You often never hear anything good about cholesterol, but it actually has some very important functions in the body.
Cholesterol is a fatty, wax-like substance that helps the brain and nervous system operate normally, and it's used to make cell walls, hormones and vitamin D.
Too much cholesterol in the blood is what creates a problem. A risk factor for both heart attack and stroke, high blood cholesterol increases the chance of plaque or blockages developing in arteries.
Lowering blood cholesterol can slow or stop the buildup of plaque. While your risk of cardiovascular disease depends on many factors, from genetics to lifestyle habits, keeping your blood cholesterol levels within ideal ranges can greatly lower your risk.
Consider some dietary changes, such as drinking green tea and eating more soluble fiber (oat bran), foods rich in omega* 3 fatty acids (salmon, sardines, walnuts), and leafy greens and fresh fruits. Foods like onions, garlic, chili peppers and shiitake mushrooms all have some cholesterol lowering effects. Reduce your intake of saturated fats.
That means fats of animal origin, in addition to palm and coconut oils, margarine, vegetable shortening and all products made with partially hydrogenated oils of any kind. (Keep in mind that your body makes its own cholesterol. Eating saturated fats increases that production.) Also, cut out coffee, black tea and cola.
Try to bring your cholesterol under control with a low* fat diet and daily exercise (at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity). These changes are essential to any cholesterol* lowering program, no matter what supplement or drug you take.
Cholestin is a natural supplement product with a very long history of traditional use Traditional Chinese Medicine. Cholestin comes from a strain of red yeast (Monascus) that is used as a natural flavoring and food coloring in Chinese cooking.
The active component, Lovastatin, is also the key ingredient in an allopathic drug called Mevacor, an FDA* approved cholesterol drug available by prescription. Cholestin can be found in a health food store.
Tips for Lowering Cholesterol
1. Substitute 2 egg whites for 1 whole egg in baking
2. Try lean ham, Canadian bacon, turkey bacon and reduced fat sausage and bacon instead of regular sausage and bacon.
3. Season vegetables with lemon, garlic, onion, chives or pepperinstead of animal fat.
4. Have cooked dry beans and peas instead of meat occasionally; or substitute for part of the meat in casseroles.
5. Bake, broil or boil with liquid vegetable oils in place of animal fat.
6. Eat moderate portions (3* 4 ounces) rather then large servings of lean meats and poultry.
7. Select lean cuts of meat and trim visible fat; remove skin from poultry.
8. Try reduced fat or fat free varieties of milk, cheese, ice cream, sour cream and yogurt.
9. Enjoy all types of seafood, including shellfish and canned fish packed in water.
10. Make an egg omelet using egg whites and either one or no egg yolk.
Limiting Saturated Fat is Most Important
The cholesterol found in food (called dietary cholesterol) ,can raise your blood cholesterol. Only foods that come from animals contain cholesterol.
Egg yolks, organ meats, and whole milk dairy products are especially high in cholesterol.
To keep dietary intake of cholesterol at the recommended level of 300 milligrams (mg) per day or less:
* Avoid organ meats.
* Limit egg yolks to 4 per week.
* Eat no more than 6* 8 ounces of meat/poultry/ seafood per day.
* Choose fat free or low fat dairy products.
* Limiting dietary cholesterol is beneficial, but reducing saturatedfat intake is a much more effective way to lower blood cholesterollevels.
* Saturated fats are usually solid at room temperature. They are found primarily in animal fats like poultry, beef, or dairy fat. Two vegetable oils, palm and coconut, are also highly saturated, as are hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated (solid) vegetable shortenings.
* Unsaturated fats that include monounsaturated (olive and canola oils) and polyunsaturated fats (safflower and sunflower oils) are the healthiest choices.
Fiber, Flaxseed, Garlic, Guggul
Dietary fiber is the part of a plant that is resistant to the body's digestive enzymes. Only a relatively small amount of fiber is digested or metabolized in the stomach or intestines. Most of it moves through the gastrointestinal tract and ends up in the stool. Although most fiber is not digested, it delivers several important health benefits.
