Ways to Reduce Cholesterol

Jan 25 by

Before, cutting cholesterol was simply a matter of avoiding eggs and cutting back on fat, but it turned out that it is a lot more complicated than that. Good thing is there are more ways to bring good and bad cholesterol in line.

Drink green tea

As surprising as it may sound there’s a solid basis of evidence to show that green tea may help reduce cholesterol levels. The fact it can also help you reduce weight is a double whammy. You can find out more about it here.

Eat more good fats

Monounsaturated fats, found in avocados, nuts, and olive oil, lower bad cholesterol (LDL) without bringing down good cholesterol (HDL). Replace butter with olive oil, use skim milk instead of whole and eat lean meat.

Eggs are OK

Eating saturated fat is what raises blood cholesterol the most, and eggs are low in saturated fat. Therefore, eggs are ok to eat. Eggs are excellent sources of nutrition. But two groups of people are sensitive to eggs. If both cholesterol and triglycerides are high, eggs should be avoided. They should be skipped as well if a person has an inherited lipid disorder. Usually, this small group of people have extremely bad cholesterol levels at an unusually young age, which means their bodies cannot handle cholesterol properly.

Watch out for bad fat

More than any other food, saturated fat stimulates the liver to produce LDLs. But there’s another bad fat to watch out for. Trans-fatty acids (TFA) are produced when unsaturated fat is chemically processed, which turns it into solid. Not only do they raise LDLs and total cholesterol, but in high amounts they may also lower HDLs. Food labels do not list TFAs, which are found in solid stick margarines, shortening, deep-fried fast foods, and many pastries, crackers, and cookies. Figure that in any food containing hydrogenated oils, if the label lists 2 grams of saturated fat per serving, the food has 2 more grams of TFAs.

Lose weight

Being overweight is bad for the arteries because it lowers HDLs. In any group of people, the fattest will have HDL levels ten to fifteen percent lower than the leanest. If a person is more than ten or twenty pounds overweight, his/her HDL levels can get eight to ten points lower.

Take care of your thyroid

 

Hypothyroidism, if left untreated, can significantly raise cholesterol levels. Symptoms for this condition are tiredness, increased sensitivity to cold, hair loss, weight gain, joint stiffness, and depression. A TSH blood test diagnoses the condition in its earliest stages. Hypothyroidism is easily corrected by taking daily medication, such as Synthroid or Levthyroxine. Both are less expensive than cholesterol-lowering drugs.

Exercise

Raising HDLs by diet alone is tricky, but the combination of regular exercise and strategic eating gets them up. At least 30 minutes a day of vigorous exercise can raise them by 20 percent. Exercise also dramatically affects triglycerides.

Toast to your heart

Though a daily alcoholic drink of any kind can raise HDLs by five to ten percent, only red wine is loaded with antioxidant flavonoids that discourage LDLs from clogging arteries. Red wine has ten times as many flavonoids as white wine because grapes, seeds, stems, and skins are steeped in the vat longer. This does not mean that drinking to excess is ok, far from it, but a small glass of red wine does seem to have protective effects.

Lights out

Cigarette smoking depresses HDLs at about 9 percent. For this and many other reasons, it’s very, very wise to stop, or at the very least cut down on your smoking, if you possibly can.

RELAX!

Stress has a harmful effect on arteries. Blowing up at others and consistently stifling resentments can elevate LDLs.

As with any health issues you should always consult your doctor, or primary health care provider. The information on this site is not intended to replace the advice of your own physician.

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