One of the general misnomers about overall health is that people who are suffering from bad cholesterol have a particular look. Actually, before we get into that, we have to discuss what exactly constitutes ‘bad’ or ‘good’ cholesterol.
Cholesterol is a type of lipid the body needs to produce cells. In fact, cholesterol is an important component of all animal cell membranes. Therefore, there is a consistent stream of cholesterol flowing through the human body at all times. Because of this special care as to which type appears more in the bloodstream - ‘bad’ or ‘good’ is important.
Even the declaration of ‘type’ of cholesterol is a bit disingenuous as it is the lipoproteins that carry the cholesterol through the blood that designate whether cholesterol is good or bad. The high-density lipoproteins (HDL) do the job of absorbing cholesterol and delivering it to the liver after which the liver does the job of flushing the cholesterol from the body. The higher the level of HDL (to transport the cholesterol) in the body, the lower the risk there is for heart disease and stroke.
Unfortunately, the majority of a human’s body is made up of low-density lipoproteins (LDL) which means the majority of cholesterol in the body could be considered ‘bad’. Too much LDL cholesterol in the blood can build up on the blood vessel walls. This yellowish waxy-looking fatty solid buildup is called plaque, and as blood vessels build up plaque the insides of the vessels narrow. Thus blocking the blood flowing to and from the heart and other organs. Heart attacks or angina (chest pain) are the typical results when the blood flow to the heart is blocked. In addition, the higher occurrence of this type of cholesterol in the body would increase the risk of heart disease and stroke for a person.
Fortunately, there are food consumption, preparation ideas, exercise plans, and natural supplements to lower cholesterol to help minimize LDL cholesterol to satisfactory levels. Quite a few of these methods are below.
One of the things everyone should be mindful of is their food intake, more specifically employing a proper diet plan. As mentioned above, people suffering from bad cholesterol are not always easily identified by just a glance. It is because of this, take extra care when looking to prepare meals on a daily basis. Choosing healthier ways to make meals is just as important as what is bought at the supermarkets and put in pantries with regards to tracking cholesterol levels.
Trim fat and/or remove the skin, either before eating or even before beginning the preparation process, should reduce the fat intake while leaving the essential protein unaffected. If it is absolutely necessary to add fat for cooking, baking, or pan-frying, people should substitute healthy oils for margarine, shortening, lard, and butter. Sunflower oil, Grapeseed oil, and olive oil are all quite high in unsaturated fats and far healthier than solid fats. People should also avoid deep-frying and breading. This is because they can add extra fat. Instead, they should consider, grilling, boiling, baking, broiling, and poaching as viable alternatives.
Consuming less red meat should reduce bad LDL cholesterol levels as these meats are normally very high in saturated fats. To replace these red meats, people can add more fish to their diet. As fish are low in saturated fats and in many occurrences contain omega-3 fatty acids which boost good HDL cholesterol levels. The types of fish that are best include salmon, mackerel, tilapia, grouper, cod, herring, and trout. Crab and shrimp also have omega-3 fatty acids that encourage good cholesterol.
Good fiber intake is always a good way to maintain a healthy diet. But it can also be very helpful in the fight against bad cholesterol levels. Fiber that is dissolvable in water takes the bad LDL cholesterol in the stomach and lowers it before it gets into the bloodstream. Oats, quinoa, lentils, and chickpeas are a few of the fibers that are soluble. The less processed the fiber source is, the higher the nutritional value. Thus, the better the health benefits.
Nuts also are high in unsaturated fats and additionally raise the good HDL cholesterol and subsequently lower the bad LDL. Pistachios, almonds, cashews, walnuts, and peanuts are best for regular consumption. Picking the low-fat (or non-fat) options for items like milk, cheese and yogurt can help to build the levels of good HDL cholesterol. Consider these over the full-fat dairy version which contains saturated fat as well as cholesterol.
There are natural supplements that once taken with meals should assist in the fight against bad cholesterol. Review the ingredients of these supplements should be thoroughly. There are several, in combination, that could help aggravate other ailments afflicting the body. Chlorophyll is a naturally occurring pigment in plants that gives, most of, them their green color. It is also considered the ‘blood’ of plants.
Scientifically, chlorophyll and the hemoglobin that is contained within actual blood are nearly identical in composition. Hemoglobin has iron at its center while chlorophyll has magnesium. Because of chlorophyll’s ability to absorb iron in place of magnesium, consuming more plants brings more oxygen to cells. Thus, making it healthier overall. Chlorophyll, with regards to cholesterol, lowers bad cholesterol levels. It does so by cleaning the walls of the body’s arteries and cleansing the blood. Though it is naturally occurring in plants there are other ways to increase chlorophyll intake apart from eating more vegetables.
Chlorophyll is available in liquid form, in tablet capsules, and even within other supplements. Vitamin B3, in the form of nicotinic acid, is another supplement that significantly lowers LDL cholesterol while raising HDL cholesterol. Other cholesterol-fighting supplements include psyllium and fish oil. This is because of the aforementioned omega-3 fatty acids, soy is also great for isoflavones.
Exercise is another way to improve good HDL cholesterol. According to experts, there should be at least 150 minutes of physical activity every week. These activities could be walking, running, cycling, swimming, or lifting weights. Quite a few of these activities could be done right in a person’s backyard. The most important thing is for people to find routines that help to keep them exercising regularly.
As a final measure, doctors can create a plan that combines diet, natural supplements, exercise, and other changes for you. This helps you to manage cholesterol yourself. Getting rid of habits such as smoking cigarettes should raise the good HDL cholesterol in a person’s body just as effectively as significant weight loss reduces the bad LDL cholesterol. Regular checkups with a physician should be enough to inform a person of the necessary adjustments to their lives using the results of the cholesterol tests.
Above are just some of the ways to improve cholesterol levels. Some do not require anything more than a change of mindset as it is easier to begin thinking of what is being added to a daily routine that could help to make a happier and healthier future than dwelling on removing the bad habits and questionable actions that contribute to a high bad cholesterol count.