Top 5 Ways to Naturally Lower Cholesterol
Exactly what is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a natural waxy substance that occurs throughout your body. The most abundant steroid in animal tissues, it can be found in cell walls and membranes in places like your brain and nervous system, muscle tissue, heart and circulation system, skin, liver, intestines, and more. Cholesterol is commonly used by your body in the production of hormones, vitamins, and fat digesting bile acids.
Why can cholestrol be a problem?
Excessive cholestrol in your bloodstream can build up within the arteries of your heart and circulation system. As more of this ‘plaque’ builds up, the arteries become more narrow and fragile. Narrowing reduces blood flow so the heart has to work harder, and fragile arteries with plaque buildup can rupture and form dangerous blood clots which travel throughout your system causing clogs.
How high cholesterol can be lowered naturally, and even prevented:
1. Exercise on a regular basis (especially cardio)
Physical exercise is more effective for treating and preventing heart disease and many other problems than any synthetic pharmaceutical drug on the market! Exercise causes the body to turn sugars, fats, and proteins into energy. It results in the liver producing more HDL (good cholesterol), and lowering total cholesterol. Plaque buildup in the arteries is reduced, and so is the possibility of narrow arteries, atherosclerosis, blood clots, stroke, and heart attack.
2. Increase the balance of fiber in your diet
Binds with cholesterol and fatty acids helping remove it from the body and reduce LDL levels.
Slows digestion aiding the absorption of vitamins & minerals and controlling blood sugar.
Foods to eat for more soluble fiber include fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds. Here is a complete list.
Aids in waste removal from the colon and maintaining balanced levels of acidity (pH).
Improves eating habits by adding bulk in the intestines and controlling appetite
Also helps the body control blood glucose levels.
Food sources for insoluble fiber are similar to soluble fiber, including plants and nuts. Fiber content for various foods can be found at this hospital resource page.
3. limit saturated and trans fats, increase polyunsaturated and monounsatured fats.
Saturated fats and especially trans fats (trans isomer fatty acids) have a direct correlation to increased blood cholesterol levels. Saturated fats are often found in foods also containing high dietary cholesterol, especially animal products. Trans fats are an unnatural byproduct of the modern food industry, and are found in foods containing hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.
Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, on the other hand, have demonstrated a positive impact on cholesterol levels in the body when substituted for saturated or trans fats. They are often found in plant sources, including nuts, seeds, and oils of avocado, canola, corn, flax, olive, peanut, safflower, sesame, soy, and sunflower.
4. Eat foods with Inositol (no-flush niacin)
Inositol is similar to the B vitamins and niacin, without the irritative skin effects of niacin flushing. It helps move lipids and fats from the liver to the intestines, where they can be further removed with the help of fiber.
Inositol can be found in many fruits and vegetable foods including bananas, brown rice, cabbage, cantalope, citrus fruits (especially oranges), legumes (beans), nuts, oats, raisins, seeds, unrefined molasses, and wheat.
5. Red Yeast Rice
Originating in the Tang Dynasty of China around 800 A.D., Red Yeast Rice contains lovastatin, and is a key component of some statin drugs made by the pharmaceutical companies. Lovastatin can reduce LDL cholesterol, increase HDL cholesterol, and activate LDL receptors. Red Yeast Rice supplements containing lovastatin have been found to efficiently reduce cholesterol levels.