Friday, December 7, 2012

How Exercise Can Lower Your Cholesterol

How Exercise Can Lower Your Cholesterol

You know that regular workouts are good for you, that's common sense. An exercise program is vital in controlling cholesterol, along with a healthy diet and natural supplements.

What you might not know is why exercise is so important. Read on to discover the link between exercise and cholesterol.

Research Into Exercise and Cholesterol

There's been much research into the effects of diet and exercise on cholesterol. But one of the difficulties is that these studies have analysed the results of both dietary and exercise changes together. This makes it hard to separate the two, and work out what changes might have the optimum results.

The latest research focuses on exercise and the role it plays in maintaining a healthy blood flow and promoting a balanced cholesterol level.

Researchers in the past assumed exercise helped in lowering cholesterol levels. The question now is what form of exercise is the most effective and how it contributes directly to improved levels of cholesterol.

Whatever you're doing to improve your health, you need to know that it's effective. If you're like me, you'll lose interest pretty quickly in something that doesn't give you a good return for the energy you put into it.

Does Being Overweight Make a Difference?

It's clear that reducing your waistline and keeping it off is one of the best things you can do for your health - and your cholesterol. And exercise is a key driver in losing weight.

What happens when you're overweight is that it affects the level and composition of LDL(bad cholesterol) in your blood; high levels can lead to heart disease and other problems.

Importantly, exercise affects the makeup of LDL by producing larger proteins, effectively making them less dense which in turn allows the lipoproteins to move through the blood that much easier. When LDL is smaller and more compact it can easily lodge into the sides of arteries and be difficult to remove by the normal flow of blood.

Regular workouts produce enzymes whose job it is to move the HDL(good cholesterol) efficiently to the liver where it is used for digestion or removed from your body. That's the simple equation, the more exercise you do, the higher quality your LDL and the proportion of LDL to HDL is improved.

Controlling cholesterol, and the link to exercise, in summary:

Creates better quality LDL by producing more protein
Losing weight means less LDL
More efficient transport of HDL with more enzymes

The Next Step

Now that you know how exercise helps with controlling cholesterol, what do you do about it? Does it matter what type of exercise you do? Yes.

Unless you've been off-planet, you'll know that most health authorities recommend at least 30 minutes of exercise a day for optimum fitness. But before rushing off to renew your gym membership, or look for excuses as to why you can't fit that in to your busy schedule, let's take a look at the best form of exercise to take.

A study from Duke University found that intense exercise is better than moderate exercise. No real surprises there, but it helps to know that the regular stroll you plan on taking around the block will only moderately help your cholesterol levels but a more vigorous walk will help even more.

The type of exercise you select is really down to a personal preference. If you dislike going to the gym, don't do it. Find something you enjoy; walking, biking or working in the garden can work just as well as a professionally prepared exercise regime. The important thing is to keep at it, and whatever you are doing, do it just that little bit harder each time.


It should be clear that while exercise is a clear factor in controlling cholesterol, it should be seen as a part of a number of lifestyle changes that are necessary, including dietary changes and natural supplements.

Andrew L. Gibson is just beginning his journey into understanding the causes of high cholesterol and heart disease. He is dedicated to putting the explanations into plain, easy to understand language that everyone can understand.

By understanding the issues, he believes it will be easier for people to create an all-round plan to help in controlling cholesterol which combines diet, exercise and natural supplements.

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Friday, October 12, 2012

Cholesterol Free Diet

Cholesterol Free Diet

If we look around and try to search for foods which are low in or devoid of cholesterol, it's not really that difficult a task. A cholesterol free diet has its origins in the rich flora that Mother Earth offers.

Such food stuffs include fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. People suffering from heart and sleeping disorders should follow a cholesterol free diet.

However, it is said that an outright elimination of any specific nutrient from the body is as harmful as its excessive consumption. In the light of this statement, a low cholesterol diet being a combination of cholesterol free and low-cholesterol foods is largely favored.

