Your doctor has told you to cut back on oily foods and sugaries. One look at the blood report and you agree he is right. Your total cholesterol is on the prowl and is not willing to come down.
High cholesterol has become quite common nowadays. Every 2 out of 3 people you meet is dealing with borderline or high cholesterol levels. In fact, hypercholesterolemia i.e. high cholesterol is much more common than low cholesterol.
The optimal range for total cholesterol level is 180 to 220 mg/dL. Your LDL must be under 100 mg/dL while HDL must be around 50 mg/dL.
The Good And The Bad Cholesterol
While HDL (high density lipoprotein) is the good one, LDL (low density lipoprotein) has been termed as the bad one. This is because the LDL gets stuck in the bloodstream and can become oxidized or hardened. They settle themselves on any arterial walls leading to plague and blocking the passageway to heart, brain etc. this can lead to attack or stroke.
HDL on the other hand gushes the LDL floating in the bloodstream back to the liver where it is reprocessed again or sent for excretion.
DID YOU KNOW that your body 4 times more cholesterol than is required by the body? Yes, first of all your body produces cholesterol all by itself and second it exceeds the necessary limit.
Apart from the natural production, foods you consume also tend to have certain amounts of cholesterol. It is believed that getting rid of cholesterol from the diet will only cause the liver to produce more cholesterol. This is because cholesterol is necessary for whole load of purposes i.e. producing hormones, function of vital organs and so on.
BEAR IN MIND THAT hypercholesterolemia is considered one of the major risk factors for heart conditions. Keep reading to know about causes, symptoms and natural way to beat cholesterol.
Causes Of High Cholesterol Are
- cigarette smoking
- heavy consumption of alcohol
- overweight problems
- type 2 diabetes
- lack of any physical activity
- unhealthy dietary lifestyle
While cholesterol in the diet has little to do with cholesterol in the bloodstream, saturated fats and trans fats can do more harm. Don’t go overboard with saturated or trans fat that can cause hypercholesterolemia. The point stands valid for those who have a sweet tooth as well. Baked goods, soft drinks, fruit juices etc. are highly concentrated drinks that can raise the LDL (bad cholesterol) in the body.
Not eating enough fiber can also raise the level of cholesterol in the body. Here’s why. Daily intake of fiber will absorb cholesterol from the foods that you eat and eliminate it out of your body. Fiber can prevent the re-absorption of cholesterol from the small intestine.
Unfortunately it is difficult to detect high cholesterol because basically there are no symptoms visible. However, if you are born in a family that have history of hyper cholesterol then you can get regular screening and keep yourself fit.
- untreated hypercholesterolemia can trigger certain symptoms such as:
- yellow deposits beneath the skin around eyes, hands or knees
- insufficient blood supply to the legs
- abdominal pain after having meal (due to affected intestines)
Natural Ways To Prevent High Cholesterol
By now you might have understood that its time to step up and make some changes in your life. So here are they.
- GET YOUR BUTT MOVING!!! A good workout is the answer to cut your increasing waistline and lower those bad LDLs. Take the stairs instead of elevator, walk, jog or join yoga…do anything that will keep your body moving.
- Implement heart friendly diet that is rich in fruits, whole grains, fish, vegetables and non-fat dairy foods.
- Do not smoke and certainly cut on your alcohol intake.
- If you are overweight go lose that chubby fat without any mercy.
- De-stress yourself by joining meditation. It will also incur a positive energy in your body and motivate you from the “inside” to better your life.
- Also hit the sack at the right time and do not make your bed your personal office.
Natural Foods That Assist In Lowering Cholesterol
- Astralagus: traditional Chinese herb that supports the immune system. It comes with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that fights against free radicals.
- Hawthorn: a shrub that is related to rose, the berries, leaves and flowers are part of treatment that dates back to Roman Empire. It is an effective treatment to cure milder forms of heart failure and alleviate any chest congestion or pain.
- Flaxseed: comes with high alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) that lowers the blood pressure and bad cholesterol. Flaxseed also benefits the body by cutting down high triglycerides level.
- Omega 3 fatty acids: found abundant in fish and fish oils, omega 3 fatty acids prevent heart disease and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Those looking for omega-3s in plants, soybeans, canola oil, walnuts etc. are best examples.
- Garlic: this is on top of the list of powerful foods. This powerful herb not only helps in lower blood pressure but also alleviates the high blood cholesterol levels thus slowing the progress of atherosclerosis.
I understand many of the things might seem overwhelming to you right now. However if you are serious about reducing lower cholesterol levels then you better make the switch to healthy foods for a good life afterward.
Originally posted 2013-03-13 00:00:13.