Cholesterol is a substance that is found naturally in the body. It is essential in the body, but when we have more than we need, it can become a problem. Cholesterol in the body comes from two sources. The majority comes from the body's natural production of cholesterol from the liver, with about a third coming from the diet. About half of the cholesterol we eat (dietary cholesterol) is absorbed by the body.
There are two types of cholesterol: Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and High-density lipoproteins (HDL). LDL is known as the “bad” unhealthy cholesterol as it can build up in artery walls, causing problems. HDL is known as the “good” healthy cholesterol as it benefits the body. Having high LDL levels, or low HDL levels, isn't good for your body, particularly your heart. You can check your cholesterol levels at home with Accutrend Plus Glucose/Cholesterol Monitor or have them checked by a GP.
Got high cholesterol? Here are some top tips for getting your levels back on track:
Exercise! As with many health problems, exercise helps. It is aerobic exercise that is found to lower cholesterol. Even a brisk walk uphill will help.
Don't smoke! Smoking has been shown to significantly lower healthy HDL levels. If you smoke, try some ways to help you quit the habit.
Follow a low fat, low cholesterol diet! At least most of the time, but do not deny yourself pleasurable foods. Moderation is the key. You don’t have to eat perfect – just better. Cholesterol is ONLY found in foods that come from animals. If it doesn’t come from an animal – it doesn’t have cholesterol. Decrease saturated animal fats such as butter, ice-cream, chocolate and the fattier red meats. Trans fatty acids, found in highly processed foods, are to be avoided like the plague. Good fats that lower cholesterol are found in fish, walnuts, flax and hemp oil, avocado, nuts and seeds.
Try Herbal Supplements! Try herbal supplements that can improve the LDL:HDL cholesterol ratio. Supplements available include Blackmores Cholesterol Health, Totally Natural Cholesterol Eze and Bioglan Cholesterol Guard.
Increase your dietary fibre: Fibre has been shown in multiple studies to help with the mopping up effect of cholesterol. However not all oats have been created equal. The Nordic oats used in Betaglucare have been shown to have a better bile mopping up effect than regular oats. Another beta-glucan based product which has just arrived on our shelves is the Blooms cholesterol balance Beta-glucan Powder.
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