How to Lower Cholesterol Naturally 

 

how to lower cholesterol naturally

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a waxy or fatty substance that is vital for many bodily functions, especially to produce hormones, help make vitamins, and build and repair cells.

The liver makes the cholesterol needed by the body and it is also obtained from animal foods like meat, poultry and dairy.

The two major types include low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, also known as LDL cholesterol or “Bad Cholesterol”, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, also known as HDL cholesterol or “Good Cholesterol”.

For those who have high levels of the bad type of cholesterol, the hopeful news is that a large number of health conditions caused by high cholesterol can easily be prevented with simple lifestyle improvements consisting of diet, exercise, and natural remedies.

Why it’s important to keep cholesterol in check 

Too much bad cholesterol (LDL) in the blood increases the risk of plaque build ups (fatty deposits) in the artery walls and may result in atherosclerosis, a condition where arteries become narrow and hard. This may cause a number of heart and blood vessel-related (cardiovascular) conditions such as heart attack and stroke.

How to lower cholesterol by natural means 

Naturopathic medical science is a type of healthcare that integrates proven traditional methods with modern treatment. It encourages the body to heal itself from within using several alternative natural therapies. The best part is that it focuses not only on suppressing the symptoms, but it also addresses the underlying causes to eliminate a symptom at its root.

Natural medicine practitioners take into consideration each and every factor that might be linked to developing high cholesterol. They help bring cholesterol to healthy levels through lifestyle choices, healthy eating, and medicinal foods and herbs.

The following sections will address how one can lower cholesterol to healthy levels from a natural medicine point of view.

Lifestyle changes to reduce cholesterol  

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the most prevalent risk factors of heart disease and stroke are unhealthy lifestyle choices that may include physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, excess use of alcohol, and tobacco use. The effects of these lifestyle factors may show up as raised blood cholesterol, obesity, and overweight, among others (1).

Eating more vegetables and fruits, quitting smoking, reducing salt intake, avoiding consumption of alcohol, and adopting regular exercise have been found to be highly effective in reducing the risk of developing high cholesterol and obesity as well as cardiovascular diseases (1).

A review of related studies that was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 1991 showed that making healthy improvements with exercise and diet can significantly reduce levels of the “bad” cholesterol. These changes reduced the risk of developing heart and blood disease in most adults (2).

Diet to lower cholesterol naturally  

Dietary changes are the first and foremost step we can take to bring cholesterol levels to a healthy range. Eating foods that contain high fiber and healthy types of fats are highly beneficial in reducing cholesterol in the blood.

Developing a healthy diet includes:

Avoiding trans fats 

Trans fats, also known as trans fatty acids (TFAs), are fats found in vegetable oils that have been industrially modified through a process called hydrogenation to make them more stable. Hydrogen has been infused into these fats.

Processed foods and foods that contain trans fats such as margarine and hydrogenated vegetable oils (like hydrogenated soybean oil and cottonseed oil), are unhealthy. Highly processed foods with these fats include chips, cookies, candy, ice cream, fast foods and processed meats.

Whole, single foods such as vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts, seeds, yams, potatoes, and healthy oils like olive and coconut oil, are great for one’s health and cholesterol. Especially leafy greens, salmon and sardines.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), eating foods that contain trans fats increases the risk of developing stroke and heart disease by raising LDL (bad) cholesterol and lowering HDL (good) cholesterol levels in the body (3).

For this reason, the World Health Organization (WHO) made an international call to eliminate artificial (industrially produced) trans fats from the food supply globally by 2023 (4).

Eating more soluble fibers 

Soluble fibers are roughage parts of plant derived foods that absorb water and create a semi-solid substance in the gut and also help remove harmful solid fat molecules from the digestive tract.

Soluble fibers nourish healthy microbiomes in the gut and help eliminate LDL cholesterol from the human body. Healthy microbiomes are beneficial bacteria that live in the digestive tract. Good sources of soluble fibers include lentils, beans, peas, fruits, and a number of whole grains, particularly oats.

A study published in 1999 has shown that various dietary soluble fibers can reduce bad LDL and total cholesterol by similar amounts (5).

Adding more omega 3 fats into the regular diet

Omega 3 fatty acids have been found to be beneficial for reducing LDL (bad) cholesterol and increasing HDL (good) cholesterol. Good sources include fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon, and sardines, olive oil, various nuts especially walnuts and almonds, avocados, and flaxseed oil.

