by Dr. Blessing Anyatonwu, D.C., M.S.
1. Ditch “low-fat” diets
Many people suggest a low cholesterol, low fat diet. A diet low in cholesterol is best for someone with high cholesterol, after all our liver makes cholesterol and when you add the excess cholesterol that we take in from our diets, you can see how that may increase levels. I disagree with any low fat diet. Our bodies need fats to function, so instead of a “low fat diet” that decrease levels of all fats opt for an anti-inflammatory fat diet.
2. Anti-inflammatory Diet
An anti-inflammatory fat diet consists of fats found in the Mediterranean diet. These fats are found in plants and fish and help the body regulate levels of harmful fats like Trans fats and high levels of saturated fats. These fats especially Trans fats (which should be avoided like the plague) ramp up inflammation in the body. Trans fats are found in processed and packaged foods, commercially baked foods and fast food. Trans fats disturb the natural balance of fat in your body and increase inflammation. These fats were created in a lab to help preserve food and improve shelf life, it is not found in nature
3. Eat Saturated Fats in Moderation
Saturated fats have gotten a bad reputation and are found in dairy and red meat products. These fats are best when eaten in moderation, especially if you have high cholesterol linked to genetics.
4. Eat Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fatty acids are found in fish (herring, salmon, and mackerel) and can help restore the normal balance of fats in your body. If you don’t like fish you can always find a high quality fish oil supplement. I use and recommend Nordic Naturals, it provide a healthy dose of your omega 3- fatty acids without the fishy after taste.
5. Eat Heart Healthy Fats
Monounsaturated fats are found in avocados, olive oil, cashews, almonds, pecans and macadamia nuts. These fats help decrease inflammation, your risk for breast cancer, cholesterol levels and your risk for heart disease and stroke.
Eating foods rich in polyunsaturated fats can have a beneficial effect on your health by helping your body balance fats. It does this by reducing cholesterol levels in the blood and reducing your risk of heart disease.
6. Add Soluble Fiber
Soluble fiber, binds excess cholesterol in the body and helps reduce the level of cholesterol found in the blood. It is found in bananas, apples, citrus fruits, oats, bran, lentils, broccoli, carrots and peas.
7. Sleep and Stress Management
Not getting enough sleep and unmanaged stress can lead to unhealthy behaviors that affect cholesterol levels. These behaviors include eating an unhealthy diet, smoking, drinking and inactivity.
Lack of sleep can lead to an increase in the buildup of calcium in our arteries; this build up can form plaques, increase inflammation and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. Psychological stress has been shown to trigger increased cortisol and cholesterol levels.
8. Stop Smoking
Smoking increases your risk of high cholesterol and damages the lining of your arteries.
9. Exercise regularly.
Regular exercise boosts heart health, supports immune system health and lowers your risk of heart disease and stroke.
If you are interested in finding out more ways to manage your cholesterol naturally you can send me an firstname.lastname@example.org