PRODUCTS FOR REDUCING CHOLESTEROL LEVELS AND METHODS OF IMPROVING HEALTH
Much is heard about cholesterol. But only a few know the full story hiding behind this word that we commonly use.
The human body contains both so-called “bad” cholesterol and “good” cholesterol, without which the human body cannot function. Despite the widespread belief that cholesterol is harmful to human health, it is an integral part of cell membranes. It is also part of the bile acids, as well as is involved in the synthesis of hormones and vitamin D.
However, too much of a good thing can be bad, and if your blood cholesterol levels are elevated, it should be lowered as it can be the cause of several diseases.
Since most people have high blood cholesterol levels, it is important to think about ways to lower it. If you continue reading, you will find out, if it is possible to lower your blood cholesterol levels without using medication and what the natural means of lowering cholesterol levels are.
What cholesterol is and how to decrease it
Human blood plasma contains two main fats – cholesterol and triglycerides. Cholesterol is fat that is found in the blood stream and in any cell of the body. It enters the body in two ways.
About 2/3 of cholesterol is produced by the body itself, mainly by synthesising it in the liver. The remaining 1/3 is taken in through animal products – meat, fish, eggs, cheese, milk and other products. It is interesting to know that cholesterol is only found in animal products!
Since cholesterol and other fats are insoluble in water, carriers – lipoproteins, are required for transporting them from the blood vessels to the cells and vice versa. There are several lipoproteins in our body – extra low, low, medium and high density lipoproteins.
High density lipoproteins are called “good” cholesterol, while low-density lipoproteins are called “bad” cholesterol.
Extra low density lipoproteins are synthesised in the liver and they transport fat from the liver to the rest of the body. They are further converted into medium density and then low density fractions, which contain the most harmful cholesterol.
Under the influence of other risk factors, it begins to settle in the arteries of the heart and other arteries, forming stenosis in blood vessels, which in turn can lead to the formation of blood clots.
For this reason, it is called “bad” cholesterol. However, there is also such cholesterol in our bodies, the carriers of which implement the functions we require.
High-density lipoproteins, which transport cholesterol from all tissues to the liver, can also transport it away from the blood vessels. This prevents the risk of developing atherosclerosis. That's why it's called “good” cholesterol.
So it is not the cholesterol itself that is good or bad, but the good and bad particles!
Maintaining normal cholesterol levels is one of the cornerstones in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases and atherosclerosis. The preferable blood cholesterol level for most of us is <5 mmol/l, while for high risk patients it is <3.5 mmol/l. As a result of modern lifestyles, many people consume “bad” cholesterol in disproportionate amounts.
How can we lower our cholesterol levels to prevent the risk of various diseases? There are different ways of achieving this. Let’s look at some of the most effective ones.
Cholesterol reduction in meals
One of the best ways to lower your blood cholesterol is to eat healthily every day. A balanced diet is one of the cornerstones of health and will certainly promote both normal blood cholesterol levels and other processes that will improve your health. Doctors and nutritionists always repeat these golden words that are often forgotten to their patients.
It is recommended to consume no more than 200-300 mg of cholesterol per day through food. Some products have a higher cholesterol content than others, so let’s look at some of the cholesterol rich products.
Product (100 g)
Egg yolk, fried
As we can see there are no vegetables in the table. By getting all daily nutrients in a balanced way, one should not worry about excess cholesterol intake.
Speaking of eggs, if you eat egg yolk along with the egg white, you do not have to worry about cholesterol, as it will not stick to the walls of your blood vessels. It is certainly safe to eat 1 egg a day.
And we should also remember to limit the sweets and other simple carbohydrates in our daily diet. We should also try to avoid trans fat daily.
Regular physical activities
Regular and appropriate physical activities promote the increase of high density lipoprotein in the blood, as well as decrease low density lipoprotein concentration.
Any physical activity – walking, jogging, swimming, playing sports, exercising – activates the metabolism in the body and promotes a healthy amount of cholesterol carriers, thus reducing the risk of it accumulating in our blood vessels.
Distance walking, walking and jogging are especially recommended. According to research these sports are best for maintaining good physical shape and thus lowering blood pressure, reducing the risk of diseases and regulating blood cholesterol levels.
Although daily smoking is not associated with cholesterol, quitting smoking is a sure way to lower cholesterol levels. The substances contained in cigarettes bind to the enzymes responsible for stabilising cholesterol levels in our body. Thus smoking daily makes it harder for your body to adapt and maintain the correct level of cholesterol. It should be remembered that smoking also damages blood vessels, increasing the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.