The British Journal of Nutrition found that replacing unhealthy fats with omega 3 fats reduced total cholesterol levels within 8 weeks (6).

Natural remedies for high cholesterol  

There are plenty of herbs and foods that have been used as natural remedies for high cholesterol for decades. Most popular natural remedies for high cholesterol may include garlic, psyllium, flaxseed, ginger, and more.

Natural herbs and foods have a long history of therapeutic use, and multiple scientific studies have also substantiated their traditional uses in lowering cholesterol and improving heart health naturally.

Here are five of the best natural remedies for high cholesterol:

Garlic 

Garlic is considered one of the most beneficial herbal remedies and has been widely used as an effective therapeutic ingredient to lower cholesterol across nearly all cultures throughout the world.

A 2013 review published in the Nutrition Reviews concluded that garlic can be used as an effective alternative to lower cholesterol in people who have slightly elevated cholesterol levels. Garlic was highly tolerable in all trials, it was associated with minimal side effects, and had higher safety levels than conventional cholesterol-lowering medications (7).

Psyllium 

Psyllium is rich in soluble fibers derived from the husks of seeds from a plant botanically known as Plantago ovata. It has a miraculous ability to alleviate cholesterol and blood sugar levels in the body. It also helps relieve constipation.

A research review published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2018 has confirmed that psyllium has the property to reduce LDL cholesterol and delay the process of atherosclerosis (clogged arteries).  Psyllium lowered the risk of cardiovascular diseases in people with or without higher levels of cholesterol (8).

Flaxseed

Flax is a flowering plant majorly grown in temperate zones in mild weather. The seeds and the oil extracted from them both contain a considerable amount of omega 3 fatty acids that show many health benefits including lowering LDL cholesterol and increasing HDL cholesterol in the body.

Ginger

Ginger is widely used in the natural medicine system for its potent anti-inflammatory actions. It showed significant beneficial effects in reducing bad cholesterol levels in the human body.

A 2008 study in the Saudi Medical Journal showed ginger can lower bad fats and raise the good ones (9).

Berberine 

Berberine is a naturally occurring compound found in many plants, particularly in a shrub group called Berberis. Berberine is found in the roots, stems, and bark of various plants, including goldenseal, barberry, and Oregon grape, and has potent anti-inflammatory benefits. It shows cholesterol-lowering effects of the bad type.

Summary

These are some proven ways to lower cholesterol naturally but there are more. For anyone who suspects or has been told they have high cholesterol, it’s best to seek out a naturopathic doctor or nutritionist so they can customize the best natural remedies for each individual.

In the meantime, have the person get outside for some good walks, put some garlic in their meals, avoid fast food and highly processed foods, and eat more salmon, walnuts and vegetables.

References:

  1. World Health Organization. “Cardiovascular Diseases.” int, World Health Organization: WHO, 2019, www.who.int/health-topics/cardiovascular-diseases#tab=tab_1.
  2. Barnard, R. James. “Effects of Life-Style Modification on Serum Lipids.” Archives of Internal Medicine, vol. 151, no. 7, 1 July 1991, pp. 1389–1394, jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/article-abstract/615295, 1001/archinte.1991.00400070141019.
  3. American Heart Association. “Trans Fats.” heart.org, 23 Mar. 2017, www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/fats/trans-fat.
  4. Li, Chaoyang, et al. “Global Surveillance of Trans-Fatty Acids.” Preventing Chronic Disease, vol. 16, 31 Oct. 2019, www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2019/19_0121.htm, 5888/pcd16.190121.
  5. Brown, Lisa, et al. “Cholesterol-Lowering Effects of Dietary Fiber: A Meta-Analysis.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 69, no. 1, 1 Jan. 1999, pp. 30–42, 1093/ajcn/69.1.30.
  6. Ulven, Stine M., et al. “Exchanging a Few Commercial, Regularly Consumed Food Items with Improved Fat Quality Reduces Total Cholesterol and LDL-Cholesterol: A Double-Blind, Randomised Controlled Trial.” British Journal of Nutrition, vol. 116, no. 8, 14 Oct. 2016, pp. 1383–1393, www.cambridge.org/core/services/aop-cambridge-core/content/view/S0007114516003445, 1017/s0007114516003445. Accessed 19 July 2020.
  7. “Validate User.” oup.com, academic.oup.com/nutritionreviews/article/71/5/282/2460203?login=false.
  8. Jovanovski, Elena, et al. “Effect of Psyllium (Plantago Ovata) Fiber on LDL Cholesterol and Alternative Lipid Targets, Non-HDL Cholesterol and Apolipoprotein B: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 108, no. 5, 15 Sept. 2018, pp. 922–932, 1093/ajcn/nqy115.
  9. Alizadeh-Navaei, Reza, et al. “Investigation of the Effect of Ginger on the Lipid Levels. A Double Blind Controlled Clinical Trial.” Saudi Medical Journal, vol. 29, no. 9, 1 Sept. 2008, pp. 1280–1284, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18

