Be bodywise for a healthy digestion. Our Bodywise naturopath and herbalist can prescribe scientifically researched herbs and nutrients and a wellness plan for you to restore health with the aim of reducing inflammation and therefore cholesterol issues. For more information talk to our herbalists
1. Cholesterol Levels to High, digestion sluggish, high blood sugar levels, inflammation in the joints, weight loss – here’s some great info…
We recommend making the following lifestyle and dietary changes in order to lower high cholesterol levels:
- Lose weight. Even a modest amount of weight loss can lower cholesterol levels, stress on the joints and general wellbeing.
- Reduce the amount of sugar and flour in your diet. Recent evidence indicates that added sugar – in the form of table sugar (sucrose) or high-fructose corn syrup – is probably a greater contributor to heart disease than is consumption of saturated fat. As a general rule, avoid consuming foods with added sugars, particularly soft drinks and highly processed snack foods, which can cause rapid spikes and dips in blood sugar levels. The result can be overeating, obesity and heart disease. Check the labels on all food products. 5gm of sugar equal one teaspoon of the pure white stuff.
- Avoid trans-fatty acids. These heart-damaging fats can reduce HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels and raise levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. The tip-off that trans-fatty acids are present in foods is the listing of “partially hydrogenated oil” on a food’s ingredient list. Trans-fats are found in many brands of margarine and in most heavily processed foods, as well as in snack foods such as chips, crackers and cookies, and in the oils used to cook fast-food French fries, doughnuts and movie popcorn.
- Exercise. Daily aerobic exercise can help increase HDL levels.
- Don’t smoke. Smoking itself is a risk factor for heart disease. It can also significantly lower HDL cholesterol.
- Relax. Emotional stress may prompt the body to release fat into the bloodstream, raising cholesterol levels. Counter stress by practicing daily breathing exercises and other stress-reduction techniques such as yoga, meditation, tai chi.
Nutrition and Supplements
Here are some general recommends the following dietary changes that may help lower cholesterol levels.
- Eat some nuts (not rancid) every day. Choose almonds, walnuts and cashews, all of which contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. All nuts are best soaked in water first and then lightly dried off, to enhance digestibility.
- Fermented soy protein such as tofu, tempeh, whole soy beans and roasted soy nuts has been shown to lower cholesterol levels. Choose organic meat if you can however NZ meat is grass fed with less exposure to toxic products compared to overseas. Other fermented foods like Kefir and Kombucha are great sources of probiotics
- Use fresh garlic regularly. Garlic has been shown to lower both cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Use one or two raw or lightly cooked cloves a day.
- Drink green tea daily. Try to use as a loose leaf or organic to avoid contamination. The antioxidants it contains help lower cholesterol and prevent the cholesterol in your blood from oxidizing.
- Eat plenty of soluble fiber. Beans and lentils, apples, citrus fruits, oats, barley, peas, carrots and ground flax seed are all good sources of soluble fiber, which has a powerful cholesterol-lowering effect and encourages the growth of “good” bacteria.
- Limit refined carbohydrates. These include cookies, cakes, crackers, fluffy breads, chips and sodas, all of which can worsen cholesterol levels by lowering HDL and also increase triglyceride levels. If in doubt read the back of the packet, or make your own treat or make a salad instead.
- Take coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). This powerful antioxidant benefits heart health by protecting LDL cholesterol from oxidation and by re-energizing the mitochondria in the heart cells, which is where energy metabolism occurs. CoQ10 may also help lower blood pressure. We love MitoQ from New Zealand.
- Take fish oil. Fish oil contains an abundance of essential omega-3 fatty acids (omega-3s) that have been shown to lower triglyceride (blood fat) levels, minimize inflammation and clotting, and increase HDL (“good”) cholesterol. Research indicates that omega-3s may help reduce the risk and symptoms of a variety of disorders influenced by inflammation, including heart attack and stroke. You can add omega-3s to your diet by eating more cold water fish such as wild salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel and cod. If that’s not possible, 2-3 grams daily of a fish oil supplement that contains both essential omega-3 fatty acids, EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). When choosing a supplement, look for one derived from molecularly distilled fish oils – and nitrogen flushed to prevent rancidity (pro-inflammatory) these are naturally high in both EPA and DHA and low in contaminants.
A Bodywise naturopath and herbalist can prescribe scientifically researched herbs and nutrients and a wellness plan for you to restore health with the aim of reducing inflammation and therefore cholesterol issues. For more information talk to our herbalists.