Reducing Cholesterol Levels
Reducing Cholesterol Levels May Not Be As Hard As You Think
Your doctor's report says your cholesterol level has hit an all time high. That is not the kind of news you want to hear. A few potato chips a couple times a week, steak once or twice a week, and a diet that consists of cheese, pasta, and dairy products shouldn't raise your cholesterol level as you age, but it does. Fast food and other foods that are high in saturated fats and trans-fats will put your bad cholesterol in the red zone.
Reducing cholesterol levels is all about reducing saturated fat and trans-fats. Lower your consumption of those fats, and you can lower your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) number. It also goes without saying that an exercise program must be put in place to stimulate your metabolism so the body can burn those fats. Not all cholesterol is bad. You have good cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein), and that's what you need to keep your hormones and cells functioning normally. High-density cholesterol is produced by the liver from the unsaturated fats you consume. Low-density cholesterol is a product of saturated and trans-fat consumption.
A bowl of oatmeal or a handful of walnuts, and even a baked potato with heart-healthy margarine are excellent choices when it comes to reducing cholesterol levels. The soluble fiber in oatmeal reduces LDL absorption in the bloodstream. Almonds and walnuts are rich in polyunsaturated fat so they keep the blood vessels healthy by increasing the amount of good cholesterol in the bloodstream. Nuts do have a lot of calories so just a handful will make a difference.
Eating fatty fish is another way to increase your HDL number. Albacore tuna, mackerel, salmon and trout, as well as sardines, herring, and halibut, will reduce blood pressure, and that will reduce the risk of forming blood clots. Adding grilled or baked fish to your diet two or three times a week for at least five weeks will make a huge difference in your cholesterol level. If you don't like fish use fish oil capsules, but you don't get the selenium and the other nutrients that are found in fatty fish when you use the capsules.
Reducing Cholesterol Levels the Mediterranean Way
Olive oil has been used for centuries in the Mediterranean region to promote health and wellness. Oil from olives is a potent mix of powerful antioxidants that lower LDL cholesterol without touching the good cholesterol. Use olive oil as a salad dressing or sauté vegetables in it. It can be used as a butter substitute when you basting meat, and it's a perfect dip for Italian bread. Extra-virgin olive oil is the best choice since it goes through less processing and contains more antioxidants, which are capable of reducing cholesterol levels.
The good cholesterol must out-number the bad by at least 4 to 1. That's the ideal cholesterol ratio. Foods that contain stanols and sterols like orange juice, margarine, and yogurt drinks can also lower your bad cholesterol number. At least 2 grams of stanols a daily can lower your LDL by 10%. That's only two 8 ounce glasses of orange juice a day. When you eliminatw store bought cookies, red meat, and most dairy products from your diet, you're reduce LDL as well. You should start to see a difference in your cholesterol ratio in as little as four weeks.
Although having a health, well balanced diet and healthy lifestyle choices is essential in reducing cholesterol levels, it is also important to use all natural products to supplement one's diet. Some of the proven vitamins and nutrients proven to combat poor cholesterol levels are not adequate levels in good food. To ensure that all the right steps are taken, consider taking nutritional supplement. For more information on what can be found in these supplements visit www.vasacor.com.