Has your doctor recommended medication for your high cholesterol? If so please be aware these medications are not safe, nor have they proved to prevent heart attacks or strokes. There are many safe and natural things you can do to lower your cholesterol.
First of all let me tell you that your body needs and produces cholesterol. It is used to coat, protect and build cell walls. However high levels of cholesterol infused with trans fats is thicker, stickier and can plug arteries.
Reduce Trans Fats
We have to restrict the trans fats because they make the cholesterol more dangerous. These are oils that have been hydrogenated. Read labels and cut as much of this out as possible.
Since the cholesterol is protecting our vessels and bodies from our built up acids and toxins; we must strive to increase our pH. The main ways to increase pH is to eliminate alcohol, coffee, and soft drinks, and add more minerals like potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
Another thing we should reduce is carbohydrates. Low-carb diets, not low fat diets, have proven to lower cholesterol. The sugar is broken down and stored as fat. Cholesterol is one of the first fats produced. It flows through our blood stream till it finds a place to be stored.
Eliminating these things completely is pretty much impossible. Fortunately there are many cholesterol reducing foods we can add to our diet.
Fiber appears to be important in treating diabetes, elevated cholesterol, colon polyps, and cancer of the colon. Fiber comes from plants and we should have a goal to eat 25-35 grams of fiber per day.
Soluble fiber binds up cholesterol allowing it to be eliminated with the stool. If enough is removed it can lower the blood cholesterol 10-15%. Soluble fiber is found in oatmeal, oat bran, fruit, psyllium (in most fiber products), barley, and legumes.
Foods with the highest grams of soluble fiber in order are baked beans (in tomato sauce- 8.9gms), all types of beans and lentils, peas, apples, raisins, and prunes women’s jackets . In general eating the skin of the fruit or vegetable adds fiber.
Plant Sterols or Stanols
Plant sterols or stanols come from plants and help block cholesterol absorption. Plant sterols have shown to reduce bad cholesterol by 10%. For that reason plant sterols have now been added to fiber products and foods such as orange juice and of all things margarine. You should drink two 8 ounce glasses of plant sterol fortified orange juice per day to reduce cholesterol.
Curcumin is known to have antioxidant, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and cholesterol-lowering effects. One test showed that animals fed small amounts of curcumin had a 50% reduction in cholesterol. New studies (done on rats) indicated that curcumin increased resistance to heart failure and inflammation. In one test it even reversed heart enlargement.
Curcumin is an ingredient in the curry spice turmeric. So adding this safe natural spice in your cooking may be beneficial. Think curry rice with meat and vegetables, which is a staple in India. Most people may want to start slowly to taste. Curcumin is also available in capsules.
Walnuts and Almonds
Studies have shown that walnuts and almonds can significantly reduce cholesterol and help the vessels become more elastic and resilient. Twenty percent of your daily calories from these nuts would be beneficial. For most of us that is over a third of cup per day. Try adding them to salads and ice cream, cook and bake with them, and eat by the handful. Just remember they are high in calories.
Diets rich in soy protein have many heart health benefits, including lowering cholesterol. In animal testing it lowered cholesterol by 30%. 5-6 grams of soy protein daily is recommended. Soy drinks, tofu and supplements are available.
One study of type 2 diabetics found that cinnamon lowered blood sugar and cholesterol levels. They used the whole powdered spice and found that 1gm or 1/2 tsp daily in two doses lowered cholesterol up to 20% in 40 days and effects lasted another 20 days afterwards.
So sprinkle it on toast, cereals, cook with it etc. A daily bowl of apple and cinnamon oatmeal sounds better than any pill.
Green tea has proven to lower cholesterol. Japanese men who normally drink green tea were tested and found that the more green tea they drank the lower their cholesterol was. Generally those drinking more than 9 cups had much lower cholesterol levels. For best results drink 10 cups a day or supplement.
Please don’t take cholesterol medication until you have tried safe and natural things first. If you are already on cholesterol medication; talk to your doctor before trying natural alternatives. You will need to be careful to avoid low cholesterol. Reducing the bad things and adding these food products are all safe ways to fight high cholesterol