First, fiber retains water, resulting in softer and bulkier stools that prevent constipation and hemorrhoids. A high* fiber diet also reduces the risk of colon cancer, perhaps by speeding the rate at which stool passes through the intestine and by keeping the digestive tract clean.
In addition, fiber binds with certain substances that would normally result in the production of cholesterol, and eliminates these substances from the body.
In this way, a high* fiber diet helps lower blood cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease.It is recommended that about 30* 60 percent of your total daily calories come from carbohydrates.
If much of your diet consists of healthy complex carbohydrates, you should easily fulfill the recommended daily minimum of 25 grams of fiber. About 2 slices of whole wheat bread and 2 glasses of dissolvable fiber (psyllium husk, pectin and guar gum) a day equals the requirement for lowering cholesterol levels.
Flaxseed oil is derived from the seeds of the flax plant. Flaxseed oil and flaxseed contain substances that promote good health and is used as a nutritional supplement. It is rich in omega* 3 fatty acids, especially alpha* linolenic acid, which appears to be beneficial for heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, cholesterol and a variety of other health conditions.
Flaxseed also contains a group of chemicals called lignans that may play a role in the prevention of cancer. Take 1,000 mg of flaxseed oil in the morning and 1,000 mg in the evening.
Garlic. So much research has been done on the great benefits of garlic. In Europe, garlic has come to be seen as an all* around treatment for preventing atherosclerosis, the cause of heart disease and strokes. Garlic may fight atherosclerosis in many ways, such as protecting against free radicals, countering the tendency of the blood to clot, and possibly reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Preliminary evidence suggests that regular use of garlic may help prevent cancer. Garlic may be an effective antibiotic when it contacts the tissue directly, but there is no evidence that it works like a standard antibiotic, spreading throughout the body and killing organisms everywhere.
Garlic has known antifungal properties,and there is preliminary evidence suggesting that Ajoene, a compound derived from garlic, might help treat athlete's foot. Garlic has also been proposed as a treatment for asthma, candida, colds, diabetes, and vaginal infections.
Garlic oil products are often recommended for children's ear infections. While these products may reduce pain, it is very unlikely that they have any actual effect on the infection because the eardrum is in the way.
Contrary to some reports, garlic does not appear to be a useful treatment for Helicobacter pylori, the stomach bacteria implicated as a major cause of ulcers. One clove a day or 900 mg a day is recommended.
Guggul (gum guggul) is a resin produced by the mukul mirth tree. Guggulipid is extracted from guggul and contains chemicals called “plant sterols” (guggulsterones E and Z), which are believed to be active in the human body.
Experts from UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, found that the extract blocks the body's Farnesoid X Receptor (FXR). This receptor plays a key role in managing cholesterol levels by triggering the process in which the body converts cholesterol to bile acids.
It this process happens too quickly the body is not able to get rid of enough cholesterol, leaving levels high and increasing the risks of heart disease. The researchers said their findings, published in the latest issue of Science magazine (May 2002), could pave the way for the use of guglipid in new cholesterol* lowering drugs.
Guggul is a resin known to increase white blood cell counts and possess strong disinfecting properties. A wide range of actions makes this plant very helpful not only in protecting against the common cold, but also in various skin, dental and ophthalmic infections.
In addition, Guggul has long been known to lower cholesterol and triglycerides, while maintaining or improving the HDL to LDL ratio. Standard guggul extracts contain 5% guggulsterones which tanslates to a dose of 500mg three times a day.
Blood Lipid Guidelines
Desirable… …….<200 mg/dl
Borderline High…..200 * 239 mg/dl
High…….. ……..> 240 mg/dl
Optimal….. …….<100 mg/dl
Above optimal….. .100 * 129 mg/dl
Borderline high….130 * 159 mg/dl
High…….. …….160 * 189 mg/dl
Very High…….. ..>190 mg/dl
Low……… …….<40 mg/dl Male
………… …….<45 mg/dl Female
Optimal….. …….>60 mg/dl Male/Female
Normal…… ……<150 mg/dl
Borderline.. …….150 * 199 mg/dl
High…….. …….200 * 499 mg/dl
Very High…….. ..>500 mg/dl
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