Cholesterol, a topic that turns heads. Maybe you’ve run into this subject at your doctor’s office. Maybe this issue is prevalent throughout your family history. Good cholesterol, bad cholesterol, high cholesterol, eggs, butter, saturated fats…. It can get to be confusing. You do some research online and it becomes even more complex as much of the information is contradictory. Where to begin? You can get the quick 101 by reading our blog HERE.
Just remember, cholesterol is a vital part of health and the body manufactures the majority of the cholesterol you need through synthesis in the liver. Cholesterol is used for the structure of every cell in the body and for building hormones. Read below to find some simple solutions you can add to your lifestyle to start balancing your cholesterol levels today.
Are you trying to balance your cholesterol levels but you have no idea where to start? Here are 5 easy ways to start improving your cholesterol and cardiovascular health.
1 – Support Your Liver
80% of cholesterol is manufactured by the liver. But this detoxifying organ also has a lot of other work to do! Add more garlic, citrus, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, avocados, dark leafy greens, beets, walnuts and turmeric to naturally support your liver health. Easy way? Add one cup of greens or cruciferous veggies daily. (you can add a picture of one of the recipes in the link or of broccoli or cabbage)
2 – Eat More Fiber
Not only will this improve your gut health and help balance your body composition, fiber will help you poop. Yup – we said it. People with high cholesterol tend to struggle with constipation. When your bowels stay full, cholesterol that is meant to be excreted from the body gets reabsorbed into the bloodstream. It’s important to have a daily bowel movement. Aim to get 35g of fiber daily. (also drink water to ensure you don’t get clogged up) (lentils are a good picture to add here)
3 – Eliminate Trans Fats
Just because your food labels say “trans fat free”, doesn’t mean you aren’t eating them. Do you have french fries at the fast food restaurants? Do you grab a donut or muffin at the coffee shop? Peanut butter, coffee whitener and even microwaved popcorn are culprits. These foods often have trans fats. If your food does have a label, anything that has hydrogenated oil has trans fats. And trans fats raise bad cholesterol. (microwaved popcorn picture ??)
4 – Move Your Body
Doctors are quick to prescribe statin drugs to lower LDL cholesterol levels while overlooking the benefits of aerobic exercise. Not only will exercise strengthen your heart, support your frame and help balance your moods, it has been shown to increase HDL cholesterol while lowering LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Aerobic exercise is any activity that creates an increased heart rate and oxygen intake to support the activated muscle. Start by adding 10 mins, a couple times per day, to better your cholesterol health without the side effects of statin drugs.
5 – Focus on Healthy Fats
Fat is an important nutrient that your body uses to make cholesterol, hormones and to maintain healthy cell structure. Essential fats, just as they are called, are essential since our body needs to obtain it from our diet. Add more salmon, nuts, seeds, eggs, olives, and avocados to raise HDL levels and lower LDL and triglycerides. Aim for at least one serving per day. (chia seeds or salmon are a good image for this one)
Let us know what you think of these 5 new and inspiring ideas. Or, visit our website for more delicious recipes that can support your body and lower your cholesterol with whole foods!
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