:

  3. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/in-depth/reduce-cholesterol/art-20045935

  4. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2023/08/09/2023-16725/revocation-of-uses-of-partially-hydrogenated-oils-in-foods

  5. https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/quit_smoking/how_to_quit/benefits/index.htm#:~:text=reduces%20the%20risk%20of%20coronary,of%20never%20smokers%20after%20cessation.

  6. https://health.gov/myhealthfinder/health-conditions/diabetes/aim-healthy-weight#:~:text=And%20if%20you're%20overweight,percent%20of%20your%20body%20weight.