Cholesterol: Good ? Bad ?
What is CHOLESTEROL?
Cholesterol is a sterol or fatty substance with waxy characteristics found in the blood and nerve tissue. It is an extremely important fat for the development of hormones, vitamin D, protection of nerve cells and cell membranes! To make a long story short, despite any media criticism, cholesterol is vital to health.
Did you know: All meat averages around 25g cholesterol per ounce? It does not matter if you buy a lean or fattier cut and dietary absorption of cholesterol varies between 20-60% depending on the person
High cholesterol associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) use to be calculated by the low-density lipoprotein count (LDL). However, with recent research has concluded that measuring the ratio between high density lipoprotein (HDL or ‘good’ cholesterol) and total cholesterol (TC)
Ideally HDL/TC = >0.24
Ways to lower cholesterol naturally
Focus on a lower cholesterol diet: The liver is the major source for blood cholesterol, but diet can be a significant factor especially if your body type absorbs up to 60%! A plant based diet is one that contains no cholesterol as it is found in animal products such as meat, eggs and dairy. Give attention to fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes and whole grains and lower your animal intake
Niacin flush: Niacin (B3) is a vitamin that naturally lowers blood cholesterol. The side effect for taking a high dose is flushing throughout the body. Niacin opens the blood vessels, bringing oxygen and blood to all areas. There may be a slight burning sensation that will begin in the face and ears as there will be optimal blood flow. Drinking water will help lessen the side effects. Start with taking 50mg per day and working your way up!
Start using garlic – and more of it: Garlic had protective factors against heart disease and has been proven to lower blood cholesterol levels! Use fresh garlic when sautéing vegetables, in marinades and seasoning savoury foods
Increase soluble fibre: Diets high in soluble fibre are associated with low cholesterol levels. Soluble fibre can be found in fruits, vegetables and legumes as well as whole grains. Increase these foods in your diet