Studies on Essential Fatty Acid Benefits and a Great Chart

Greetings to you,

Included below is a fascinating chart with a wealth of info on essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids are natural, healthy fats the body cannot make on its own — hence the term “essential”.  These are called Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats.  Omega 3 fats are things like salmon and other fish, fish oil, olive oil, avocado, seeds and green vegetables.

Omega 6 fats include vegetable oils like safflower oil and corn oil, as well as mayonnaise, fried foods, dairy and beef.  Many people eat more Omega 6 fats than Omega 3’s and when the balance between the fats becomes imbalanced, many health problems can occur.

One study of people with dry eyes was recently published in the journal “Cornea”.  They were given a daily dose of fish oil and flax oil.  At the end of the 90-day study, 70% of the participants with dry eye had no symptoms and also had an increase in tear production and volume.

In a recent study from the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, researchers in Norway proved that eating salmon has a positive impact on good sleep and overall daily functioning.  In this study, 95 males were divided into two groups: one that ate salmon three times per week, and the other group that ate an alternative meal (chicken, pork or beef). During the 6 month study period, their quality of sleep was measured in several ways including the amount of time needed to fall asleep, and the actual time spent sleeping in bed vs. their time awake.

The results showed that eating fish had a positive impact on sleep in all the ways it was measured. The researchers mentioned that fish is a source of the amino acid tryptophan, which is a precursor for melatonin, and that other studies have found tryptophan in foods increases sleepiness in the evening. The fish group also reported better daily functioning, alertness and performance.

Regarding arthritis, in the journal “Proceedings of the Nutrition Society,” researchers analyzed several controlled trials of fish oil for arthritis.  The trials showed a reduction in tender joint counts and a decreased use of anti-inflammatory drugs with fish oil supplementation.  An important research note was that anti-inflammatory drugs can adversely affect the heart.  Fish oil is known to have a direct, positive effect on the heart.

To your good health,

Jobee Knight
Nutrition Breakthroughs
Maker of natural sleep aids and joint relief products
Toll-free: 888-861-0326

essential fatty acids benefitsProvided by NutritionBreakthroughs.com

Benefits of Essential Fatty Acids: Healthier Joints, Eyes, Heart

Fish Oil CapsulesEssential fatty acids are natural, healthy fats the body cannot make on its own:  hence the term “essential”.  These are called Omega 3 fats and Omega 6 fats.  Omega 3 fats are things like fish, fish oil, olive oil, avocado, seeds and green vegetables.  Recent research studies are finding these fats benefit the eyes, joints, heart, lungs, immunity and more.

Omega 6 fats include vegetable oils like safflower oil and corn oil, as well as mayonnaise, fried foods, dairy and beef.  Many people eat more Omega 6 fats than Omega 3’s and when the balance between the fats becomes imbalanced, many health problems can occur – particularly high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

One study of people with dry eyes was recently published in the journal “Cornea”.  They were given a daily dose of fish oil and flax oil.  At the end of the 90-day study, 70% of the participants with dry eye had no symptoms and also had an increase in tear production and volume.

In the journal “Proceedings of the Nutrition Society,” researchers analyzed several controlled trials of fish oil use for arthritis.  The trials showed a reduction in tender joint counts and a decreased use of anti-inflammatory drugs with fish oil supplementation.  An important research note was that anti-inflammatory drugs can adversely affect the heart.  Fish oil is known to have a direct, positive effect on the heart.

Here’s some more information on how to achieve good heart health from Dr. Joseph Mercola — a physician trained in both traditional and natural medicine.  He says to: “Replace harmful vegetable oils and synthetic hydrogenated fats such as margarine with healthy fats, including olive oil, butter, avocado, pastured eggs and coconut oil (remember olive oil should be used cold only, and one should use coconut oil for cooking and baking).”

This natural health news is provided to you by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a provider of nutrition articles and effective natural remedies since 2001. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes the original calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II, as well as Joints and More, the natural solution for joint relief, aches and pains, stronger hair and nails and more energy.

