As a wellness expert, I hear the following statement a lot: “I have high cholesterol. I don’t like medicine but I’m afraid that if I don’t take it, I’ll have a heart attack one day.” Good news, you do not need to live in fear. In fact, you’ll be very glad that you’re NOT taking cholesterol medication, when you read the following…
Statins, the common cholesterol-lowering medication, tries to “fix” the problem by stopping the body from making cholesterol. But the cause of high cholesterol is rarely an overproduction. The cause is the body’s inability to get rid of excess unhealthy cholesterol.
What does this mean? Medication covers the problem, but does not really fix it.
How can cholesterol be lowered truly, and naturally?
1. Incorporate cholesterol-lowering foods
2. Have your digestive system evaluated so you absorb what you eat!
First, let’s take a look at some foods that lower cholesterol. In 2009, a Harvard publication stated that in order to regulate cholesterol levels people need to add foods that lower LDL, the harmful cholesterol-carrying particle that contributes to artery-clogging atherosclerosis. While at the same time, cutting back on foods that boost LDL. The article suggests incorporating the following cholesterol lowering foods into one’s diet:
- Oats. Studies have proven that soluble fiber-rich foods like oats help lower cholesterol by binding cholesterol and its precursors in the digestive system and dragging them out before they get into circulation. To lower LDL, try starting your day with some delicious, gluten-free rolled oats!
- Beans. Beans are also incredibly rich in soluble fiber. And they take longer to digest, meaning that your body will feel fuller for a longer period of time. Try a garbanzo bean salad for lunch!
- Nuts. Numerous studies have shown that eating almonds, walnuts, peanuts, and other nuts is good for the heart. Harvard suggests eating 2 ounces of nuts a day to lower LDL.
- Apples, grapes, strawberries and citrus fruits. These fruits are rich in pectin, another form of soluble fiber that regulates cholesterol levels.
- Fish. Harvard suggests eating fish two or three times a week to lower cholesterol levels. Eating fish replaces meat, which has cholesterol-boosting saturated fats. It also provides you with a dose of Omega-3s which are known to reduce triglycerides in the bloodstream.
Having your digestive system evaluated could also help lower your cholesterol levels. Why? Cholesterol is necessary for digestion. The human body uses it to synthesize bile acids, which help the digestion of fats. Did you know that bile is made of cholesterol? It is the bile that gives poop a color. The darker brown your poop is the more bile it contains. If bile is not being produced, then cholesterol is not being removed from the body and high cholesterol levels can result. That’s why it is so important to ensure that your digestive system is functioning properly. Diarrhea or constipation are good indicators for digestive issues. If you experience regular digestive issues have a health practitioner asses your system. Perhaps supplements or a detox are needed to increase bile production.
To Happy and Healthy Hearts!