Bad Cholesterol (LDL) / Fat / Fatty Acids / Good Cholesterol (HDL) / Lipoproteins
There’s a good and bad story with cholesterol. Cholesterol, in the right quantities, is vital for life. Highdensity lipoprotein (HDL) is good cholesterol. Lowdensity lipoprotein (LDL) is bad cholesterol. That’s the easy part of the story. From there, and with the involvement of your liver, the cholesterol story becomes quite chemically complex. So, without going into a dissertation, here’s the easy way to deal with cholesterol. Take the right nutrients (called lipotropics) and you can keep the bad cholesterol moving so it doesn’t muck up your liver and stick to your arterial walls, thus greatly reducing your risk of coronary problems. Do not think about all the terms: triglycerides, VLDL cholesterol, saturated vs. unsaturated fats, and so on. Keep it simple.
What Causes High Cholesterol Levels?
Here’s the culprit that creates too much bad cholesterol: The Standard American Diet (SAD), which is filled with fats, processed meats, and excess sugar and salt; smoking; caffeine; stress; birth control pills; environmental toxins; smog; and food additives. Though many of these elements are enjoyable, cutting back on them will make you thinner, healthier, and happier, while adding quality years to your life.
LDL (bad) cholesterol is like a BandAid in that it oxidizes and sticks to arterial walls whenever there is inflammation caused by foods such as refined white sugar and starches.
Much is known about controlling cholesterol. The key is to form new eating and lifestyle habits and disciplines. Here is a summary of the foods, nutritional supplements, plants, herbal extracts, and lifestyle treatments that will do the trick:
- To keep LDL cholesterol under control, and thereby keep arterial walls clear, be sure to have a lot of garlic, soy, and luteinrich vegetables in your diet. These include carrots, corn, kale, spinach, Swiss chard, collard greens, mustard greens, red peppers, dill, parsley, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, potatoes, and red, blue, and purple fruits.
- Research shows that the mushroom Cordyceps (tincture or pill form) reduces LDL and raises HDL cholesterol, while inhibiting the formation of plaque in cell walls and raising energy.
- Take potent lipotropics (to promote the utilization of fats) such as methionine, choline, and inositol.
- Also add vitamin B6, nonflush niacin, omega3 fatty acids, chromium picolinate, pantothenic acid, red yeast, and tocotrienol vitamin Omega3 fatty acids can be found in flaxseed oil, rapeseed oil, and some fish. You can also get omega3 in chia seeds and salba seeds from the salvia plant.
- Reduce intake of saturated fats and omega6 fatty acids. Sources of omega6 include vegetable oils (canola, soybean, walnut, safflower, and sunflower oils).
- Drink a glass of red wine each night. Red wine contains powerful polyphenols that inhibit oxidation of LDL cholesterol. Red wine also has many antioxidants and bioflavonoids.
If you are on a bloodthinning drug such as Coumadin (warfarin sodium), consult your health care provider before taking garlic supplements because garlic also thins the blood.
Soybean oil and walnut oil are rich in omega3 and omega6 fatty acids, with a leaning toward omega6. Since our diets already tend to give us an excess of omega6 and a shortage of omega3, you should probably avoid these oils along with other omega6 sources.
As you’ve probably already heard, eating foods high in fiber, like oatmeal, also helps lower the LDL cholesterol level, the cholesterol that free radicals oxidize and turn into plaque that sticks on arterial walls. Plus, eating whole grains (rather than refined grains) is better for your whole body, playing a role in the prevention of diabetes and obesity.