In terms of fruits and vegetables, three to five servings everyday are necessary to have a proper balance of nutrients and vitamins. Fresh fruits and vegetables are perfect substitutes for foods with high saturated fats and cholesterol.

Fruits may include an array of apples, mangoes, peaches, bananas, kiwifruit, watermelon and so many more. Similarly, vegetables like potatoes (not fried), gourds, bitter gourds, okra and eggplant are some of the healthy options.

Next comes the turn of whole grains and legumes. From a minimum of 6 to a maximum of 11 servings each day of whole-wheat bread, whole-grain cereal, whole-wheat flour noodles, beans, chickpeas, bean sprouts, Brussels sprouts, etc. are such a better, healthier and fuller choice to keep the stomach satisfied and free from cholesterol. These are low in saturated fat and total fat and have no cholesterol content in them.

Eating whole grains and legumes may come across like a dull and tasteless event. Obviously, due to its 'healthier' way of life, these food materials actually taste regular and not interestingly spicy.

To add some flavor, an olive oil or corn oil dressing with basic healthy herbs of fennel, rosemary, mint and coriander can be used in controllable amount.

Breads, cereals, rice, pasta, and other grains, and dry beans and peas are generally high in starch and fiber and low in saturated fat and calories.

They also have no dietary cholesterol, except for some bakery breads and sweet bread products made with high fat, high cholesterol milk, butter, and eggs.

So, to let the taste buds have some fun and not let the patient go overboard with the famous foodie insanity it is safer to indulge in low-fat dairy products such as half-fat milk, half-fat cream, low-fat yoghurt.

Also, the animal instinct can be satisfied by gorging on white poultry, lean meats and healthier sea-food.

Choose a cholesterol free diet to minimize the risks of a heart failure.

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Friday, June 15, 2012

Time to Define Cholesterol

Time to Define Cholesterol

What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like chemical compound that is naturally produced by the body - a building block for cell membranes and for various hormones.

It is naturally found in our cell membranes in the brain, nerves, muscles, skin, liver, intestines, and heart.

Studies have shown that roughly 80% of the body's cholesterol is produced by the liver; the remaining cholesterol comes from food you eat.

Foods that come from animals (i.e. eggs, meat, dairy products) contain cholesterol while foods coming from plants don't contain cholesterol. Certain foods that are high in saturated fat can also raise your cholesterol levels.

After you eat, cholesterol (from your diet) is absorbed from the intestine and stored in the liver. The liver regulates cholesterol levels in the blood stream and secretes cholesterol when needed by the body.

What's so bad about cholesterol?

Your genetics and diet play a significant role on your LDL (bad), HDL (good) and total cholesterol levels.

As mentioned, the body uses cholesterol to produce many hormones and certain vitamins. But only a small amount of cholesterol is required in the blood to meet these needs.

If there is too much cholesterol in the bloodstream, the excess may be deposited in the arteries.

This can cause narrowing and blockage of arteries which can eventually lead to a stroke or a heart attack.

How do I eat properly to lower my cholesterol?

Consume more of these foods:

· Fish and poultry

· Fruits and (steamed) vegetables

· Baked potatoes

· Egg whites

· Unsaturated vegetable oils: corn, canola, safflower, sesame, sunflower, olive, · ·

· soybean

· Soups (clear)

· Milk (skim, low-fat)

Consume less of these foods:

· Red meat

· Saturated fats: butter, coconut oil, palm oil, lard, bacon fat

· Sausages and organ meats

· Egg yolks and bacon · Refined carbohydrates and sugar

· Whole milk

· Buttered or fried vegetables

· French fries

· Creamed soups

· Pastries, doughnuts

· Junk foods (i.e. potato chips)

Srdjan Popovic is a certified trainer and an opinionated fitness buff. He has created the popular blog Bloom to Fit where he helps readers understand the fundamental concepts of fitness and nutrition. With the right knowledge, anything is possible.

