Join our newsletter for new article updates!
10 Ways to Cut Cholesterol NaturallyBy Rita Louise
When most people think of cholesterol, they think of the waxy fat-like substance that is found in many of the foods we eat. Although cholesterol is often feared, the truth is that your body needs cholesterol for a number of different things. For example, it is used in the manufacture and maintenance of strong cell walls, it is critical for hormone and vitamin D production and it even is used to coat the nerve cells in the body.
Cholesterol is found in meat, poultry, seafood and dairy products. In fact, your body produces cholesterol all by itself — all the cholesterol you need to live a healthy, happy life. Cholesterol is produced primarily by the liver, but the cells in our bodies also manufacture small amounts of it. This production of cholesterol by our bodies is the reason why some individuals who consume a low-cholesterol diet still experience high cholesterol levels.
When cholesterol levels go wrong
While elevated cholesterol levels present no signs or symptoms on their own, elevated levels have been identified as a significant risk factor in health concerns such as arteriosclerosis and heart disease. Clinically, doctors recommend that blood cholesterol levels (the amount of cholesterol circulating in our blood) be no greater than 200mg/dl, with a total level of 180mg/dl being optimal.
Our total cholesterol is broken down into three separate components: HDL (high density lipoproteins), LDL (low density lipoproteins) and VLDL (very low density lipoproteins). HDL cholesterol is known as the "good" cholesterol. It functions to remove cholesterol from the blood and blood vessel walls, where it returns it to the liver for elimination. LDL and VLDL cholesterol are considered to be harmful to the body, because they carry cholesterol into the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, it can be deposited on the artery walls, which promotes arteriosclerosis.
Doctors are not beginning to recognize a relationship between our HDL and LDL cholesterol and many feel that this ratio may be a better indicator of our health risk than our total cholesterol numbers. The goal is to keep the ratio below 5:1; the optimum ratio is 3.5:1. Regardless of your heart risk ratio, however, individuals who have a total cholesterol level of over 275mg/dl are still considered at risk for heart disease, despite high HDL levels.
10 ways to lower your cholesterol
1. Incorporate a regular exercise program into your daily routine. In addition to increasing your HDL cholesterol, thus improving your heart risk ratio, exercise helps strengthen your heart muscle, reduce your blood pressure and take off a couple of pounds.
2. Try a vegetarian diet. Historically, individuals who consumed a purely vegetarian diet had lower cholesterol levels.
3. Reduce or eliminate foods that contain high saturated fats such as beef, pork, cheese, butter and ice cream. If eating chicken, remove the skin to additionally reduce your fat intake.
4. Use olive oil instead of butter. Olive oil can help to reduce LDL cholesterol from the body.
5. Eating a diet high in fatty acids such as those found in fish, or supplementing with Omega-3 oil has been shown to increase HDL cholesterol and protect the heart against heart disease.
6. Fiber, fiber, fiber! Eating high fiber foods such as beans, whole grains, fruits and vegetables have been shown to lower cholesterol levels. You can also supplement with other forms of soluble fiber such as glucomannan, psyllium hulls, apple fiber, oat bran, guar gum and acacia gum.
7. Guggul lipid is an herb native to India and has been used for a long time in ayurvedic medicine to help maintain healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
8. Niacin (vitamin B-3) has been proven to lower cholesterol levels. Niacin has been prescribed in higher doses by many doctors to help lower cholesterol, however it has a number of side effects which can include: flushing of the skin (due to dilating blood vessels), itching, head aches, cramps, nausea and skin eruptions. Another form of vitamin B-3, niacinamide, does not affect cholesterol levels.
9. Green tea has also been show to lower total cholesterol levels by decreasing LDL cholesterol and increasing HDL.
10. Lecithin enables fats, such as cholesterol, to be dispersed in water and removed from the body. This can help to prevent fatty buildup in the arteries. Vitamin C and vitamin E appear to protect LDL cholesterol from damage. Most cardiologists believe that only damaged LDL increases
the risk of heart disease.
© Rita Louise
Free your mind, body and spirit naturally at SoulHealer.com. Dr. Rita Louise, Ph.D., is a naturopathic physician and a 20-year veteran in the human potential field, but it is her unique gift as a medical intuitive that enlivens her work. So whether it is a physical problem, an emotional issue, a problem at work or a problem in a relationship, Dr. Rita Louise, Ph.D., can help you identify what is really going on and provide you with straightforward guidance and advice.