Cholesterol is a type of fat found in your blood. It is a waxy type of lipid, a substance that is insoluble in water, like oil or fat. Specifically, cholesterol is a type of fat that is made up of four interlocked rings of carbon called a steroid. Cholesterol is found in every single cell of our body.You need cholesterol to help your brain, skin, and other organs grow and work the way they should. But too much cholesterol in the blood can clog the arteries that carry blood around your body. People with high cholesterol might need to take medicine to lower the amount that floats around in their blood. If cholesterol builds up in a person’s blood vessels over many years, it might lead to:
- A heart attack that can damage the heart
- A stroke that can damage the brain
Both kids and adults can have too much cholesterol in their blood.
There are two main types of cholesterol: LDL and HDL. The cholesterol blood test tells how much of each kind you have.
Most cholesterol is LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol. This type is most likely to make something called plaque that can clog a person’s arteries. Plaque keeps blood from flowing through the body the way it should. People often call LDL cholesterol “bad cholesterol.”
HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol doesn’t clog arteries. HDL cholesterol removes cholesterol from the blood vessels and carries it back to the liver, where it can be processed and sent out of the body. That’s why people often call HDL “good cholesterol.”
Foods with cholesterol include:
Foods that don’t have cholesterol:
grains (like oatmeal)
It’s OK to eat some food with cholesterol. You just don’t want to eat too much.
If you have had a cholesterol test and discovered that you have high cholesterol, don’t worry there is help.
Who is affected by High Cholesterol
Raised or unhealthy patterns of blood cholesterol affect many people. Many factors play a part including:
the genes you inherit from your parents
your diet and lifestyle
whether you are male or female
your medical history
Having unhealthy cholesterol levels alongside other risk factors for heart and circulatory disease such as smoking or high blood pressure can put you at very high risk of early heart disease.
Cholesterol Reducing Foods:
*Omega-3 fats – Foods high in omega-3 fats can help increase HDL cholesterol and reduce risk of cardiovascular disease.
*Foods high in soluble fiber – Soluble fiber binds cholesterol in the digestive system causing it to be excreted by the body. Include plenty of fruits, vegetables, sprouted nuts and seeds and other fiber rich foods.
*Olive oil – Helps raise HDL cholesterol.
*Garlic and onions – These two cholesterol reducing foods help lower LDL cholesterol because of their sulfur containing compounds which help cleanse the arteries.
*Herbs – Add a variety of spices such as basil, rosemary and turmeric to your food which contain antioxidants that are cardio-protective and help lower cholesterol naturally.
Foods that Raise Cholesterol:
Avoid these bad cholesterol foods at all costs:
*Sugar and refined carbohydrates – Both stimulate the liver to produce more cholesterol and increase inflammation.
*Alcohol – Also stimulates the liver to produce more cholesterol, increasing cholesterol levels and inflammation. A glass of red wine per day may be cardioprotective, but anything more than that will increase your cholesterol.
*Hydrogenated fats – Vegetable oils are pro-inflammatory and may increase cholesterol.
*Caffeine – Too much caffeine can increase cholesterol. Limit coffee or tea to no more than 1-2 cups per day.
*Trans fats – Increases LDL cholesterol, inflammation, and risk of cardiovascular disease.
Top 5 Cholesterol Lowering Natural Remedies
Taking the right supplements and natural remedies can help lower cholesterol levels if combined with a healthy diet.
#1 Fish Oil (1,000mg – 2,000 mg daily)
EPA and DHA (omega-3 fats) found in fish oil help reduce overall cholesterol levels.
#2 CoQ10 (200-300 mg daily)
If you are on cholesterol lowering medications, take CoQ10 daily because these medications decrease levels of this important enzyme.
#3 Niacin (1,500 mg daily)
Niacin (vitamin B3) reduces LDL cholesterol by 25% and increases good cholesterol by 35%
#4 Red Yeast Rice (1200 mg 2x daily)
Reduces cholesterol by up to 32%. Take with CoQ10 to prevent deficiency.
#5 Garlic (500 mg daily)
Increases HDL cholesterol and lowers total cholesterol.
Exercises to Balance Cholesterol
Exercise with weight training and burst training can boost HGH (human growth hormone) which can improve HDL cholesterol and lower LDL cholesterol.
Essential Oils for Cholesterol
Lavender essential oil has been proven to lower cholesterol levels because it decreases emotional stress. Cypress oil lowers cholesterol because it improves circulation and rosemary oil reduces cholesterol because of it’s unique anti-oxidant properties and is cardio-supportive.