How to Lower Cholesterol? Tips, Supplements & Recipes

How to Lower Cholesterol? Tips, Suplements & Recipes

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How to Lower Cholesterol? Tips, Supplements & Recipes

When the doctor measures your cholesterol levels, two types are being considered:

1. LDL Otherwise known as the "bad cholesterol"

LDL delivers cholesterol to the body. Too much of it is a bad thing as it can build up in the arterial walls and restrict blood flow.

2. HDL, considered the "good cholesterol."

HDL removes cholesterol from the bloodstream. Too little HDL is also risk factor for future heart disease.

High cholesterol levels are attributed to several factors, such as genetics, dietary choices, body weight and smoking. Fortunately, you can choose to eat certain foods that will help lower cholesterol naturally, reducing the risk of a future heart attack or stroke.


Dietary tips to keep your cholesterol levels within a normal range: 

1. Switch from refined white grains to whole-grain items loaded with fibre. Look for the words "whole grains" or "100 per cent whole wheat" on your food labels. Breads, pastas and even cookies are now available made with whole grains; as well as whole wheat, look for other whole grains such as kamut, spelt and rye.

2. Enjoy garlic in as many recipes as you can for its cholesterol-lowering effects.

3. Eat seven to 10 walnuts or almonds per day. Almonds and walnuts are loaded with beneficial fats called omega-3s, which protect against heart disease and high cholesterol.

4. Eat oily cold-water fish such as salmon or tuna for its heart-healthy fats.

5. Sprinkle ground flaxseeds on your cereal or salads or include in recipes for a delicious nutty flavour and a number of health benefits. Studies have shown consumption of flaxseeds to lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol.

6. When eating fruits such as apples or pears, keep the skins on to boost your fibre intake.

7. Have some oatmeal for breakfast. Oatmeal offers high levels of dietary fibre, which has been shown to be beneficial in lowering cholesterol in over 40 studies. Oat fibre mixes with cholesterol in the small intestine and "mops up" excess cholesterol so that it is carried out of the body instead of being absorbed by the blood. (Try this recipe for apple oatmeal.)

8. Add soy to your diet. Studies show that 25 grams of soy protein per day can help to lower cholesterol and play a part in heart health.

10. Load up your plate with colourful vegetables. Filled with fibre and phytonutrients (plant chemicals that prevent disease), they are sure winners to lower cholesterol naturally.

11. Eat more beans. Beans contain soluble fibre that helps to optimize digestion and keep weight and cholesterol down. Add them to a salad or enjoy bean veggie patties instead of a regular beef burger.

In addition to incorporating the foods above into your meals, keeping cholesterol at a normal level also has a lot to do with what you are not eating. Eliminating trans fats from the diet and keeping refined sugars and flours to a minimum are necessary steps to take. A high intake of sugar has been linked with lowering of the "good cholesterol," HDL. Also make sure to restrict your intake of saturated fats such as full-fat meats and cheeses. Finally, don't forget to exercise regularly, and make sure to have regular checkups with your doctor to track your progress.



4 Best Supplements to Lower Cholesterol Naturally


1. Soy isoflavones.
A soy isoflavone is an extract from soy that is structurally similar to some of our own hormones. It increases the production of HDL, or "good," cholesterol and decreases the production of LDL, or "bad," cholesterol. Products that have a high level of isoflavone include tofu burgers, miso soup and soy pudding. But you would have to eat 20 to 25 grams of soy isoflavones, or about 1-1/2 tofu burgers, daily to get a health-enhancing dose.
General dose: For most people, 50 milligrams in capsule form of soy isoflavones one to two times a day on an empty stomach will help keep cholesterol levels in a healthy range.

2. Essential fatty acids. These fatty acids help protect against the oxidation of good cholesterol (oxidation increases the stickiness of cholesterol so it adheres more readily to the lining of the arteries and greatly increases your risk of arteriosclerosis and heart disease).
General dose: Take 2,000 milligrams a day with food. I recommend a combination formula of omega-3, 6 and 9 essential fatty acids in capsule form (there is a liquid form but the product becomes rancid when exposed to oxygen when you open the bottle).

3. Policosinols. These sugar cane extracts function like statins (cholesterol-lowering drugs) in that they inhibit enzymes that increase the production of cholesterol. But unlike statins, policosinols have no side-effects such as muscle stiffness or stomach problems.
General dose: Five to 10 milligrams in pill form twice a day on an empty stomach.

4 Guggul lipids. These are tree resins that help the liver break down and recycle cholesterol as well as increase the excretion of cholesterol in the feces.
General dose: Take 500 milligrams in pill form twice a day on an empty stomach.

Supplements, of course, should be an adjunct to a healthy lifestyle, not a replacement. See a health-care practitioner before starting any new supplements.



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How to Lower Cholesterol? Tips, Supplements & Recipes