Cholesterol is an important part of your body’s natural function. You cannot live without it. When your body starts producing too much of it then it becomes your heart’s 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 itself 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 doses or improve the effectiveness 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 your 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 your risk of many diseases such as diabetes and cancer.
Weight Control: This is the hardest weapon to use yet it is probably the most effective at helping control your cholesterol. Being overweight 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 as those who lived in the early 1900s. I know it is hard to do, I have to fight this fight every day, but if you are serious about your health it is something you need to do.
Soluble Fiber: A diet high in high fiber foods will help you lower your cholesterol. Soluble fiber absorbs stomach acid and carries it out of the body. Your 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 has both been 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. They are similar to cholesterol in composition. Because of this, they compete with cholesterol for absorption. Leafy vegetables, nuts, vegetable oils, corn, and rice are high in plant sterols. You can also find cholesterol-lowering cooking oils and margarine 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 polyunsaturated 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 in this battle.