These days we hear a lot of warnings about cholesterol, but the funny thing is, cholesterol isn’t all bad. Your body produces it naturally and it performs some pretty vital jobs – helping to build new cells, as well as produce hormones and insulate nerves. Only when you’ve got too much do you have a problem.
Unfortunately, there’s a lot of confusion surrounding this substance because it’s made up of both good and bad cholesterol, and is known as HDL and LDL. So which is the good guy, and which is the bad guy ?
HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol is the good guy (higher the better), and LDL (low-density lipoprotein) is the bad guy – the artery-clogging little devil.
Every Day Ways Of Keeping Your Cholesterol Low
Watch your weight
The more overweight you are, the more cholesterol your body produces. So if your weight is up, this is one more reason to bring it down, but do so with a healthy diet.
Cut Out The Fat
You’d be wise to cut back on such sources of saturated fat as meat, butter, cheese and hydrogenated oil. Whenever possible, replace these items with fish, poultry, low-fat dairy products and polyunsaturated oils.
Switch To Olive Oil
Olive oil contains monounsaturates which is said to help lower cholesterol levels if added to your food on a daily basis. Two or Three table spoons full a day should be sufficient
Go Easy On The Eggs
Don’t feel you have cut them out entirely, if you want to play safe then limit your eggs to about three a week, or use egg whites only.
Be Full Of Beans
Nutritious and inexpensive, beans and other pulses contain a water-soluble fibre called pectin that helps clear cholesterol out of the body.
Eat More Fruit
Fruit also gets it’s cholesterol lowering punch from pectin, so by eating lots of fresh fruit you will help to lower your cholesterol levels.
Have Your Oats
Oat bran also helps to lower cholesterol in a similar fashion to pectin rich fruit. In fact it was a high oat bran diet that helped me to reduce my cholesterol level. I used it on cereals, and mixed it into meals that I ate. It looks a bit like sawdust, but it’s really effective.
Other Foods That Are Recommended
Carrots can lower cholesterol. Carrots by way of their pectin content the same as fruit. Two carrots a day should be enough to help when combined with other foods which have been recommended. Eat them raw if possible.
Eat raw garlic. As well as reducing your circle of friends, it will reduce harmful blood fats. If you don’t fancy eating raw garlic, then use the liquid garlic extract which can be bought in capsule form. These can be purchased at your local supermarket or health food store.
Studies have shown that heavy smokers have a higher cholesterol than non smokers, so here’s another reason to give up. You’ll also save yourself a bundle of cash as well ! – In smoking trials which were carried out in Sweden, smokers tended to suffer from low levels of the beneficial HDL cholesterol.
Medication – Drugs
There’s now plenty of drugs on the market for lowering cholesterol levels. But, as with all drugs there’s always side effects to take into account, so try the natural methods first. Only use drugs as a last resort.