Cholesterol is essential for the body to produce hormones, bile acids and the antioxidant vitamin D. However, a high level of cholesterol in the bloodstream is a dangerous situation, as it increases your risk of heart disease.
There are no signs or symptoms of hypercholesterolemia, which we commonly refer to as “high cholesterol”, until the problem becomes severe enough to cause a narrowing or partial blockage in one or more of the blood vessels.
This is why regular screening for blood cholesterol levels is important. If you have been told that you have high cholesterol or you simply want to reduce your risk of having the problem, there are things you can do naturally to normalize your blood cholesterol levels. Here are some suggestions.
Reduce Your Intake of Saturated Fat
Saturated fat raises the level of total fat in the bloodstream and contributions to unhealthy cholesterol levels more so than cholesterol in foods. You can easily tell the difference between planned and unsaturated fat, which we often refer to as healthy fats or healthy oils.
Saturated fats are solid at room temperature. Examples include butter and shortening. Unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature. Examples include olive oil, canola oil and grape seed oil.
The white fat that you can see on meats is arranged. Some foods contain mixed amounts of saturated and unsaturated fats. Learning to read food labels or looking up the nutrition facts online can help you avoid the foods that are high in saturated fat and make healthier choices. Making healthy choices on a regular basis can significantly lower your cholesterol levels.
Eliminate Foods Containing Trans-Fat from Your Diet
Trans-fat is man-made. Shortening is an example of trans-fat. Trans-fat is found in most commercially prepared baked goods. Check the label of ingredients for partially hydrogenated oil. It may be partially hydrogenated soybean oil or some other kind of vegetable oil. If it is partially hydrogenated, it is man-made and your body really does not know how to deal with it. Research has shown that a diet high in trans-fat significantly increases the risk of heart disease. Since there is no need for trans-fat in the diet, it is best to eliminate it completely.
Exercising Promotes weight loss and also raises HDL levels. HDLs and LDLs are transport vehicles for cholesterol. LDL is considered “bad” because it transports cholesterol to the blood vessels. HDL is good, because it carries cholesterol “out” of the bloodstream. Exercise has been shown in numerous studies to raise HDL levels, lower total cholesterol levels and lower total fat in the bloodstream.
Increase Your Intake of Soluble Fiber
Soluble fiber absorbs cholesterol in the gastrointestinal tract and carries it out of your body as waste. Some cholesterol comes from food. Most is produced by your liver. One of the big problems is that excess cholesterol gets dumped back into the GI tract for disposal, but instead, it gets reabsorbed into the bloodstream. Soluble fiber can help prevent this reabsorption.
Many people are tempted to take a fiber supplement to increase their intake of soluble fiber. Most of the fiber supplements on the market are made from psyllium seed husks. Psyllium husks are not a common food in the typical modern diet. Taking a supplement containing them is accompanied by a choking hazard, because the husks thicken in the throat. This thickening effect can also cause intestinal blockages, especially if they are taken with an insufficient amount of water. There is also the risk of allergic reaction.
A better choice, as far as supplements go, is to look for one made from kiwifruit. Kiwifruit skin and pulp are sources of soluble fiber and are classified as prebiotics. Prebiotics support the natural balance of gut flora, which improves digestion and may also help to lower your cholesterol.
Take a Fish Oil Supplement
Fish oil is a byproduct of the production of fishmeal, a foodstuff for farm-raised fish and for other animals. When the fatty fish are dehydrated, the oil is extracted. Hundreds of years ago, fishermen learned that the oil was good for a variety of ailments. Today, we know that it is a source of healthy polyunsaturated fat. Some studies indicate that regular supplementation circulating HDL levels, which lowers total cholesterol.
There is no doubt that fish oil lowers total blood triglycerides (total fats in the bloodstream), since the supplement has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of very high blood triglycerides. The FDA approval made it possible for doctors to prescribe fish oil, although prescription fish oil is more expensive, it may be covered by your health insurance.
Fish oil is, of course, available without a prescription. Just make sure that you purchase a high quality brand. You will not get the cholesterol lowering benefit or any of the other health benefits of fish oil if you choose a low quality brand.
High cholesterol is considered a risk factor for heart disease. For that reason, doctors often prescribe drugs, primarily statins, to lower blood cholesterol levels. Statins can cause a wide range of unpleasant side effects.
It may be possible to avoid the drug side effects of statins and normalize your blood cholesterol levels with natural alternatives. I have for you a free gift for reading this Article – Special Report: Side Effects of Cholesterol Drugs VS Benefits of Natural Alternatives.
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