Tuesday, December 30, 2008

5 Ways To Lower Cholesterol

5 Ways To Lower Cholesterol

High cholesterol is a condition that can be treated one of two ways; through lifestyle changes based on diet and exercise and in more extreme cases with prescription drugs used in conjunction with the first two.

No matter the ways used to lower cholesterol not taking care of the problem creates dangers that can be life threatening. Raised cholesterol levels can lead to atherosclerosis (a hardening of the arteries), which puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke.

If you have been diagnosed with high cholesterol here are 5 ways you can lower your levels without the use of prescription drugs.

1. Eat a healthy diet – Your diet has a large impact on your cholesterol levels. A diet low in Trans fats and saturated fats is key because these two substances are the biggest contributor to high blood cholesterol levels. This change alone can have a large impact on what you levels do.

2. Start exercising – Exercise builds up your cardiovascular system which is essential to reversing the dangerous effects caused by high cholesterol.

3. Quit smoking – Smoking accelerates the rate at which dangerous plaques build up in your arteries. These plaques block the flow of blood causing your heart to work harder and raising your blood pressure. This can cause a heart attack or if a plaque breaks loose it can cause a clot and a stroke.

4. Reduce stress – Learning to relax can have a positive effect on cholesterol levels. Stress can contribute to high levels of cholesterol even when you are eating a low fat low cholesterol diet.

5. Visit with your doctor – As more is learned about cholesterol and its effects on your health doctors are becoming more in tune with the proper way to treat this dangerous problem. Most doctors will recommend changes in diet and exercise before they prescribe cholesterol lowering medications. In more extreme cases drugs will be prescribed along with lifestyle changes. In many cases once your cholesterol is under control there is a good chance that medications can be discontinued.

If you adhere to these 5 ways to lower cholesterol you will soon see an improvement in your levels along with your overall health.

By: Andrew Bicknell

Article Directory: http://www.articledashboard.com

Monday, December 15, 2008

Choosing Food To Eat To Lower Cholesterol

Choosing Food To Eat To Lower Cholesterol

There are two types of cholesterol that circulate through the body's blood stream; LDL or low density lipoproteins and HDL or high density lipoproteins. LDL is considered bad and HDL is considered good because of the way they work in the body. High levels of LDL cholesterol are a leading factor for increasing the risk of heart disease while HDL cholesterol is known to reduce this risk.

One of the easiest ways to control this is by choosing food to eat to lower cholesterol. It really can be that easy; just some simple dietary changes can have a profound effect on your cholesterol and your health. But then your mom always told you you are what you eat.

In this "fast food" world there has never been a truer statement. There are many foods that you can eat to significantly lower bad LDL blood cholesterol levels.

1. Eat more fiber rich foods, particularly oat bran, barley, and wheat bran. These high fiber foods are not only key to helping lower cholesterol levels but they are also good for proper bowl function and help to lower the risk of colon cancer. Most fruits and vegetables also contain good amounts of fiber and they are cholesterol free.

2. Beans and lentils are also high fiber foods that contain a substance known as lecithin, which has been shown to help reduce LDL's.

3. Snack on raw carrots. Carrots contain a large amount of a fiber called pectin which has been shown to lower cholesterol. Fruits such as apples, citrus fruits, strawberries, and raspberries also contain pectin.

4. The Japanese have long used shitake mushrooms in many of their meals, and for good reason. Rich in a compound called lentinan that not only helps in the fight against high cholesterol it also helps boost the immune system.

5. Use more garlic in your recipes. Garlic has many health benefits, one of which includes the substance allicin which is believed to help rid the body of LDL cholesterol. Scientific studies have shown that eating one clove a day can reduce cholesterol levels by 10%-15%.

6. Nuts such as walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, and almonds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are known to significantly lower levels of LDL cholesterol while raising good HDL levels.

7. Sesame seeds, celery, lettuce, asparagus, spinach, tomatoes, ginger, squash and strawberries contain a cholesterol fighting compound known as phytosterols.

8. Omega-3 fatty acids. These are some of the most powerful natural cholesterol reducers health researchers have found. Seafood such as salmon, tuna, and sardines are rich in omega-3s. It can also be found in safflower, canola, soybean, and olive oil which are all also good sources of monounsaturated fats.

9. Saponin, a substance found in alfalfa sprouts, is thought to reduce and inhibit the formation of cholesterol forming plaques in the arteries.

These are all food to eat to lower cholesterol naturally and in most cases simply eating healthy and exercising will give you the results you need. Only in extreme cases where cholesterol is dangerously high will your doctor prescribe drugs. But it is important to consult with your doctor to determine the best course of action if you do suffer from high cholesterol.

By: Andrew Bicknell

Article Directory: http://www.articledashboard.com

Monday, December 1, 2008

Cholesterol High Foods And Heart Disease

Cholesterol High Foods And Heart Disease

If there is one word that is associated with potentially life threatening health issues it is cholesterol. There are numerous TV and print advertisements espousing the benefits of the latest cholesterol reducing drug and for good reasons.

High levels of this naturally occurring substance are associated with increased risks of heart disease and stroke. Knowing this has caused many people to avoid cholesterol high foods in their attempt to mitigate the harmful effects it can cause.

But just what is cholesterol and where does it come from?

Cholesterol, unbeknownst to many, is actually produced by the body, mostly in the liver, and is necessary for proper bodily functioning. In fact roughly 80% is made by the body with the other 20% coming from dietary sources. Or at least that’s the way it used to be. With our more "fast food" dietary lifestyle cholesterol has become a major health care issue.

Without cholesterol our bodies would be unable to function properly. It is primarily used to make cell membranes and makes them stable and durable.

It is particularly important in the formation of nerve tissue, brain cells, and the spinal cord. It is also used to make bile which is an important part of the digestive process in the absorption of fat soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K. And certain hormones would not be able to be made without it.

Unfortunately our modern diet has given us to much of a good thing. While high cholesterol foods such as meat, eggs, and whole fat dairy products should be eaten in moderation it is the preponderance of foods high in saturated fats and Transfats that are the bigger culprits.

Fried foods, snack foods, processed foods in a box, and just about anything containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oils all fall into this category.

In fact scientific studies have shown that foods high in these types of fat have a greater impact in blood cholesterol levels then eating just foods that are high in cholesterol.

This does not mean that eating a diet of high cholesterol foods is a good idea but it is more important that you avoid the saturated fat and Transfats that are so common in our diet these days.

As cholesterol levels build up in the blood stream they get to the point where the body cannot use all of it. When this happens it will start to deposit along the arterial walls creating plaques and causing atherosclerosis, which is a hardening and narrowing of the arteries.

These plaques can cause blockages in blood flow which can lead to a heart attack or they can break free as a clot and get lodged in the smaller vessels of the brain causing a stroke.

Maintaining normal cholesterol levels through a healthy diet and lifestyle that includes exercise is the best way to prevent these risks.

Just remember that cholesterol is a necessary substance we all need but it is important to eat cholesterol high foods in moderation and avoid those foods that are in high saturated fats and Transfats to avoid the risk of heart disease.

By: Andrew Bicknell

Article Directory: http://www.articledashboard.com