Lower Your Cholesterol Naturally

To the layman, cholesterol is an unfavorable word. It conjures up all sorts of ideas but nearly all would have a tendency to conclude that it’s bad for your health and is a major contributor to heart attacks. However, not all cholesterol is bad and our bodies need cholesterol to maintain body function. The key then is to control healthy cholesterol levels.

Lower Your Cholesterol

There are 5 major groups of lipoprotein. Relatively, we are most concerned with High-density lipoprotein (HDL) or the “good” cholesterol and Low-density lipoprotein – the “bad” cholesterol. What are lipoproteins? Well, to put it simply, they facilitate transport of lipids such as cholesterol and triglycerides within our bloodstreams. HDL-C is the measurement level on the amount of cholesterol in HDL particles. Blood test readings ascertain this. Incidentally, HDL has smaller particles than LDL

HDL can help to remove cholesterol from the arteries and pass it on to the liver which is then re-used by the body. It’s also used in the production of bile which is passed on to the stomach, intestines and eventually excreted. This is why it’s referred to as the “good” cholesterol. On the other hand, LDL moving through the bloodstreams can be retained by what is called the arterial proteoglycans and subsequently form into plaques. Accumulation of plaque leads to a condition called atherosclerosis. As the buildup proceeds, plaques can break up and this can lead to blood clots and a condition called arterial stenosis which is some of the common causes of heart attacks, strokes, peripheral vascular disease and other serious health complications. In essence, HDL helps to remove LDL.

Scientific research has found that people with low HDL levels are more prone to cardio-vascular disease than those with higher HDL levels. Studies have also found that LDL is necessary in muscle building during resistance training. But higher levels of LDL are widely recognized as a promoter of cardio vascular disease and other major health problems.

Cholesterol medications and drugs are known to pose numerous side-effects. This is mostly unavoidable. Logically, side-effects differ from medicine to medicine. Nevertheless, some common and known side-effects include liver dysfunction, loss of memory, problems in focusing and concentrating, fatigue, constipation, stomach cramps and bloating. Physicians often check the liver of patients before continuing with prescriptions of cholesterol lowering medicines. Therefore, opting for cholesterol lowering medicines should preferably be a last resort.

Two of the best ways to stay healthy is to eat wisely and exercise regularly. In combination, they work wonderfully. Eating wisely and exercising regularly is a disciplined lifestyle and one that’s actually easy and a joy to follow. Somehow high cholesterol foods or foods that are bad for you are ever so tasty. With some imagination, lack of taste in low cholesterol foods could be overcome.

As a dietary rule, eat less fattening foods and consume less saturated fats trans fat as well. Coconut milk or “suntan’ as it’s locally called, is packed with cholesterol. Minimize intake or if possible refrain from consuming all these. Consumption of monosaturated fats is fine and in fact recommended since they are known to lower LDL and at the same time enhance upon HCL. Some foods that are high in monosaturated fats include olives, olive oil and canola oil.

Eat more low cholesterol foods. But what are low cholesterol foods? Examples of some low cholesterol foods are dark green vegetables, fish, low fat milk, whole grain cereals and many more. Consume Omega-3 fatty acids. These are also very effective in aiding to lower LDL and support organ and tissue function. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in food such as cold water fish, soy, seaweed, flaxseed as well as special food supplements.

Obviously cooking or rather the way you cook your food has a bearing on cholesterol too. Use olive oil and canola oil to substitute for palm oil or coconut oil. Try to avoid frying as much as possible and opt for grilling instead. Steaming and boiling are also good. Eat copious amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables. Should you opt for chicken then don’t consume skin or when you opt for meats such as beef, lamb or pork, don’t consume the fats.

Exercise is prescribed by leading medical experts and health gurus. Sedentary lifestyle is a lifestyle that grossly lacks exercise. Experts concur that inactivity or sedentary lifestyle plays a dominant role in obesity and consequently, high cholesterol levels. Experts also concur that regular exercise do help to reduce cholesterol in our system. Physical exercise is one effective way, besides breathing exercises to significantly reduce stress levels. It also goes a long way to remedially deal with obesity. Exercise strengthens your heart and develops muscle mass. Hence it helps to stave off risks of heart diseases, stroke, osteoporosis and other debilitating ailments.

It is often said and with justification that a mere 30 minutes of exercise is leagues better than no exercise. Some easy, manageable and result-oriented exercises are brisk walking, cycling, jogging, swimming and non-strenuous workouts on exercise equipment. Exercise bicycles such as the Golf M are great for indoor cycling. Treadmills exercises are also conducive. Equipment like the Pacer treadmill is ideal for homes. Rowers, weights and power exercising stations are also result-oriented fitness equipment while for crosstrainers, functional and reliable equipment like the Unix M could ensure effective workouts.

In conclusion, regular exercise combine with a healthy diet have been proven to be the most effective method of naturally reducing cholesterol in your body.

Source: New England Journal of Medicine