How to Naturally Lower Your Cholesterol
Cholesterol. It's a scary word your doctor will start throwing around pretty early in your life. In and of itself, cholesterol isn't actually a bad thing. Your body produces it on its own. The problem is that there are two different types of cholesterol, commonly referred to as good cholesterol (HDL) and bad cholesterol (LDL).
Where Cholesterol Comes From
Before you can understand the importance of lowering your cholesterol, you have to know where it comes from. Your liver and intestines create about 75% of the cholesterol in your body. The rest of your cholesterol comes from the foods you eat – specifically (and only from) animal products. While everyone has both good and bad cholesterol in their bodies, the HDL usually works to keep the LDL from gunking things up and clogging your arteries. Not enough HDL or too much LDL will cause you to become at risk for heart attacks and stroke.
High cholesterol levels can impact anyone of any gender or age. High cholesterol that goes undetected can cause serious health complications. Men generally have higher cholesterol levels than women but women are more prone to high cholesterol after menopause because of their decreased estrogen levels.
Naturally Reducing Cholesterol
You should, of course, do your best to avoid ending up on prescription medications or statin drugs to reduce your cholesterol levels. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to increase your HDL and decrease your LDL levels.
You'll want to start by making some simple lifestyle changes. You are in control of your life. You'll need to make sure you are maintaining a healthy body weight and, if not, take some steps to get into better physical shape. You'll want to eat a diet that is considered heart-healthy, low in fat and sodium, and you'll want to make sure you are getting at least a little bit of exercise every day.
Your diet is where you'll need to make major changes. You'll need to cut out foods that are high in fat, like red meat and dairy products, and start making healthier choices. Even lean meats can be high in saturated fats. When you do have fat, you'll need to find healthier versions, like those that come from pecans, cashews, flaxseed oil, and similar foods. You'll also want to eat a higher-fiber diet.
Supplementation is a great alternative when it comes to naturally lowering your cholesterol without prescriptions drugs. Shaklee offers a Cholesterol Reduction Complex with 1,000 mg of plant sterols and stanols, per dose (2,000 mg when taken daily as directed – representing 100% of the National Institute of Health recommendation). Plant sterols and stanols have been studied extensively and were proven to lower LDL levels in more than 80 independent studies.
Why do plant sterols and stanols help? They are found naturally in plants, vegetables, fruits, and grains, and they mimic cholesterol, so they end up competing to be absorbed when they hit your intestines. When the sterols and stanols bind to your intestines, there is nowhere left for cholesterol to bind and get back into your bloodstream.
As you can see, there are plenty of incredible things you can do to lower your cholesterol levels naturally. Make sure you have your HDL and LDL levels monitored regularly, regardless of your age. The sooner you identify an issue, the easier it will be to treat.