Cholesterol's Natural Enemies
Cholesterol is an important part of your body's natural function. You can not live with out it. When your body starts producing too much of it then it becomes your hearts mortal enemy. If you have high cholesterol then you need to declare war. Anything less is not good enough. When you fight any war you need to have weapons and the more powerful they are the better. Modern medicine has given us some great weapons for fighting cholesterol. Sometimes that is not enough and unfortunately using them can come with severe side effects. I for one have not found one yet that I can take. The good news is that nature it self has provided us with weapons to fight cholesterol. With these natural weapons against cholesterol many people can avoid drugs and most of the rest can lower dose or improve the effect of their cholesterol drugs.
Here is a list of some of nature's most powerful weapons against cholesterol.
Exercise: Exercise especially cardiovascular exercise is one of you body's natural ways of lowering your cholesterol. I list this first because it can also strengthen your entire cardiovascular system, help manage weight, lower you risk of many diseases such as diabetes and cancer.
Weight Control: This is hardest weapon to use yet it is probably the most effective at helping control your cholesterol. Being over weight is not as much of a problem in most of the world. In Western Europe and especially the United States our diets have become extremely high in fat and simple carbohydrates. I saw a study that showed that now the average American consumes more than 100 times as much sugar than those who lived in the early 1900's. I know it is hard to do, I have to fight this fight every day, but if you are serious about your health it something you need to do.
Soluble Fiber: A diet high in high fiber foods will help you lower you cholesterol. Soluble fiber absorbs stomach acid and caries it out of the body. You body is then forced to convert cholesterol into stomach acid. For those who are striving to lose weight taking a fiber supplement before meals with help you feel less hungry. Fruits and vegetables such as apples, citrus fruit, berries, carrots and cabbage are high in soluble fiber and pectin both shown to be helpful in lowering cholesterol. Oats and barley are also great sources of cholesterol lowering fibers.
Soy Protein: This is a powerful weapon against cholesterol. To achieve the benefit you need to consume about 24 grams a day of soy protein. There are many companies that now make soy bars and shakes that can help you reach this goal. People with high cholesterol have seen a drop of 15 to 20 percent with this level of supplementation.
Plant Sterols: Plant sterols and stanols, are found in all plants. The are similar to cholesterol in composition. Because of this they compete with cholesterol for absorption. Leafy vegetable, nuts, vegetable oils, corn and rice are high in plant sterols. You can also find cholesterol lowering cooking oils and margarine's that have these added to them. There are also a number of supplements out on the market today to provide your body with higher livers of plant sterols.
Nuts: Several studies have shown that nuts such as pecans, walnuts and almonds can help your body lower cholesterol. The combination of monounsaturated or polyunsaturated and plant sterols are an effective combination. I replace candy snacks with nuts and include them in my cooking.
Olive Oil: Olive oil especially extra virgin olive oil is high in mono-saturated fats that help the body lower cholesterol.
Flaxseed: Flaxseed is high in alpha-linolenic acid, which is a type of poly-unsaturated fat that has been shown to lower cholesterol. You can add flaxseed to your diet or there are many flaxseed and alpha-linolenic acid supplements on the market.
I hope the information above can help you in your battle against high cholesterol. I wish you much success it this battle.
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