Cholesterol is a substance that has its good points and bad points. It has many important functions. For instance, it is necessary to make several hormones. It is also what helps keep the walls of your cells nice and flexible.
But, as with pretty much anything in life, too much of a good thing can often turn into a bad thing. This certainly goes for cholesterol, and most especially when that cholesterol is in the wrong place.
But there is a key to the cholesterol puzzle that many people are missing. It’s not the cholesterol itself that you need to worry about so much as the cholesterol transporters call lipoproteins. And different kinds of lipoproteins have different effects on health.
For instance, high levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDL) result in cholesterol deposits in blood vessel walls. This leads to clogged arteries, strokes and heart attacks.
In contrast, high-density lipoproteins (HDL) carry cholesterol away from vessel walls and help prevent disease. So what we really need to focus on is how to decrease LDL and increase HDL. This blog post will share natural ways to do just that so keep reading!
Does Eating Cholesterol Give You High Cholesterol?
Let’s put this myth to bed before we get into the health tips. Your liver makes as much cholesterol as your body needs. It makes LDL to get the cholesterol to where it needs to go, and it makes HDL to remove any excess cholesterol from your bloodstream.
Though many food manufacturers have cashed in on the “low cholesterol” or “cholesterol free” craze, the truth is, dietary cholesterol has a finite impact on the amount of cholesterol in your body. This is because your liver adapts and makes more or less, depending on how much you eat.
Now, while dietary cholesterol has little influence on your actual cholesterol levels, certain foods can worsen levels, as can smoking, sedentary lifestyle and a family history. There are also some lifestyle choices that can help increase the beneficial HDL and decrease the harmful LDL.
- Eat More Monounsaturated Fats
We are told to be healthy we need to eat a low-fat diet. But studies have found that removing fat from our diet reduces the amount of harmful LDL cholesterol, but it also decreases the beneficial HDL cholesterol.
Your best bet is to eat more monosaturated fats, which reduce LDL but also protect higher levels of healthy HDL. Good sources of monosaturated fats are:
- Olives and olive oil
- Tree nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts and cashews
- Eat More Polyunsaturated Fats, Especially Omega-3s
Polyunsaturated fats have multiple double bonds that make them behave differently in the body than saturated fats. Research shows that polyunsaturated fats reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol and decrease the risk of heart disease.
Omega-3 fatty acids are an especially heart-healthy type of polyunsaturated fat found in fatty fish like salmon, mackerel and deep-sea tuna.
- Eat Soluble Fiber
Soluble fiber cannot be digested by our digestive system. However, the beneficial bacteria in your gut thrives off the stuff. And these bacteria, also called probiotics, reduce the harmful LDL in your body. Plus, this fiber keeps you nice and regular.
Excellent sources of soluble fiber are beans, peas and lentils, fruit, oats and whole grains.
Without question exercise is all-around one of the best things you can do for your health. Not only does it improve your physical fitness and combat obesity, it also reduces harmful LDL while increasing beneficial HDL.
While even low-intensity exercise like walking can increase HDL, making your exercise longer and more intense increases the benefits.
- Quit Smoking
Smoking changes the way your body handles cholesterol, thereby increasing your risk of developing heart disease. The immune cells in smokers are unable to return cholesterol from vessel walls to the blood for transport to the liver. This damage is related to tobacco tar, rather than nicotine. These dysfunctional immune cells are also believed to contribute to faster development if clogged arteries in smokers.
So, if you smoke… QUIT!
- Eat Royal Jelly
Royal jelly is a creamy substance made by nurse bees and fed to larva and the queen bee. It is loaded with nutrients and offers many health benefits. One of those benefits is positively impacting cholesterol levels. Royal jelly is a delicious way to help get your cholesterol levels where they need to be.
Our Golden Royal Honey is loaded with beneficial royal jelly. Plus it contains ginseng and other nutrients that offer many health benefits. Try some for yourself today and potentially lower your risk of developing heart disease.