Top 10 Nutrition Facts Everyone Agrees on – Nutrition Breakthroughs

nutrition articlesBy Kris Gunnars, CEO and Founder of Authority Nutrition, BSc (Bachelor’s Degree in Medicine)

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Shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs,
maker of the effective calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II *********************************************

There is a lot of controversy in nutrition and it often seems like people can’t agree on anything.

But there are a few exceptions to this.

Here are the top 10 nutrition facts that everyone actually agrees on (well, almost everyone…).

1. Added Sugar is a Disaster

We all know that added sugar is bad.

Some think sugar is a simple matter of “empty” calories, while others believe it to cause diseases that kill millions of people each year.

It is definitely true that added sugar (sucrose and high fructose corn syrup) contains empty calories.

There are no nutrients in it and if you eat a lot of sugar then you’re likely to become deficient because you aren’t getting enough foods that actually have nutrients in them.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg.

There are other, much more serious dangers of sugar that are now reaching mainstream attention.

Sugar, mainly due to the high fructose content, is being implicated as a leading cause of obesity, cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes.

How does fructose do this?

Well, fructose is metabolized strictly by the liver, over time causing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, insulin resistance, elevated triglycerides, abdominal obesity and high cholesterol.

Then fructose makes our brains resistant to a hormone called leptin, which effectively makes our brains WANT to get fat.

This way, eating an excess of added sugars sets up a relentless biochemical drive in the brain to keep eating sugar, getting fatter and eating even more sugar.

Bottom Line: Added sugar provides empty calories and is believed to be a leading cause of diseases that kill millions of people each year.

2. Omega-3 Fats Are Crucial and Most People Don’t Get Enough

 

Omega-3 fatty acids are extremely important for proper functioning of the human body.

For example, DHA, an Omega-3 fatty acid derived from animals, makes up about 40% of the polyunsaturated fats in the brain. (Polyunsaturated fats are essential fatty acids which the brain needs tor good function.  Essential fatty acids are those not made by the body, but need to be supplied by food).

Being deficient in Omega-3 (very common) is associated with a lower IQ, depression, various mental disorders, heart disease and many other serious diseases.

There are three main sources of Omega-3 fats… ALA (from plants mostly), DHA and EPA (from animals).

The plant form, ALA, needs to get transformed into DHA or EPA in order to function correctly in the human body.

There is some evidence that this conversion process is ineffective in humans.

Therefore, it is best to get Omega-3 fats from animal sources… including fish, grass-fed meat, Omega-3 enriched or pastured eggs, or fish oil.

Bottom Line: A large part of the population is Omega-3 deficient. Avoiding a deficiency in these essential fatty acids can help prevent many diseases.

3. There is no Perfect Diet For Everyone

 

We are all unique… and subtle differences in genetics, body type, culture and environment can affect which type of diet we should eat.

Some people do best on a low-carb diet while others may do fine on a vegetarian high-carb diet.

The fact is, what works for one person may not work for the next.

To figure out what you should do, a little self experimentation may be needed.

Try a few different things until you find something that you enjoy and that you think you can stick to. Different strokes for different folks!

Bottom Line: The best diet for YOU is the one you get results with and that you can stick to in the long term.

4. Artificial Trans Fats Are Very Unhealthy and Should be Avoided

 

Trans fats are also known as partially hydrogenated oils.

They are made by mixing unsaturated fats with hydrogen gas at a high heat to make them resemble saturated fats.

This process is very disgusting and it amazes me to think that someone thought these fats would be suitable for human consumption.

Trans fats raise the bad cholesterol and lower the good cholesterol, cause abdominal obesity, inflammation and insulin resistance.

In the long term, consumption of trans fats raises the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, depression and many more diseases.

I recommend you avoid trans fats as if your life depended on it.

Bottom Line: Trans Fats are chemically processed fats that cause all sorts of damage in the body. You should avoid them like the plague.

5. Eating Vegetables Will Improve Your Health

 

Vegetables are good for you.

They are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and an endless variety of trace nutrients that science has just begun to uncover.

In observational studies, eating vegetables is associated with improved health and a lower risk of disease.

I recommend that you eat a variety of vegetables each day.

They are healthy, fulfilling and add variety to the diet.

Bottom Line: Vegetables are rich in all sorts of nutrients. Eating vegetables each day is associated with improved health and a lower risk of disease.

