Posted by: Joe Nuss on Oct 10, 2011
Healthy Option to Lower Cholesterol
Television commercials for medications aimed at lowering cholesterol in the blood are prevalent. The particular class of medication, statins, is often touted as a “wonder drug” in the battle against heart disease. In fact, medical professional are debating lowering the recommended LDL (bad cholesterol) levels in the blood even more. It’s a move that could put even more people on statin medications, which come with a host of side effects, including headaches, nausea, constipation, muscle weakness and pain, and in some cases liver and kidney stress, failure or both.
Before turning to a pill to improve your health, you should be aware that several natural or holistic options can also combat high cholesterol without the negative side effects. Some of the best options for lowering cholesterol are:
· FRUITS AND VEGETABLES: Fresh or frozen produce contains phytonutrients that help to prevent and repair cellular damage. They are scavengers for free radicals, which help to protect our blood vessels. It is important to remember that fruits and vegetables are most beneficial when they are in their raw state. When cooking vegetables the best method to keep nutrients and enzymes from being destroyed is lightly steaming.
· WHOLE GRAINS, BEANS, LEGUMES, NUTS AND SEEDS: Fiber is important in maintaining or reaching ideal cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber’s job is to bind to LDL, which is eventually excreted from our systems. Soluble fiber sources include nuts, beans, legumes and oats, among others.
· FISH: The American Heart Association recommends eating fatty fish like salmon at least twice a week. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish help to lower the risk of heart disease.
· SUPPLEMENTS AND HERBAL TREATMENTS: Red yeast rice with CoQ10 as well as plant sterols help to naturally lower cholesterol levels. Always consult with a health professional before starting any supplement routine.
· STAYING ACTIVE: Being active has been shown to raise the good cholesterol and lower the bad. If you do not currently incorporate physical activity into your daily routine, start with small steps, such as taking a 15-minute walk every day, and work up from there.
It’s important to keep in mind that cholesterol has positive and essential roles within our bodies. Turning to a cholesterol-free diet and avoiding even healthy fats is not a safe method of health care. Make sure you’re monitoring your cholesterol levels, and if they are elevated, taking steps toward a heart-healthy diet and exercise routine should be the first line of defense.