All Natural Tricks for Healthy Cholesterol
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Confused about cholesterol? It can be tricky to sort through the numbers and figure out what’s “bad” and what’s healthy cholesterol. Even worse are than the confusion are the frightening consequences of high cholesterol levels—hardening of the arteries, heart disease, and stroke.
Medications may be one possible solution but, like all drugs, they come with a long list of possible side effects. Here’s a better way—you can avoid the consequences of heart disease and hardening of the arteries by following a few easy, all natural tricks for healthy cholesterol.
What’s Good And What’s Not?
Cholesterol is a fatty-like product that travels around your body in your blood. There are two types: HDL (good cholesterol) and LDL (bad cholesterol). Many all natural foods do not contain any saturated and trans-fats which contribute to LDL cholesterol, whereas almost all processed products contain high amounts of unhealthy fats.
LDL likes to stick on the walls of your blood vessels (arteries), and this results in narrowing due to plaque. This condition, called arteriosclerosis or hardening of the arteries, leads to deadly heart disease and stroke. A healthy goal is to keep LDL lower than 129 (less than 100 is ideal).
HDL is the “good” type of cholesterol. It helps prevent plaque from building up inside your blood vessels. If your HDL is below 40, it is too low. It needs to be higher to avoid heart disease. Total cholesterol is a measure of HDL and LDL, plus another component of cholesterol, VDL. This part of cholesterol carries triglycerides. A healthy goal is to keep total cholesterol under 200. Knowing what healthy cholesterol levels are is one thing, getting them there is something else. Here are the best and the easiest all natural tricks to help you meet your cholesterol goals.
Snack On Nuts
Nuts like almonds, walnuts, and cashews have been shown to be associated with heart health. Walnuts are especially high in omega-3s. Nuts contain “good” monounsaturated fats, much better for joint health than the fats found in safflower and corn oils.
While you can’t eat nuts by the cupful because they are calorie-dense, you can enjoy up to two tablespoons of chopped nuts daily. Stir them into low-fat yogurt or sprinkle them on your salad. Mix some nuts and cinnamon into your oatmeal for breakfast. Or try a small handful of nuts as a snack a few times per week. They are a delicious, all-natural way to lower cholesterol.
Sip Some Tea
Green or black, tea is a terrific all-natural trick to lower cholesterol. Tea contains antioxidants called flavonoids, which have been proven to stop the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol. This reduces the formation of plaque deposits inside arteries. Tea also helps blood vessels relax so blood can flow more easily, and this inhibits the formation of clots.
Whether it’s iced or hot, tea has more potent antioxidants per serving than vegetables or fruits. Try to drink at least one cup per day.
Season With Garlic
This all-natural trick for healthy cholesterol has been around forever! Science has proven its ability to not only reduce cholesterol, it also can lower blood pressure, protect against infection, and prevent blood clots. To get in the recommended 2-4 cloves per day, add it to your salad or pasta at lunch. Use it to flavor soups and stews. It’s great addition to many side dishes, and of course on pizza.
Feast On Fiber
Soluble fiber decreases levels of LDL cholesterol, and it promotes a feeling of fullness so you won’t be tempted to reach for dessert after a meal. Here are some delicious all-natural tricks for healthy cholesterol that include fiber:
- Choose oatmeal or a cereal made with oat bran for breakfast
- Eat more beans: Kidneys, pinto, navy, chili beans, or chick peas
- Fruits with soluble fiber include apples, prunes, and pears
You need from 5 to 10 grams of soluble fiber per day to fight cholesterol, and you can easily reach your goal with breakfast. Just grab a bowlful of oatmeal with half a banana and you’re done! High cholesterol levels put you at risk for some frightening complications. But drugs, with all of their unwanted side effects, don’t have to be your only answer. Fight back with all natural tricks for healthy cholesterol.
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