Cholesterol is fat- like product, produced by the liver, in all mammals. It is a waxy substance and is required to maintain cell membrane permeability and fluidity. Cholesterol is found in products such as meat, butter, and milk. There are two types of cholesterol. High-Density Lipoproteins and Low-density Lipoproteins. The low-density lipoproteins constitute the highest percentage of our body’s cholesterol. Due to its high levels, it poses the risk of building up in the arteries causing cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks.
The high-density lipoproteins help carry the plaque away from arteries back to the liver, for breaking down.The need to reduce levels of cholesterol has necessitated the use of various methods. This includes the use of drugs and natural methods. It has however been proven that some of the cholesterol- reducing drugs have side effects. This has pushed people to seek natural remedies to reduce cholesterol in their bodies.
The following are some of these natural remedies.
Exercise requires a lot of energy. This energy that comes from sugars, fats, and proteins. When all the sugar and protein is used up, fats need to be converted into useable forms of energy. The liver, therefore, causes the high-density lipoproteins (good cholesterol) to go around the body collecting all the low-density lipoprotein and converting it into energy. Increased exercise leads to increased need for energy thus burning more fat which if left to accumulate, can cause serious cardiovascular diseases.
Eat a low-fat diet
Eating a lot of saturated fats, increases the amount of cholesterol in your blood stream. Examples of foodstuffs that have high levels of saturated fats include butter, cream, yogurt among others. Though these products can be consumed, they should be consumed in moderation. Vegetables and plant- based foods also go a long way in reducing fats in our body. Such include cereals, fruits, vegetables, soya drinks among others.
Eat soluble fiber
Soluble fiber binds to cholesterol removing it from the body. Fiber is found in foods such as yams, sweet potatoes, and legumes such as beans and vegetables such as carrots.Plant stanols or Plant sterols- Though these are found in small amounts, they can also help reduce saturated fats in our bodies. They help prevent absorption of fats from the intestines.
Moderate alcohol consumption
When consumed in moderate amounts, alcohol can help reduce the levels of fats. It helps increase the levels of high-density lipoproteins.
Losing weight consequently results in the reduction of cholesterol levels. Apart from diet and exercise, individuals who don’t want to use statin drugs can use supplements.
These include the following.
Fish oils – Fatty fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel have fats that produce fish oil. These contain Omega- 3 fatty acids which help cut fats by almost 30%.Niacin- This is a B vitamin that has long been associated with keeping your body healthy.
Niacin is considered helpful in increasing the levels of high-density lipoproteins in the body.
Fiber supplements– As already established, fiber helps reduce fat levels in our bodies. This is achieved through absorption of saturated fats for its removal. These include methylcellulose, psyllium and Wheat Dextrin.
DHA– These supplements are meant for individuals who are vegetarians. An individual who is allergic to white or red meat can use these supplements. An example is the Algal DHA, extracted from some microscopic algae. This supplement provides the same health benefits provided by fish.
Herbal supplements – Mother Nature has provided us with various herbs that can help reduce the levels of cholesterol in our bodies.
Examples of herbal supplements include; Green Tea- Green Tea leaves have been identified among the herbs that lower triglycerides because of its fat- burning and calorie- reducing properties. This tea is said to contain a particular chemical called catechins which prevent absorption of cholesterol in the intestines. Cinamon- Cinamon contains essential oils, vitamin A, B, zinc, among others, all of which help reduce fats. Cinnamon helps improve blood circulation and influences the metabolism of carbohydrates. This ensures that such carbohydrates cannot be converted into fats that would block arteries.
– These capsules help reduces low- density lipoproteins while increasing the levels of high- density lipoproteins. They help lower the heart rate and blood pressure thus reducing the risk of heart attacks. The capsules contain natural herbs.
Whichever choice of means of reducing cholesterol, one should consider various factors. Try natural products in case prescription products cause serious side effects, but above all, have a positive attitude and be committed to the task of lowering the cholesterol level in your body as your life may depend on it.