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Cholesterol, why do we need it?
Our bodies need cholesterol, it can be described as a sort of fat and it is found in our blood vessels and the cell membranes. Cholesterol is primarily manufactured in your blood vessels after you eat your food. The highest production of cholesterol comes from saturated fats, so it has to be manufactured as not much cholesterol is found in food apart from liver, kidney and eggs.
Why do we need cholesterol?
Our bodies uses cholesterol to manufacturer other vital substances like hormones in our bodies. Lipo proteins carry both the good and the bad cholesterol (triglycerides) in particles which are associated with protein around the body.
Lipo protein is a particle whose core consists of cholesterol and triglycerides in different amounts, it has an outer wrapping of carrier proteins called apoliproteins and phospholipids.
These lipoproteins consist of two form of cholesterol
Coronary heart disease is caused when the arteries going to the heart narrow as a result of a fatty coating build up over time on the arterial walls; this condition is what we call atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. This process has an adverse effect on blood flow to the heart and can lead to a heart attack.
The intake of fat into the body has a significant impact on the level of LDL, this level will rise when taking in too many foods which contain saturated fats, and on the other hand polyunsaturated fats can be beneficial to your LDL level.
Bad cholesterol-the causes:
By far too much saturated fat in your diet is the main cause high LDL levels, in some case under-active thyroid, chronic or renal failure can cause the LDL level to rise, and another condition familial hypercholesterolemia which is a way of removing cholesterol from the blood has stopped working efficiently.
A simple blood test will determine what your cholesterol levels are.A fasting blood test will measure cholesterol and triglyceride levels in your blood, the test is sometimes called a lipoprotein profile or lipoprotein analysis. The test results will give a total cholesterol reading eg, HDL, Good cholesterol, LDL Bad cholesterol
Should we worry if our cholesterol is above 5?
According to the medical profession your cholesterol shouldn’t be above 5, normally they will prescribe statin drugs to bring it below 5 or recommend a change in your diet. Generally, the highest risk of coronary heart disease is high cholesterol; we must also include a lack of physical activity, high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking and high levels of obesity.
We must also consider a bad family history of heart disease as a risk, or if you have already had a heart attack, stroke or angina, poor blood circulation in the legs. These risks can accumulate as we get older and need to be addressed.
Food can lower cholesterol in a variety of ways, some foods contain soluble fibre, soluble fibre function is to pull together cholesterol and its precursors and excrete them from the body. Some foods contain polyunsaturated fats these lower LDL.
Wheat bran, wheat germ, vegetable oils, almonds peanuts, peanuts (corn, sesame, canola and olive oil), Brussels sprouts contain plant stanols and sterols. Lesser amounts of plant sterols are found in other fruit and some vegetables. It is difficult to get enough plant sterols/stanols from foods, food companies have started to add stanols or plant sterols into some of their food products, like mayonnaise,vegetable oil spreads, milk yogurt, cereals, snack bars and orange juice orange juice. Read more on how to reduce your cholesterol naturally here.
(a) For breakfast try having a bowl of oatmeal, oatmeal contains 1-2 grams of soluble fibre, you can add some fruit like banana or strawberries for an extra half gram, nutritionists recommend 25-30 grams per day.
(b)Try whole grains like oats and barley, again these contain the soluble fibre which helps protect you against heart disease.
(c)Another great source of fibre are beans, you will feel fuller for longer because beans take longer to digest. If you are trying to lose weight beans like kidney beans, black eyed peas, lentils, and legumes. Beans come with other health benefits like increasing gut bacteria and decreasing blood sugar levels.
Changing to a diet to lower your cholesterol takes time and preparation; hence the reason people take a simple statin prescribed by their doctor for convenience despite the known side effects. The shopping list for the foods needed for the cholesterol lowering diet will need to be adhered to as you may want to try and vary the foods that will work in lowering cholesterol naturally. I’m all in favour of using natural methods to reduce cholesterol, I especially recommend trying Serrapeptase as it is known to be a natural effective way to lower cholesterol naturally.
Serrapeptase is a wonderful natural enzyme,I have used it for over a year. I take one 250,000 IU tablet each morning on an empty stomach,my cholesterol has reduced by 50% in eight months.Thanks to Serrapeptase!
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