Today I was speaking to a friend of mine who is dealing with Cholesterol issues and she wanted to know how to naturally maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Patricia, this is for you and for everybody wanting to regulate cholesterol levels.
First off there are a few things you must know about Cholesterol.
For starters, did you know that over 70 percent of your cholesterol is produced by your liver? Your liver in turn is affected by your insulin levels which can cause health issues in people whose insulin levels are not optimal.
A great way to maintain healthy Cholesterol levels is to perfect your body’s good insulin levels, by doing so you will help your body naturally regulate your cholesterol and lower high blood pressure. An interesting fact to note is that in people who consume a diet rich in processed junk foods, sugar and carbohydrates their bodies begin to produce higher levels of insulin and leptin which in turn cause high blood pressure.
To discuss these issues it is important that you follow-up with your holistic practitioner or family doctor so they can do the appropriate tests to determine insulin and leptin levels. Adjusting diet is key to maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. To keep our bodies healthy and to maintain optimal levels we should eat good daily amounts of animal fat, protein, greens, avocados, coconut oil, fermented vegetables and we follow a stick grain free diet.
Another important piece of information surfaced about 10 years ago but still many patients and doctors do not take it into consideration. Research has shown that the size of your LDL particles puts you at greater risk for heart disease and heart attack.
“Everybody agrees that patients with a preponderance of small LDL particles are at significantly greater risk for heart disease,” says Dr. K. Lance Gould, a cardiologist at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston.
There is a simple test that can be done to determine the size of your cholesterol particles. This is important to know because the large LDL particles are good for our health. However things turn messy when there is a greater presence of small, dense LDL particles as these lead to heart disease.
The test is called a subfraction analysis and can cost anywhere from $300 to $600 in the US. Most insurance companies do not cover the cost of this test unless the patient already suffers from heart disease. However in other countries around the world, the cost for this test is significantly less. In Ecuador for example, at a private clinic the test may cost you around $30-$75 US dollars. So if you are planning a vacation to a country outside of the US you should research with the local department of health or private facilities to find out where you can have the test done.
Another important factor in maintaining healthy cholesterol is diet and exercise. Regarding exercise, a brisk walk for 20-30 minutes several times a week is ideal. Below are a few important foods and supplements that are used around the world to help lower bad cholesterol.
Organic Unrefined Hemp Seed Oil – I recommend the brand Nutiva.
Coconut Oil – In smoothies and over cooked dishes
Raw Sprouted Almonds – I recommend the ones available on Blue Mountain Organics
Gelatin – In soups and hot dishes
Daily Soluble Fiber – In your vegetables and legumes, organic is preferred
Leafy Greens Especially Collard leaves – In salads and smoothies, organic is preferred
Raw Foods – Organic is preferred
Garlic – Organic is preferred raw and in capsules
As a last resort if you must take statin drugs there is a natural alternative that does not carry the side effects that statin drugs do. The supplement is Organic Red Yeast Rice extract. However, just like statin drugs, Red Yeast Extract also lowers your levels of Coenzyme Q10 which is necessary for proper functioning of the muscles and the cardiovascular system. So if you are thinking about taking Red Yeast Rice its imperative you supplement with a high quality Coenzyme Q10 like the only available through Garden of Life. Many doctors are starting to recommend Red Yeast Rice extract as a safer alternative to normal statin drugs, but keep in mind it acts the same minus the side effects so it should be left as a final approach.
Finally, if you are looking for a place to shop for the above mentioned supplements online, Vitacost is a great site to purchase organic and natural foods and supplements. They ship to many countries around the world and shipping in the US is often free with a small order. For a $10 coupon on your first purchase from Vitacost click here.
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