Cholesterol is like a lot of things in life: it’s necessary, important even, but too much of it can be a bad thing. Cholesterol is made in your liver and does some pretty important things in your body. For example, it is responsible for keeping the walls of your cells flexible. Cholesterol is also needed to make several hormones.
Cholesterol moves around your body via specialized molecules called lipoproteins, which carry cholesterol, fat and fat-soluble vitamins in the blood. Different lipoproteins do different things to/for your health.
Low-density lipoproteins (LDL or the “bad” cholesterol) transfers your cholesterol and deposits it within the walls of your blood vessels. This obviously leads to clogged arteries, heart attacks and strokes.
In contrast, high-density lipoprotein (HDL or “heavenly” cholesterol) helps carry cholesterol away from vessel walls and helps prevent these diseases.
So, what can you do to increase the “good” HDL cholesterol and lower the “bad” LDL cholesterol? Keep reading to find out.
But first, a note about dietary cholesterol.
No, Virginia, Dietary Cholesterol Does Not Raise Your Cholesterol Levels
We’ve all been lied to. For many, many years. We were told that eggs and butter and other saturated fats from animal products were bad for us because they raised our cholesterol levels. And so, we all went on low-fat diets and ate egg-white omelets.
And what happened?
We got fat, developed diabetes and had way more heart attacks than when we were eating lard and fatty meats every day.
The truth about dietary cholesterol is, it does NOT raise your cholesterol levels. So go ahead, eat the egg yolks, eat butter and lots of it because it’s actually very good for you
Now, moving on…
5 Ways to Naturally Lower Your Cholesterol
1. Avoid Trans Fats
Now if we want to talk about dietary fat that everyone should avoid, let’s talk about trans fats. Trans fats are unsaturated fats that have been modified by a process called hydrogenation. This is why you always hear the term “hydrogenated oils” or “partially-hydrogenated.”
This process makes the unsaturated fats in vegetable oils more stable. Food companies love using these trans fats in their pastries and cookies because it gives the food a more desirable texture.
Unfortunately, trans fats wreak havoc on the body and are notorious for increasing total cholesterol and LDL. Even worse, they decrease the good HDL cholesterol. That’s a lose/lose/lose.
One of the best ways to lower your bad cholesterol level is to cut out processed foods from your diet that contain trans fats. The biggest culprits are:
- Breakfast sandwiches
- Fried fast foods
- Microwave popcorn
- Cream-filled candies
- Frozen pizza
Hey, I’m just the messenger, don’t shoot me. Yes, admittedly, many of these are delicious foods. But they’re killing you slowly so knock it off and cut them out.
2. Eat More Soluble Fiber
Soluble fiber is a compound found in plant foods. It dissolves in water but humans can’t digest it. But while you the person reading this can’t digest it, the billions of bacteria living in your intestines can digest it. In fact, soluble fiber is important to the health and well-being of your gut flora.
So why should you care about taking care of these minuscule bacteria that live inside of you? Because they reduce the bad LDL cholesterol. In a study of 30 adults, each taking 3 grams of soluble fiber supplements daily for 12 weeks, results found LDL levels decreased by 18%.
Excellent sources of soluble fiber include beans, peas and lentils, fruit, oats and whole grains. Fiber supplements like psyllium are also safe and inexpensive sources.
Honestly, when it comes to great health, exercise is pretty much the best thing you can do for yourself. Not only does consistent exercise improve your physical fitness, and help you lose and maintain weight, it also decreases bad LDL cholesterol while increasing good HDL cholesterol.
And, when it comes to exercise, the more you do it (duration as well as intensity), the more the benefits go up. So whereas someone who walks for 20 minutes 3 times a week will see shifts in cholesterol levels, exercising for longer and at higher levels of intensity for more days a week will only increase those benefits.
Be sure to speak with your doctor about starting an exercise program and start slow.
4. Quit Smoking
You’ve no doubt heard that smoking is bad for your heart, but do you know why this is? Smoking changes the way your body handles cholesterol. The immune cells in smokers are unable to return cholesterol from vessel walls to the blood for transport to the liver. This is actually caused by tobacco tar and not nicotine.
The moral of the story is, if you don’t smoke, don’t ever start, and if you do smoke, QUIT ASAP!!
5. Drink in Moderation
It’s true that drinking in moderation is good for our health. Limited alcohol consumption increases HDL and reduces the risk of heart disease. Alcohol has the ability to reverse cholesterol transport, meaning it takes cholesterol from your arteries and sends it back to the liver. Kind of like a “return to sender” function.
Okay, so what does moderation mean exactly? Because your moderation may differ from someone else’s. For women, one drink a day, for men no more than two.
Staying healthy can be tricky because there is so much disinformation out there. You really need knowledgeable people on your side who will share the truth with you.
Well, you’re in luck, because two doctors have written a book that exposes so many of the health myths that have been circulating around. Beyond this, they have shared the exact protocols that have helped their patients reverse many chronic conditions, including hypertension, diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
If you want to actually know what causes disease and what cures it, pick up your copy of The Natural Cures Blueprint today.