I have always enjoyed reading the health articles of The Good Doctor–Dr. W. Gifford-Jones. His articles have always provided the most down-to-earth, bone-marrow-wisdom kind of information about health problems and concerns. As a medical doctor, his philosophy is to provide excellent care and advice, including the courage to persuade patients to become proactive about their own health–which means not only eating right and exercising but choosing natural and safer remedies (rather than drugs) for medical issues.
A good example of his philosophy is his most recent publication that I came across last week–his article on foods that can control cholesterol naturally. Here are the some of the recommended foods and supplements that work.
Taking Vitamin C at breakfast is one of the best ways to start a “Lower Your Cholesterol” day. It increases the removal of cholesterol from the blood in the form of bile acids; it also triggers the necessary bowel movement that will remove these bile acids. The dosage he recommends is 2000 milligrams and depending on one’s tolerance of ascorbic acid, this dosage and more has been touted not only by the good doctor but Nobel Prize Winner, Dr. Linus Pauling, as well.
Oat Bran with fruit such as oranges, apples, prunes and pears are also smart breakfast foods. Oat bran is a soluble fiber that helps with elimination of bile acids, thus reducing the body’s absorption of cholesterol from the intestines.
Even wine is good for your body; one glass of wine can boost high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or what is commonly known as the good cholesterol while also removing excess cholesterol from the blood. In addition to this, red wine produces all kinds of benefits for the heart, including the formation of a chemical that reduces the risk of angina. Moreover, red wine reduces the risk of blood clots. It seems to me you cannot get better advice than that for “medical treatment”! Dr. Gifford-Jones, however, cautions against indulgence. The key to health is moderate consumption and I would wager this caution applies even to oat bran and apples.
Soy Protein naturally boosts HDL levels, a situation proven in a study in which patients were given 40 grams of soy protein in the form of cookies. Guess what? After 12 weeks, these patients showed a five percent increase in the good cholesterol-HDL. And we can get soy protein in all forms– tofu, shakes, burgers or high energy drinks.
For those of us who enjoy nuts, we will certainly delight in the doctor’s recommendation of almonds. A study in Toronto shows that 2 handfuls of almonds a day over a period of three months reduced the bad cholesterol (LDL) by 9.4 percent; as well, these two handfuls of almonds decreased the risk of cardiovascular events by 20 percent.
Even a simple teaspoon of cinnamon in coffee or tea can decrease the bad cholesterol by 20 percent as will black tea, raw garlic and psyllium to a less dramatic extent.
The most consoling aspect about reading the Good Doctor is that there is neither drama nor urgency in his appeal. His voice is that of Common Sense: Eat well. Choose wholesome foods rich in fiber and nutrients; make sure you get your Vitamin C, soy protein and oat bran; enjoy your meals with a good glass of red wine. Last but not least, exercise on a regular basis. You don’t have to run a marathon or aim for the 24 pack abs. But you can work your body on a daily basis because exercise is known to increase HDL.
In the face of far too many television commercials harping on drugs to control cholesterol level, reading the Good Doctor is like getting a breath of fresh air!