Thinking of using natural food to lower cholesterol? Then, it is a great idea!
As many people know, cholesterol is a waxy lipid (a fat) that naturally circulates in the blood. It is an important substance for many bodily functions including digestion, the manufacturing of vitamin D and the making of sex hormones.
It is found in every cell of the body as part of the cell’s wall. However, like anything else, cholesterol levels that are too high are a danger signal. How high is too high? Total cholesterol levels should be less than 200, with total cholesterol being a combination of LDL (bad) cholesterol and HDL (good) cholesterol.
As in many things, having an excess is normally bad. Too much cholesterol is bad for heart health. The extra cholesterol will build up on the walls of the arteries, clogging them. This will often result in a stroke or a heart attack.
So, how do you watch out for signs of high cholesterol?
Some common factors include chest pain, obesity, smoking, a family history of high cholesterol, a sedentary lifestyle, and a diet high in saturated fats. If any of these risk factors are present, especially in combination, a visit to the doctor to determine cholesterol levels is recommended.
One good way to lower high cholesterol is adopting a diet to lower cholesterol. Certain diet plans (e.g. Atkins, Weight Watchers diets…) can be adapted to function as a diet to lower high cholesterol.
The key lies in ensuring that the diet includes the following things: low-fat foods, high-fiber foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, reduced salt and sugar, legumes and nuts.
Enjoy processed meats, whole milk products, eggs, fatty meats, bakery goods and fried foods in moderation. Or better yet, avoid them. Eating food like baked fish, whole-grain products, oatmeal, oat bran, artichokes, and unsaturated oils will benefit both heart health and cholesterol levels.
Switching to a diet to lower high cholesterol does not mean that you cannot enjoy your meals any more. Simple substitutes for less desirable foods are readily available in any supermarket.
Try low-fat cheese, fat-free milk, and butter substitutes instead of whole milk products. Lean cuts of meat, baked fish, fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, soy products, beans and peas, green and seeds all fortify the diet to lower cholesterol, giving the heart one of the best types of protection.
Simple changes in cooking techniques can also make a huge difference. Drain grease when cooking, regulate portion sizes, bake or broil foods instead of frying them. Use vegetable oil when cooking, trim off fats and avoid adding extra salt or sugar.
To enhance the effectiveness of using natural food to lower cholesterol, include other ways to help lower cholesterol. Follow a balanced aerobic exercise routine. It has important benefits like weight loss and better circulation. Walking, running and swimming are all good forms of exercise. In addition, they burn excess fats or calories at the same time.
If you smoke, quit! It will improve the health of blood vessels and decrease the risk of stroke. Medications, such as Lipitor, to lower high cholesterol are used as a last resort.
Usually, a natural ndiet to lower high cholesterol combined with exercise will do the trick. So, take the first step to heart health now and go have a cholesterol level check done. It just may be the best thing you’ve done for your body in a long time. And who knows, there may still be time to work on prevention, starting with a natural diet to lower cholesterol levels.