We are always being told about high cholesterol and how we must avoid this modern phenomenon. But if this is your experience, there is much you should learn about cholesterol before getting stressed out about it.
The smoking gun
In the article found here
, Dr Mercola points out that cholesterol could easily be described as the smoking gun of the last two decades.
He says “It"s been responsible for demonizing entire categories of foods (like eggs and saturated fats) and blamed for just about every case of heart disease in the last 20 years. Yet when I first opened my medical practice in the mid 80s, cholesterol, and the fear that yours was too high was rarely talked about. Somewhere along the way however, cholesterol became a household word -- something that you must keep as low as possible, or suffer the consequences.
You are probably aware that there are many myths that portray fat and cholesterol as one of the worst foods you can consume. Please understand that these myths are actually harming your health. Not only is cholesterol most likely not going to destroy your health (as you have been led to believe), but it is also not the cause of heart disease.
For those who are taking cholesterol-lowering drugs, it is important that you read the information in the article above as well as more
to learn about how dangerous such drugs can be.
Other ways to reduce your cholesterol (if it really is too high)
Much of these are related to diet. For example, here are four foods that will help:
1. Eating fatty fish
from a safe source at least two or three times a week can protect your heart because of the high levels of Omega 3. It reduces LDL (the bad cholesterol), the risk of blood clots, and the risk of heart attacks and death. Such fatty fish includes salmon, trout, pilchards and sardines. Taking an Omega 3 supplement is another alternative.
2. Nuts, and in particular almonds and walnuts,
will help to reduce your blood cholesterol while keeping the blood vessels healthy. This is because these nuts are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). Always eat your nuts RAW – no salting, no roasting, just raw. A small handful of nuts every day will give you lots of heart-healthy benefits.
3. Fiber and in particular soluble fiber
, can help to reduce your total cholesterol and more importantly your bad cholesterol. You will benefit from the soluble fiber found in oatmeal, bananas, pears, prune, beans, lentils and vegetables. For maximum heart-healthy benefits, you need about 25-30g of total fiber dail of which some 10g should be soluble fibre.
4. Look for foods that have added stanols and sterols
as these will help prevent cholesterol absorption thereby decreasing total cholesterol levels. Plant sterols and stanols can occur naturally in foods or be fortified into other food products. Examples of natural food sources are avocado and sunflower seeds. Examples of foods that have been fortified with sterols and stanols are Nature Valley healthy Heart Honey Nut Bar as well as certain yogurt drinks and other products. You need to check the other ingredients in case these are less than healthy.
Exercise also plays an important role in reducing your cholesterol – and the best form of exercise?
Start taking a brisk thirty minute walk at least five times a week.