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Foods To Lower Cholesterol

Foods To Lower Cholesterol

“Let Food Be Your Medicine, Not Medicine Your Food.” Hippocrates

High cholesterol levels, more specifically high LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels are a main contributor to heart disease. Foods that lower cholesterol can easily be combined in your diet and will help you not just to reduce but also to manage your cholesterol levels in the long run.

It is now usually assumed what a “heart healthy” diet is and that it can significantly lead to lowering your cholesterol. global nutritional guidelines are now universal and incorporate:
· Eat less fat. Drastically decrease your consumption of saturated fats, and cut out trans fats (“hydrogenated” vegetable oils). Saturated fats can increase total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. substitute them with mono and polyunsaturated fats.
· Substitute meat with lean meat, poultry or fish
· Increase your consumption of fruit and vegetables.
· Substitute refined carbohydrates in your diet with complex carbohydrates.
Let us look at what this means in detail.

Avoid as much as possible or cut out altogether: butter, hard cheese, fatty meat, meat products, biscuits, cakes, cream, lard, dripping, suet, ghee, coconut oil, palm oil, hardened (“stick”) margarine.
Substitute by:
Monounsaturated fats: These fats can lower the LDL level but do not lower the level of HDL cholesterol. You can find them in olive oil, rapeseed oil, avocado, nuts, and seeds such as almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, peanuts, and pistachios.
Polyunsaturated fats: These fats are an essential part of the diet. They can help lower LDL cholesterol (which is a good effect), but they also lower HDL cholesterol. You can find them in corn oil, sunflower oil, soya oil, nuts and seeds such as walnuts, pine nuts, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds.
Oily fish contains omega-3 fatty acids, a particular type of polyunsaturated fat that can help to reduce triglyceride levels in the blood.
Oily fish includes (wild) salmon, halibut, herring, mackerel, pilchards, sardines, lake trout, and tuna.

Limit as much as possible or cut out altogether: fatty or marbled meat and meat products as they are high in saturated fat. Also, avoid roasting or frying.
Replace by: poultry (without the skin), fish, or lean cuts of meat that are best steamed, poached, grilled or boiled.
You can obtain additional protein from soya (soya milk, soya yoghurts, and tofu), beans, and pulses. Beans and pulses are also good sources of fibre.

Fruit and Vegetables:
The benefits of eating above all fresh fruit and vegetables cannot be amplified. Conservative guidance now tells you to eat five portions a day. You really ought to have from seven to 11 portions each day. A portion is roughly a handful.
Among the major benefits of eating fruit and vegetables are:
· Natural antioxidants - they can reduce damage caused by LDL. LDL cholesterol is not very stable. It oxidises easily and can then damage your arterial walls. There is evidence that it is oxidised LDL cholesterol, rather than cholesterol itself, that contributes to cardio vascular disease.
· Soluble fibre provided by fruit and vegetables helps eliminate cholesterol from the intestine.
Avoid as much as possible or cut out altogether refined carbohydrates: white bread, rice, pasta. Refined carbohydrates have been stripped of most nutrients.
Replace by: complex carbohydrates such as whole grain bread, brown rice, wholemeal pasta, oats. Complex carbohydrates contain fibre and other nutrients the body needs.

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I invite you to find out more about specific foods to include in a low cholesterol diet plan. Just click the linkBest Foods To Lower Cholesterol You find more information about various aspects of a diet for high cholesterol at the link Low Cholesterol Diet Plan

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Cholesterol Does Not Cause Heart Disease

Cholesterol Does Not Cause Heart Disease

Cholesterol is an essential building block of every cell in the body, required for all metabolic processes. It is particularly important in the production of nerve tissue, bile and certain hormones. On average, our body produces about half of a gram to one gram of cholesterol per day, depending on how much of it the body needs at the time. By and large, our body is able to produce 400 times more cholesterol per day than what we would obtain from eating 3,5 ounces (100 grams) of butter. The main cholesterol producers are the liver and the small intestine, in that order. Normally, they are able to release cholesterol directly into the blood stream, where it is instantly tied to blood proteins. These proteins, which are called lipoproteins, are in charge of transporting the cholesterol to its numerous destinations. There are three main types of lipoproteins in charge of transporting cholesterol: Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL), Very Low Density Lipoprotein (VLDL), and High Density Lipoprotein (HDL).

