Heart disease is now thought to be our number one killer, as it is estimated that just under one million of our countrymen die from heart disease each year.
Lowering cholesterol in particular LDL cholesterol, the “bad cholesterol” (that forms plaque in our arteries which then impedes blood flow to the heart and the brain) – can significantly aid your cardiovascular health.
The causes of higher than normal cholesterol are ingesting too many animal products, in particular dairy products and red meat, and ones liver itself producing an excessive amount of cholesterol.
So how can one go about lowering cholesterol safely?
Lets deal initially very briefly with factors that are not related to diet. These include making sure you get out in the sun everyday and employing a regular schedule of exercise of at least one half hour each day, doing activities such as swimming, bicycle riding or walking, to help strengthen your cardiovascular systemas a whole. In addition, you should try to lose any excess pounds that you are carrying around on your body. Just burning off ten pounds can result in a definite lowering of your cholesterol. As well, of course, smoking and alcohol consumption should be eliminated or kept to a minimum. For alcohol, that means one drink a day for women, and two for men.
Equally important in reducing cholesterol is adjusting your diet. Try to drink at least six glasses of water everyday. Limit the amount of dairy and animal foods you eat on a regular basis to less than 10% of your calorie intake. Try to eat lean meat and skim milk. Some types of fish, including tuna, halibut and cod, contain a lot less cholesterol than red meat. Other fish products including mackerel and salmon contain high levels of certain acids which help your cardiovascular health. Try to eat more foods containing dietary fiber, as well as fruits and vegetables (fresh) and avoid fried foods and hydrogenated oils.
Lets list some of the natural substances that can aid in lowering high cholesterol levels. An excellent way to reduce the cholesterol we eat from actually entering into our blood is to eat a good quantity of whole grain fibrous foods. Select pastas and breads made from whole grains, and switch to brown rice. Try to eat more soy, sprouts, seaweed and nuts as well.
Some vitamins can also be very useful specifically C, B6 and E. Some other natural supplements that can be useful in reducing cholesterol levels include garlic , soy, grape seed extract, pantothine, chromium and carnitine. These increase the amount of the good cholesterol (HDL), which can help significantly. Omega-3 fatty acids and plant sterols also can benefit your cardiovascular health. Another food that is thought to be very helpful in reducing cholesterol levels are blueberries. You should also make it a habit to drink each day a nice blended natural fruit drink with spirulina and soy protein mixed in.
Try to follow the above guidelines for two months – you can probably lower your cholesterol levels . But if you find that your cholesterol levels are still too high, ask your medical advisor about it you may require medication or a natural supplement to help lower your cholesterol levels.