Make a 2012 Resolution to Lower Yours
New Year's Eve is a time for looking back to the past, and more importantly, forward to the coming year. It's a time to reflect on the changes we want to make and resolve to follow through on those changes.
This is an opportunity to follow through on your promise to yourself to lower your cholesterol. Here are some steps for success. First, determine what your goal should be.
Cholesterol is a waxy chemical compound produced in the liver to provide the body’s cells with the needed fluidity and flexibility for proper function. It is also one of many substances needed to create several of the body’s essential hormones. It is important to have and maintain the correct cholesterol ratio within the body for optimal health. This means you need the right amount of HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) and LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) for your body to properly function.
Your body naturally makes the right amount of LDL cholesterol needed to perform what it needs to within the body. Therefore the LDL cholesterol we consume in meats and other animal products as well as saturated fat is above and beyond what we need for our health. This can then lead to high cholesterol levels within the blood that can lead to the health problems associated with heart disease. We also need to consume foods high in HDL cholesterol, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains to obtain a healthy good cholesterol level.
There are many risk factors when it comes to high cholesterol such as inactivity, obesity, smoking, high blood pressure, and diabetes. For those in a high risk category most doctors will set a target LDL cholesterol level of 70, those of more moderate risk equates to should target about 120, and for those in a low risk category around 150.
Next, reduce intake of saturated fat and cholesterol. To effectively lower high cholesterol, saturated fat levels need to be kept below 10 percent of your total calories. Cholesterol should not exceed 25 percent of total calories consumed.
Eat more fiber. Soluble fiber is one of the best weapons against high cholesterol. This is because soluble fiber absorbs cholesterol as it passes through the digestive system. Good sources of soluble fiber are oats, barley, flax, as well as fiber products containing psyllium.
Eat more fish. Fish and fish oil are full of cholesterol-lowering omega 3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids lower LDL cholesterol levels. Supplements are widely available, or you can add them to your diet by eating more fatty fish such as salmon, as well as nuts like almonds. Fish oil supplements can have a dramatic effect on cholesterol and triglycerides.
Triglyceride is a type of fat that is used for quick energy. It is stored within the fat cells of the body, and our hormones regulate the release of triglyceride into the blood when needed. High triglyceride can cause heart disease and arthrosclerosis as well as other medical conditions, which make it important for you to achieve and maintain a normal triglyceride level. Those with high cholesterol levels often have high triglyceride levels as well, adding extra health risks.
Get off the couch. Half an hour of daily doctor-approved exercise should be an integral part of any serious cholesterol reduction plan. Moderate daily exercise such as hiking, dancing, walking or biking all have been shown to reduce bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol (HDL) levels. Maintaining your ideal weight is important for good health, including maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. Don't get overwhelmed if you have a lot of weight to lose; according to the Mayo Clinic even losing five pounds can reduce your cholesterol levels.
If you haven’t already, quit smoking. Smoking has many negative effects on health, including raising HDL cholesterol levels. Fortunately, the body is capable of reversing much of the damage from smoking, so investing the effort to stop is well worth it.
Swap your fats. Use olive and canola oil while cooking and eat low-fat dairy products and lean meats. Rather than just adding these to your diet, replace corn oil, butter and higher fat foods with these options. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, soft margarine is healthier than stick margarine, and margarine spreads that contain plant sterols may actually improve cholesterol levels. Stay away from saturated fats and partially hydrogenated oils.
Our sixth and final step for finding the quickest way to lower cholesterol naturally is to implement a natural cholesterol reducing supplement. Changing from an unhealthy diet to a healthy diet can reduce cholesterol levels. However, dietary changes alone rarely lower a cholesterol level enough to change a person's risk of cardiovascular disease from a high-risk category to a lower-risk category, but any extra reduction in cholesterol due to diet will help.
An excellent cholesterol supplement that does include many of the important ingredients is Cholesterol Complete&™ (click here to view). It’s a powerful all-natural formula that targets both types of cholesterol; LDL (low density lipoprotein) and HDL (high density lipoprotein). LDL is the cholesterol you should be most concerned with, it is the "bad” cholesterol that clogs arteries and raises blood pressure. HDL is the "good” cholesterol that helps remove LDL from the body and reduces the risks of heart attack and stroke. This formula can get results (often 40 pts. in 40 days!).
An excellent cholesterol supplement that include many important natural ingredients is Cholesterol Complete™ (click here to view). It’s a powerful all-natural formula that targets both types of cholesterol; LDL (low density lipoprotein) and HDL (high density lipoprotein). LDL is the cholesterol you should be most concerned with, it is the “bad” cholesterol that clogs arteries and raises blood pressure. HDL is the “good” cholesterol that helps remove LDL from the body. You’re supporting healthy cholesterol with 100% natural approach!