6. It is Critical to Avoid a Vitamin D Deficiency

 

Vitamin D is a unique vitamin. It actually functions as a steroid hormone in the body.

The skin makes Vitamin D when it is exposed to ultraviolet rays from the sun.

This is how we got most of our daily requirement throughout evolution.

However, today a large part of the world is deficient in this critical nutrient.

In many places, the sun simply isn’t available throughout most of the year.

Even where there is sun, people tend to stay inside a lot and use sunscreen when they go out, but sunscreen effectively blocks Vitamin D generation in the skin.

If you’re Vitamin D deficient, then you’re actually deficient in a major hormone in the body, and a deficiency is associated with many serious diseases, including diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis and others.

The best way to know is to see a doctor and have your blood levels measured.

Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to get enough Vitamin D from the diet.

If getting more sun is not an option, taking a Vitamin D supplement or a tablespoon of cod fish liver oil each day is the best way to prevent/reverse a deficiency.

Bottom Line: Vitamin D is a crucial hormone in the body and many people are deficient in it. Reversing a deficiency can have powerful health benefits.

7. Refined Carbohydrates Are Bad For You

 

There are a lot of differing opinions about carbs and fat.

Some think fat is the root of all evil, while others believe carbs are the key players in obesity and other chronic diseases.

But what pretty much everyone agrees on is that refined carbohydrates are at the very least worse than unrefined (complex) carbohydrates.

There are some nutrients in high-carb foods like grains that can be beneficial.

However, when you process the grains you remove most of the nutrients and then there’s nothing left but the bad stuff, massive amounts of easily digestible glucose.

Eating refined carbs will cause rapid spikes in blood sugar, followed by a surge of insulin in the blood which triggers fat  storage and contributes to insulin resistance and various diseases like obesity and diabetes.

I personally don’t think that grains are necessary at all, the nutrients in them can be acquired from other healthier and more nutritious foods in greater amounts.

But it is very clear that whole grains and unrefined carbohydrates are at least a lot better than their refined, processed counterparts.

Bottom Line: Refined carbohydrates like processed grains are unhealthy. They are lacking in nutrients and lead to rapid spikes in blood sugar and insulin, which can cause all sorts of problems down the line.

8. Supplements Can Never Fully Replace Real Foods

 

“Nutritionism” is the idea that foods are nothing more than the sum of their individual nutrients.

It is a trap that many nutrition enthusiasts tend to fall into.

But it’s simply not true.

Nuts, for example, aren’t just shells loaded with Omega-6 fatty acids in the same way that fruits aren’t just watery bags of fructose.

No, these are real foods with a massive variety of trace nutrients.

The vitamins and minerals, the ones you can also get from a cheap multivitamin, are just a small part of the total amount of nutrients in foods.

Therefore, supplements… at least the supplements we have today, are NOT able to replace the nutrients you get from real foods.

Now I will admit that supplements can be beneficial, especially for nutrients that are generally lacking in the diet like Vitamin D and Magnesium.

But no amount of supplements will ever make up for a bad diet. Not a chance.

Bottom Line: It is much more important to eat real, nutritious foods than to count on supplements to provide the nutrients you need.

9. “Diets” Don’t Work, a Lifestyle Change is Necessary

 

“Diets” are ineffective. That is a fact.

They may lead to short-term results, but as soon as you start eating junk food again you will gain the weight back. And then some.

This is called yo-yo dieting and is extremely common.

Most people that lose a lot of weight on a diet end up gaining it back whenever they “stop” the diet.

For this reason, the only thing that can give you actual long-term results is to adopt a lifestyle change.

Bottom Line: Adopting a healthy lifestyle is the only way to ensure long term weight loss and a lifetime of improved health.

10. Unprocessed Food is Healthiest

 

Processed food is unhealthy.

As the food system has become more industrialized, the health of the population has deteriorated.

During food processing, many of the beneficial nutrients in the food are removed.

Not only do they remove healthy nutrients like fiber, but they also add other very harmful ingredients like added sugar, trans fats and refined wheat.

Additionally, processed foods are loaded with all sorts of artificial chemicals that have absolutely NOT been proven safe for long term human consumption.

Basically, processed foods have less of the good stuff and a LOT more of the bad stuff.

The most important thing you can do to ensure optimal health is to “eat real food.”

If it looks like it was made in a factory, don’t eat it!

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This health news is shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and supplier of effective natural remedies since 2002. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes the original calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II.

Article Source: https://authoritynutrition.com/top-10-nutrition-facts/