When it comes to heart health, smoking promotes the development of cardiovascular diseases, stroke, heart failure and other diseases. For smokers the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases is 2 times higher than for non-smokers. And smoking is harmful not only to the smoker, but also to others.
Reducing the number of smoked cigarettes will not be enough. To stabilise your cholesterol levels, you must quit smoking altogether!
Methods of reducing cholesterol levels
Many doctors believe that preventive measures are the best remedy to prevent high blood cholesterol levels. We agree with this statement. We should certainly try to maintain normal blood cholesterol levels using tested methods at first.
Stick to a healthy lifestyle, be active, go for more walks in the fresh air, choose a healthy diet, including all product groups.
It will be easier to make changes, if you practice a sport close to your heart. It can be dancing, swimming, cycling or team sports. Remember, however, that professional sports and a healthy lifestyle are not synonymous.
It is important to understand that not all of the above recommendations can lower cholesterol to normal levels. In some cases medication will be required to promote normal cholesterol levels.
If your lifestyle changes do not provide positive results, your doctor may prescribe medication for lowering cholesterol levels.
However, initially you should try to maintain blood cholesterol levels using natural methods. In the next part of this article, we will share some natural products that can lower blood cholesterol levels.
Vitamins are an almost universal remedy that help to stabilise optimal functioning of the body. To lower your blood cholesterol levels, you need to take vitamin B3 or vitamin PP daily. Studies show that it effectively lowers blood cholesterol levels.
If you wish to take these vitamins in your diet, vitamin B3 is contained in eggs and meat. However, these products should be used with caution as they contain relatively high levels of “bad” cholesterol. It is better to choose products that do not raise cholesterol levels, such as yeast and grains. Good sources of vitamin B3 are mackerel, fresh mushrooms, herring, pork, peas, beans, as well as bread.
Vitamin B3 is included in the complex treatment for chronic vascular disease – atherosclerosis, as it dilates and cleanses blood vessels. To see results, it is recommended to receive 20 mg of vitamin B3 daily.
Natural alternative to vitamin complexes – bee bread.
Bee bread is a natural, bee-made product that contains pollen, bee saliva and nectar. Bees ferment this combination of specific ingredients to produce a product that provides them with vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients during the winter months. It is a good and natural alternative to the classic vitamin supplements.
One of the most valuable properties of bee bread is its ability to lower cholesterol levels by up to 30% of the original cholesterol level.
Bee bread contains about 240 biologically active substances necessary for normal functioning of the human body: protein, fat, sugar, starch, minerals – potassium, magnesium, iron, iodine. It contains vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, E, D, K, PP, H, etc.
This image demonstrates what bee bread contains:
Therefore, if you need to lower your blood cholesterol levels and at the same time boost your immune system, bee bread can be a natural, vitamin-rich alternative to vitamin complexes.
Researchers believe that garlic can protect against heart diseases and stroke, as it is especially effective in lowering blood cholesterol levels.
Fresh garlic cloves contain a sufficiently high concentration of statin. Statins are medicines that can lower blood cholesterol levels. Doctors prescribe these medications to patients, if the change in lifestyle has not helped.
You will notice the improvements, if you take 2-3 garlic cloves daily. Remember that garlic should be used fresh.
It can be added to ready meals (stewed vegetables, salads, soups) in shredded form or settled in oil and used on salad instead of a dressing (1 tablespoon a day).
To achieve the desired effect, garlic should be used for longer periods of time (at least 2 months). Remember that garlic is not recommended for people with gastrointestinal disorders.
Dietary fibre is also a good method to fight against high levels of blood cholesterol. It is found in cereals, legumes, fruits and vegetables. Therefore, if you eat a balanced diet, you will provide yourself with sufficient dietary fibre.
Include more vegetables, fruits, beans, lentils, buckwheat, brown rice and rye bread in your diet. It is recommended to start the day with whole grain oatmeal porridge! It contains beta-glucans that optimise cholesterol levels in the body and thus improve blood levels.
LET’S ENJOY MEALS AND MAINTAIN OUR CHOLESTEROL LEVELS
There are many different methods, with the help of which we can maintain correct blood cholesterol levels without the need for medication.
But they can only help, if we observe a healthy and balanced diet. To achieve 100% effectiveness, you need to be physically active, quit smoking, quit the excessive use of alcohol and pay special attention to a balanced diet.