More people are becoming aware of their own health and fitness needs in these modern times. As part of this new awareness of a person’s general health is the realisation that cholesterol level is very important. Having the correct level can reduce your risk of heart disease which is a major killer in the modern world.
If you want to stay fit and healthy, you should keep an eye on your cholesterol intake. There are natural ways of lowering cholesterol if it is out of control. The first thing to do is to get tested properly and find out what your cholesterol level is. Then you should take your diet seriously. There are also dietary supplements that will help you lower your cholesterol. For diets high in saturated fats, eating more fibre rich foods may help decrease your cholesterol level.
This is a great place to start in getting your body healthy and in shape. The natural ways of lowering cholesterol are easy to maintain as long as you are patient and willing to follow a few rules.
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What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol isn’t all bad. Your body produces it naturally and it performs some pretty vital jobs. It helps to build new cells, as well as produce hormones and insulate nerves. There are two types of cholesterol. Good and bad cholesterol is known as HDL and LDL. So which is the good guy, and which is the bad guy? HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol is the good guy (higher the better). LDL (low-density lipoprotein) is the bad guy — the artery-clogging little devil.
problems arise when too much LDL is circulating within your blood stream. It can slowly build up on the inner walls of your arteries. The arteries are extremely important in delivering fresh oxygen rich blood from the heart to the brain and other vital organs.
The bad cholesterol builds up with other substances to form a plaque, a thick hard deposit. This reduces the diameter of the arteries and makes them less flexible. This can lead to the following problem of a clot forming within the arteries which leads to a heart attack.
HDL provides the defence against heart attacks. Between a third and a fourth of blood cholesterol that flows within your arteries is made up of HDL. The HDL cholesterol is good at taking the LDL from the arteries to the liver where the body can process it. And, it can be passed from the body safely.
Ways of keeping your cholesterol low
Watch your weight
The more overweight you are, the more cholesterol your body produces. So if your weight is up, this is one more reason to bring it down. But do so with a healthy diet.
Cut out the fat
You’d be wise to cut back on such sources of saturated fat as meat, butter and cheese.Whenever possible replace these items with fish, poultry and low-fat dairy products. Consume polyunsaturated oils instead of hydrogenated oil.
Switch to olive oil
Olive oil contains monounsaturates which help lower cholesterol levels if added to your food on a daily basis. Two or three tablespoons full a day should be sufficient.
Go easy on the eggs
Don’t feel you have cut them out entirely. If you want to play safe then limit your eggs to about three a week. Or, use egg whites only.
Be full of beans
Nutritious and inexpensive, beans and other pulses contain a water-soluble fibre called pectin that helps clear cholesterol out of the body.
Eat more fruit
Fruit contains pectin — eating lots of fresh fruit you will help to lower your cholesterol levels.
Have your oats
Oat bran also helps to lower cholesterol in a similar fashion to pectin-rich fruit.
Eat raw carrots
Carrots by way of their pectin content, are the same as fruit. Two carrots a day should be enough to help when combined with other foods. Eat them raw if possible.
Eat raw garlic. As well as reducing your circle of friends, it will reduce harmful blood fats. If you don’t fancy eating raw garlic, then use the liquid garlic extract which can be bought in capsule form.
Studies have shown that heavy smokers have a higher cholesterol than non-smokers. Here’s another reason to give up. You’ll also save yourself a bundle of cash as well!
Drink green tea
Green tea lowers the bad cholesterol levels and prevents the occurrence of blood clots in the body.
Take cholesterol-lowering supplements
There’s now plenty of dietary supplements on the market for lowering cholesterol levels. You can use artichoke leaf extract, fenugreek or fibre supplements. Fish oil, capsule garlic and ginseng are also promising supplements.
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