In comparison to HDL, which has been privileged with the name 'good' cholesterol, LDL and VLDL are relatively large cholesterol molecules; in fact, they are the richest in cholesterol. There is good reason for their large size. Unlike their smaller cousin, which easily passes through blood vessel walls, the LDL and VLDL versions of cholesterol are meant to take a different pathway; they leave the blood stream in the liver.

The blood vessels supplying the liver have a very different structure from the ones supplying other parts of the body. They are known as sinusoids. Their unique, grid-like structure permits the liver cells to receive the entire blood content, including the large cholesterol molecules. The liver cells rebuild the cholesterol and excrete it along with bile into the intestines. Once the cholesterol enters the intestines, it combines with fats, is absorbed by the lymph and enters the blood, in that order. Gallstones in the bile ducts of the liver inhibit the bile flow and partially, or even fully, block the cholesterol's escape route. Due to back-up pressure on the liver cells, bile production drops. Typically, a healthy liver produces over a quart of bile per day. When the major bile ducts are blocked, barely a cup of bile, or even less, will find its way to the intestines. This prevents much of the VLDL and LDL cholesterol from being excreted with the bile.

Gallstones in the liver bile ducts distort the structural framework of the liver lobules, which damages and congests the sinusoids. Deposits of excessive protein also close the grid holes of these blood vessels (see the discussion of this subject in the previous section). Whereas the 'good' cholesterol HDL has small enough molecules to leave the bloodstream through ordinary capillaries, the larger LDL and VLDL molecules are more or less trapped in the blood. The result is that LDL and VLDL concentrations begin to rise in the blood to levels that seem potentially harmful to the body. Yet even this scenario is merely part of the body's survival attempts. It needs the extra cholesterol to patch up the increasing number of cracks and wounds that are formed as a result of the accumulation of excessive protein in the blood vessel walls. Eventually, though, the life-saving cholesterol begins to occlude the blood vessels and cut off the oxygen supply to the heart.

In addition to this complication, reduced bile flow impairs the digestion of food, particularly fats. Therefore, there is not enough cholesterol made available to the cells of the body and their basic metabolic processes. Since the liver cells no longer receive sufficient amounts of LDL and VLDL molecules, they (the liver cells) assume that the blood is deficient in these types of cholesterol. This stimulates the liver cells to increase the production of cholesterol, further raising the levels of LDL and VLDL cholesterol in the blood.

The 'bad' cholesterol is trapped in the circulatory system because its escape routes, the bile ducts and the liver sinusoids, are blocked or damaged. The capillary network and arteries attach as much of the 'bad' cholesterol to their walls as they possibly can. Consequently, the arteries become rigid and hard.

Coronary heart disease, regardless of whether it is caused by smoking, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, overeating protein foods, stress, or any other factor, usually does not occur unless gallstones have impacted the bile ducts of the liver. Removing gallstones from the liver and gallbladder can not only prevent a heart attack or stroke, but also reverse coronary heart disease and heart muscle damage. The body's response to stressful situations becomes less damaging, and cholesterol levels begin to normalize as the distorted and damaged liver lobules are regenerated. Cholesterol-lowering drugs don't do that. They artificially reduce blood cholesterol, which coerces the liver to produce even more cholesterol. But when extra cholesterol is passed into the bile ducts, it remains in its crystalline state (versus soluble state) and, thereby, turns into gallstones. People who regularly use cholesterol-lowering drugs usually develop an excessively large number of gallstones. This sets them up for major side effects, including cancer and heart disease.

