Ask someone about cholesterol and they may tell you it’s something they have to “reduce” or “bring down.” There are many ways to reduce cholesterol. It is an often misunderstood subject. Maybe you know all about it – maybe not. Simple definitions related to cholesterol:
Cholesterol: A fat-like substance that is used in nearly every cell of the body. It is produced by the liver, circulated through the bloodstream, and is necessary for the body to function properly.
Endogenous: Originating from within an organism. Endogenous cholesterol is produced within your body by the liver.
Exogenous: Originating from outside an organism. Exogenous cholesterol is the kind that comes from outside sources – from things that you eat.
Your body needs cholesterol, but too much of it can be detrimental to your cardiovascular system (heart and blood vessels). There are varying schools of thought when it comes to cholesterol, but it is pretty much unanimous that diet and exercise play a vital role. There are drugs called statins designed to reduce oils and fats in the bloodstream. Like any drug, they can have side effects. The subject of drugs seems to be the pivotal point where the mind-sets diverge. While anyone should at some point see a doctor and get their cholesterol checked out, it would be beneficial to know how to prevent your cholesterol from skyrocketing.
As an analogy, take the subject of drug abuse: If we educate youth as to what drugs consist of, and what they do to a person – physiologically and mentally – we are empowering them with knowledge and many would choose a more sensible path of refraining from abusing drugs. They’d say “no” because they knew better. Likewise, it is sensible to educate oneself on diet and nutrition. Views on diets vary widely, but some of the foods generally thought to bump up your cholesterol:
- Egg yolks
- Organ meats (like liver)
- Heavy intake of dairy, milk, butter, cheese
- Breads, pasta, heavy starches
- Junk food
- Fried foods
There is such a thing as a more holistic or natural way of eating. Examples of this are avoiding refined sugars and heavily processed foods, using organic ingredients and leaning towards food in its raw or natural state. It also includes liberal intake of phytonutrients (plant-based).
Of course you want to cook your meat (if you eat meat) and don’t include something you are allergic to (common sense). Try to use lean meat that hasn’t been hopped up on hormones (organic would be your best bet). Vitamins and minerals are great because that’s what’s in the food that your body uses. If all this sounds elementary, it’s because it is. Some foods and supplements that could help keep your cholesterol at a normal level:
- Hawthorn Berry
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
- B Vitamins
It goes without saying that being of acceptable weight and regular exercise play a huge role in you being healthy. Additionally, nothing replaces doing your own independent research into this and other related areas.