The right amount of cholesterol is needed for optimal health. Yet the high levels of free radicals in our environment increase the possibility that the cholesterol in our bloodstream may oxidize. For these and other reasons, we do not want too much cholesterol in our bloodstream. Both high and low cholesterol increase risk to certain cancers. Just as we want the right amount of hormones, we want the right amount of cholesterol as well. Too much and too little are equally undesirable. Can you be thin and still have high cholesterol? See How?
People still say cholesterol is bad! Which cholesterol are they talking about?
- The cholesterol in freshly prepared animal products is harmless. If you eat more cholesterol, your liver, which naturally makes about seven eggs worth of cholesterol per day, will automatically make less.
- The cholesterol in dried milk, aged cheese, cake mixes, or aged meats, however, should be avoided. It is oxidized and unhealthy. check to know how keto diet can stabilize your cholesterol level?
- The cholesterol in your blood is fine as long as it is protected with the right antioxidants and is present in the right ratio of HDL to cholesterol ratio.
Here are some of the Essential Nutrients and food items that help you lower your Cholesterol:
A recent study conducted by the WHO concluded that inadequate vitamin E consumption is the single biggest risk factor for heart disease. Vitamin E is another powerful preventer of cholesterol oxidation. Vitamin E and Vitamin A levels together could be used to successfully predict 73% of the ischemic heart disease mortality in one study of Europeans aged forty to forty-nine. Not only does vitamin E keep cholesterol from sticking to artery walls, but it lowers cholesterol levels as well. Food items rich in Vitamin E are Avocado, nuts, fish, green leafy vegetables, vegetable oil.
Beta – Carotene is the orange-yellow pigment found in fruits and vegetables. It plays a very important role in the prevention of heart and artery diseases. It is found in significant amounts in carrots, sweet potatoes, yellow and orange peppers, apricots and green leafy vegetables. Ultra-low fat diets may not allow for adequate Beta-Carotene absorption.
The fiber in oat bran, psyllium husks, and flax meal decreases cholesterol levels. Increase consumption of all fiber-rich foods including beans, legumes, raw nuts, fruits, and vegetables enable the body to reduce cholesterol. Organic Flax meal is the best food supplement to increase fiber intake.
Fermented Dairy Products and Beneficial Bacteria
The Masai tribesmen of Africa eat copious amounts of saturated fats. They take blood from animals and mix it with fermented milk, and yet their cholesterol levels are low. Protective factors in fermented products like curd, yogurt appear to have a similar cholesterol-lowering effect. Certain strains of beneficial bacteria like Lactobacillus acidophilus have also been found to lower cholesterol. High – quality acidophilus products are recommended preferably in the refrigerated powder form.
Many studies show that nuts are a valuable source of nutrients that help the body metabolize cholesterol effectively. Both Walnuts and Almonds have been proved to have positive effects and should be eaten raw and fresh right from the shell for maximum benefit. Nuts should be refrigerated and purchased from organic growers wherever possible. See the health benefits of walnuts.
Fruits & Vegetables
Fresh produce, while a good source of vitamins and minerals, may be most valuable as a source of a group of non-vitamin antioxidant compounds known as bioflavonoids and polyphenols. These substances powerfully protect against cholesterol oxidation. While it is a good idea to supplement with vitamins such as C, E, and Beta-Carotene, it is also important to consume five servings per day of fruits and vegetables.
Foods such as capsicum (red or cayenne pepper), garlic, onions, ginger, turmeric and a wide variety of other spices have been found to lower cholesterol, nourish the heart, thin the blood, and prevent cholesterol oxidation.
If you fail to consume optimal amounts of B complex vitamins, an artery-damaging amino acid known as homocysteine can form in your blood. According to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, 42% of cerebrovascular disease and 30% of those with cardiovascular disease have elevated homocysteine levels. Patients with even slightly elevated levels of homocysteine have over three times the risk of a heart attack.