|What can you do to improve your cholesterol levels? Here’s a quick list to get you started.
* Reduce fat in your diet
Buy the leanest cuts of meat you can find. Regularly substitute poultry (without the skin) and fish for red meat. Both are lower in saturated fat. Switch to low fat cottage cheese and yogurt, reduced fat hard cheeses and skim or 1 percent milk.
* Eat no more than four egg yolks a week
An average egg yolk contains 213 milligrams of cholesterol!
* Eliminate fried foods
Don’t fry foods. Roast, bake, broil, grill or poach them instead. Use fat free marinades or basting with liquids like wine, tomato or lemon juice. Use olive or canola oils for sautéing or baking. Both are very low in saturated fat. Use diet, tub or squeeze margarines instead of regular. Watch for the term “hydrogenated,” which means some of the fat is saturated.
* Eat vegetables and complex carbohydrates Lowest fat foods of all are vegetables, fruits, grains (rice, barley and pasta), beans and legumes. Try substituting some of these for meat and high fat dairy products. Don’t douse your pasta with butter or your potato with sour cream. Use tomato base sauces instead of cream base. Use lemon juice, low sodium soy sauce or herbs to season vegetables. Make chili with extra beans and seasonings while leaving out the meat.
* Lose weight
If you are overweight, the chances are almost 100
hat you have a problem with high cholesterol. You can lower your LDL and elevate your HDL just by dropping some pounds.
* Nuts to you!
Do you like nuts? If you do, sprinkle a few on your cereal, bake them into muffins or pancakes or add them to casseroles or stir-fries. Walnuts and almonds are especially good. Eating about three ounces of walnuts a day is shown to decrease blood cholesterol levels by 10ore than an already low fat, low cholesterol diet.
* Eat chocolate
Aha! All you chocoholics rejoice! Studies indicate that the fat in chocolate is stearic acid and has no effect on cholesterol levels. The chocolate does not increase LDL and could raise HDL a wee bit. But chocolate is still high in fat and calories so don’t go overboard.
* Drink fruit juices
Apparently some of the non-alcoholic ingredients in red wine raises HDL and suppresses the body from producing LDL. Purple grape juice works the same way. The LDL lowering effect of red wine and grape juice comes from a compound that grapes produce normally to resist mold. The darker the grape juice, the better. Grapefruit juice does the same thing and it may also help your body get rid of nasty plaque.
* Eat garlic
Cholesterol lowering effects of garlic have been demonstrated repeatedly in people with normal and high cholesterol. Eat all the garlic you can. It also seems to raise the HDL levels as well. If you are worried about the odor, take the tablets instead.
* Take niacin - carefully
It is proven effective for lowering LDL and raising HDL. It is also one of the cheapest drugs available for lowering cholesterol. But, without medical supervision it may not be totally safe. A dose high enough to lower cholesterol can cause extremely high blood sugar or liver damage.
* Take vitamin E
Studies indicate that vitamin E may have a positive impact on lowering cholesterol when taken in fairly large quantities - up to 800 IU per day. This is more than you can get from your diet alone. Larger amounts do not seem to cause any harm. Further studies showed that even amounts of just 25 IU per day helps in preventing LDL from sticking to blood vessel walls. That amount is only slightly higher than the recommended daily amount (RDA) of 12 to 15 IU. It’s interesting to note that even that small amount has an impact on preventing that hardening of the arteries.
* Take Calcium
One study indicates that when 56 people took a calcium carbonate supplement, their total cholesterol went down 4 percent and their HDL increased 4 percent. That was taking a dosage of 400 milligrams of calcium three times a day with no harmful effects reported. That does refer to calcium carbonate.
* Take Vitamin C
It is the number one immune system booster and also drives up HDL. A study of people who took more than 60 milligrams of vitamin C per day (60 milligrams is the RDA) had highest HDL levels.
* Fill up on fiber
As little as three grams per day of fiber from oat bran or oatmeal can be effective. There are other sources of fiber as well such as barley, beans, peas and many other vegetables. Pectin, which is found in fruits like apples and prunes, reduces cholesterol even better than oat bran, as does psyllium which is the fiber you find in many breakfast cereals and bulk laxatives.
* Quit smoking
Smoking promotes the development of atherosclerosis. Tobacco smoke is actually more damaging to the heart than the lungs. Smokers have a higher chance of having a heart attack (three times greater than nonsmokers) and a greater risk of dying of the attack (twenty one times greater than nonsmokers.) Even if you have smoked for years, stopping now can still immediately help combat the development of atherosclerosis.
* Reduce sugar intake
Many people don’t realize that sugar affects cholesterol and definitely affects triglycerides. Sugar stimulates insulin production, which in turn increases triglycerides. Men in particular, seem to be sensitive to this effect from sugar. The mineral chromium which helps to stabilize blood sugar, can also raise the level of HDL. 100 mcg of chromium three times daily can help to improve your cholesterol levels.
* Exercise regularly
There is positive evidence that exercise can lower LDL cholesterol and boost HDL cholesterol. Both aerobic exercise such as walking, jogging, swimming, bicycling and cross country skiing and strength training like lifting weights or using weight machines all promote the improvement of cholesterol levels.
* Eliminate caffeine
We Americans definitely have a love affair with our coffee! People who drink large amounts of caffeine (more than 6 cups a day) are far more prone to elevated cholesterol. That connection does not hold for tea drinkers. Limit your coffee intake to no more than one cup a day and eliminate caffeinated sodas entirely.
About the author:
Ken Shorey is owner of http://vibranthealthnow.com
VibrantHealthnow.com provides ebooks and information
to help you improve your health.
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