Cholesterol is essential for normal functioning of the immune system, particularly for the body's response to the millions of cancer cells that every person makes in his body each day. For all the health problems associated with cholesterol, this important substance is not something we should try to eliminate from our bodies. Cholesterol does far more good than harm. The harm is generally symptomatic of other problems. I wish to emphasize, once again, that 'bad' cholesterol only attaches itself to the walls of arteries to avert immediate heart trouble, not to create it. This is confirmed by the fact that cholesterol never attaches itself to the walls of veins. When a doctor tests your cholesterol levels, he takes the blood sample from a vein, not from an artery. Although blood flow is much slower in veins than in arteries, cholesterol should obstruct veins much more readily than arteries, but it never does. There simply is no need for that. Why? Because there are no abrasions and tears in the lining of the vein that require patching up. Cholesterol only affixes itself to arteries in order to coat and cover up the abrasions and protect the underlying tissue like a waterproof bandage. Veins do not absorb proteins in their basements membranes like capillaries and arteries do and, therefore, are not prone to this type of injury.

'Bad' cholesterol saves lives; it does not take lives. LDL allows the blood to flow through injured blood vessels without causing a life-endangering situation. The theory of high LDL being a principal cause of coronary heart disease is not only unproved and unscientific. It has misled the population to believe that cholesterol is an enemy that has to be fought and destroyed at all costs. Human studies have not shown a cause-and-effect relationship between cholesterol and heart disease. The hundreds of studies so far conducted on such a relationship have only shown that there is a statistical correlation between the two. And there should be, because if there were no 'bad' cholesterol molecules attaching themselves to injured arteries we would have millions of more deaths from heart attack than we already have. On the other hand, dozens of conclusive studies have shown that risk of heart disease increases significantly in people whose HDL levels decrease. Elevated LDL cholesterol is not a cause of heart disease; rather, it is a consequence of an unbalanced liver and congested, dehydrated circulatory system.

If your doctor has told you that lowering your cholesterol with medical drugs protects you against heart attacks, you have been grossly misled. The #1 prescribed cholesterol-lowering medicine is Lipitor. I suggest that you read the following warning statement, issued on the official Lipitor web site:

"LIPITOR├»ƒ’ (atorvastatin calcium) tablets is a prescription drug used with diet to lower cholesterol. LIPITOR is not for everyone, including those with liver disease or possible liver problems, and women who are nursing, pregnant, or may become pregnant. LIPITOR has not been shown to prevent heart disease or heart attacks.

"If you take LIPITOR, tell your doctor about any unusual muscle pain or weakness. This could be a sign of serious side effects. It is important to tell your doctor about any medications you are currently taking to avoid possible serious drug interactions..."

My question is, "Why risk a person's health or life by giving him/her a drug that has no effect, whatsoever, in preventing the problem for which it is being prescribed?" The reason why the lowering of cholesterol levels cannot prevent heart disease is because cholesterol does not cause heart disease.

The most important issue is how efficiently a person's body uses cholesterol and other fats. The body's ability to digest, process and utilize these fats depends on how clear and unobstructed the bile ducts of the liver are. When bile flow is unrestricted and balanced, both the LDL and HDL levels are balanced as well. Therefore, keeping the bile ducts open is the best prevention of coronary heart disease.

[This is an excerpt from the book 'The Amazing Liver and Gallbladder Flush' by Andreas Moritz]

Andreas Moritz is a writer and practitioner in the field of Integrative Medicine. He is the author of 13 books on various subjects pertaining to holistic health, including The Amazing Liver and Gallbladder Flush, Timeless Secrets of Health and Rejuvenation and Cancer Is Not a Disease. His most recent book is titled 'Vaccine-Nation: Poisoning the Population, One Shot at a Time.

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