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Written by Art Breshears
Art is the owner of Healthy Business 2000
(The most advanced and effective nutritional
products nature and science have to offer)
He has over 10 years experience in the fields of
health, fitness and nutrition.
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Maintaining a proper balance of cholesterol levels in the blood is essential to the health of the brain, heart, cardiovascular system and other vital organs. When the body maintains this balance, there is an unobstructed flow of oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to the organs, as well as a proper removal of harmful wastes.
According to Dr. Michael Colgan, Ph.D., CCN, (The New Nutrition, page 127) "...heart disease risk starts to rise at a cholesterol level of 168 mg/dl, not the 200 mg/dl bandied about by the media." Having said that, we need to understand one thing upfront and that is cholesterol is not your enemy. Cholesterol is necessary to live...all of your steroid hormones (adrenaline, estrogen and testosterone) come from it.
We are concerned with high cholesterol levels as it is among the primary causes of heart disease and implicated in gallstones, impotence, mental impairment, and high blood pressure. There is also a link to colon polyps and cancer (especially prostate and breast cancer).
Keeping cholesterol under control to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke is important in the elderly as well as in younger adults, according to a report in the Archives of Internal Medicine 1999;159:1670-1678.
We have all heard, read, or seen on TV accounts of HDL (good) and LDL (bad) cholesterol. But what they don't tell you is that total cholesterol (TC) is mostly LDL and it is the best predictor of cardiovascular disease.
To be more exact, it is your ratio of total cholesterol to HDL that is most important; so divide you TC by your HDL and realize that anything over a five indicates a problem. Also, high cholesterol is not an inevitable consequence of age.
It has more to do with the Standard American Diet (SAD), lack of exercise and not keeping oxidation under control; that is, free radicals. This is probably one of the most important things you can do to control your cholesterol levels. If you don't control oxidation your chances of permanently lowering you cholesterol levels are slim.
You see it is free radicals that oxidize low density lipoproteins (LDL). Macrophages (scavenger cells) remove waste but when they become full of LDLs they breakdown into foam cells which form the fatty streaks on the arterial walls.
A few things you can do to help control your cholesterol is to avoid poly-unsaturated fats, avoid trans fatty acids (hydrogenated or partially hydro-genated oils) and avoid certain vegetable oils (palm oil, palm kernel oil, coconut oil, peanut oil and cottonseed oil).
Well, butter contains saturated fats,
margarine and shortening contain trans fatty acids.
If you must use fat in your cooking,
use liquid monounsaturated fats
such as canola, avocado, and olive oil,
and if you just have to have that taste add a tiny bit of butter.
Try to get your healthy fats from deep-water fish (omega-3 fatty acids), and in small portions of unrefined grains, raw nuts and seeds, and avocado (You can also use flax seed oil; however, don't use it for cooking).
Be sure to include 40-50 grams of mixed fibers in your diet everyday,
and don't forget your soy.
Get adequate exercise (inactivity increases levels of cholesterol and triglycerides). For more information on the benefits of exercise see Physical Activity and Health: A Report of the Surgeon General
There are a few supplements that can help control your cholesterol.
Red yeast rice (1,200 mg twice a day -
there are a few precautions:
don't use this product if your are under 20,
pregnant or breastfeeding, have ever had liver disease,
drink more than two alcoholic drinks a day,
have had an organ transplant,
or if you suffer from a serious disease or physical disorder)
"Red yeast rice significantly reduces total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and total triacylglycerol concentrations compared with placebo and provides a new, novel, food-based approach to lowering cholesterol in the general population" (Heber D, et al., "Cholesterol-lowering effects of a proprietary Chinese red-yeast-rice dietary supplement - American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1999 Feb;69(2):231-6),
coenzymeQ10 (CoQ10), niacin preferably no-flush (400 mg a day) , vitamin B6 preferably as pyridoxine HCl (20 mg daily), folate (400 mcg), vitamin B12 (400 mcg), and Gugulipid (standardized to 2.5% guggulsterones) take as directed on the package. Digestive enzymes and soy products are also very helpful. And to control free radicals be sure you are taking a quality multiantioxidant (especially vitamin E).
Change the food menu you snack on.
Here is a list of whole foods you can snack on
(preferably certified organic)
that are considered cholesterol-busters:
berries (especially blueberries and raspberries),
fenugreek (an herb),
fish (salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, cod, tuna, trout),
soy products (soy milk, miso, tofu),
whole grains (rice, barley, millet, oats, wheat and rye),
yogurt, onions and garlic.
About the author:
Art Breshears is the owner of Healthy Business 2000 (The most advanced and effective nutritional products that nature and science have to offer) He has over 10 years experience in health, fitness and nutrition. He is a business associate of Dr. Earl Mindell, R.Ph., Ph.D., Dr. Matthew Silver, MD, Dr. Dennis Marr, DDS and Linda Chae (world renown skin care expert). He also publishes the FREE monthly newsletter titled: Healthy Biz Chronicles
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