What exactly is cholesterol?
It is a softy, waxy, lipid (fat) substance that is present in every cell in the body. Cholesterol is important because it is the insulation around nerve fibres, helps conducts nerve impulses, active in the manufacturing of digestive acids, a component used in many hormones (especially the sex hormone), brain tissue is 17% cholesterol, helps transports fats and helps produce vitamin D in response to sunlight, under the skin. If we eat less cholesterol, then our bodies will produce more because it is extremely important to our body. Your body needs to manufacture about 1000mg of cholesterol (plus cholesterol consumed) everyday to perform these functions.
What influences cholesterol?
* heredity (some people have defective genes that overproduce cholesterol and some people have productive genes that allow high cholesterol because their genes can adapt)
* diets rich in saturated fats
* refined carbs (white pasta, processed sugar, white flour and white rice)
* metabolic disease like diabetes and obesity (excess body fat stimulates more triglycerides and elevated cholesterol levels produced by the liver)
* lack of exercise (reduce triglycerides and raise HDL is done by a 30 minute brisk walk)
* dietary alterations for active people can control cholesterol levels
Also, cholesterol and triglyceride levels are influenced more by caffeine and dietary sugars than cholesterol and dietary fats. Usually normal levels of serum cholesterol can be brought back to normal when sugar, candy, cookies, soda and pastries are eliminated.
How can I improve cholesterol levels?
1. Smaller meals can help lower levels because larger meals stimulate enzyme production and this increases cholesterol output from the liver. Eat 5-6 meals and snacks throughout the day.
2. 8 glasses of water and/or herbal tea so the cholesterol-absorbing fibre keep flowing through the body. Teas that help improve cholesterol levels are turmeric, red clover, mint, fenugreek, chicory root, hawthorn and rose hip.
3. Consume lots of water-soluble fibre because it binds with excess cholesterol to transport it out of your body through the colon. This type of fibre is pectin, which can be found in fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes.
4. A balanced diet of 30% fat (healthy fat) with an additional 10g of soluble fibre can result in 19% reduction on cholesterol level in a month.
Apple = 3g
Pear = 6g
1/2 cup steel cut oats (dry) = 4g
5. An onion a day can keep high LDL away! Onion and garlic can affect the biosynthesis of cholesterol because of their sulfur compounds. Studies with cholesterol show that HDL levels can be increased by 30%, lower LDL levels and triglycerides by eating an onion a day.
6. Prevention (January 1992) reported clinical studies showing triglycerides were lowered 18-24% and cholesterol levels 14-21% by taking 600-900 mg of powder garlic capsules daily for 3-4 months. I remember my grandmother taking these capsules because she had digestive issues with other garlic forms.
7. It is believed by scientists that cholesterol must be oxidized in order for it to actually cling to the walls of the arteries. Therefore, antioxidants are important factor for controlling cholesterol. Vitamin C and E can stop the oxidization process within the body, according to Atherosclerosis (June 1990). Also, 500IU of E and 1000IU on a daily bases reduces high cholesterol levels without lowering HDL levels.
8. B vitamins help metabolize fats, so B-complex is recommended. If you are a smoker, then you should take an additional 100mg of B6 to elevate HDL levels.
9. Certain minerals like calcium, magnesium and chromium have shown to lower overall cholesterol and triglycerides. Calcium carbonate at 2000mg (with 500mg magnesium) daily was noted to lower total cholesterol by 25% and reduce triglycerides in a year. Chromium picolinate was reported to help raise HDL levels with 200mcg consumed daily.
10. Exercise is important for all body systems. Walking for 30 minutes 3-4 times a week boost the circulatory system (blood stream) to encourage elimination of excess cholesterol. Also, walking helps the intestinal system stay regular with the elimination process of excess cholesterol and helps preventing constipation.
When it comes to supplements, you should give your body the best quality, non GMO and practitioner-grade. Go to https://ca.fullscript.com/welcome/jde-vries and click recommendations for high cholesterol. It is shipped to your door, so it eliminates the guessing at your local health store.
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