Lower Cholesterol Level? No Problems! See How

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Cholesterol is a waxy fat-like compound, cholesterol is a vital part of every cell structure in our body.

Cholesterol is required for many functions in the body, including:

• to support proper brain and nerve functions

• the formation and maintenance of cell membranes

• the formation of sex hormones

• the production of bile salts, which help to digest food

• the conversion into vitamin D in the skin when exposed to sunlight

The cholesterol we need to ensure proper bodily functions is manufactured by the body, specially the liver. After being manufactured, the cholesterol is transported via the bloodstream to the sites where it is needed. The cholesterol latches onto molecules known as lipoproteins in order to move around in the bloodstream.

There are two types of lipoproteins:

Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) ~ the major transporters of cholesterol in the bloodstream. LDL is commonly known as 'bad cholesterol' as they tend to encourage the deposit of cholesterol in the arteries.

High-density lipoproteins (HDL) - regarded as the 'good cholesterol'. HDL move cholesterol that is not needed away from cells and back to the liver. This unneeded cholesterol is then broken down so that it can be removed from the body.

High blood lipids and cholesterol- a threat to health

Blood lipids are the fatty substances in the blood, which can include cholesterol. An unhealthy lifestyle, lack of exercise and a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet are factors that can contribute to high blood lipids or an increase in LDL cholesterol level in our blood.

If too much of this cholesterol circulates in the blood, it will slowly accumulate in the inner walls of the arteries. When bad cholesterol is oxidized by free radicals, it will further narrow or clog the arteries. The artery walls will become thicker and harden. This may eventually contribute to the development of coronary heart diseases. *Coronary heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death in Singapore today.

Related site: Improve your HDL - LDL ratio.

What Can You Do To Lower Cholesterol Level?

Start these simple practices today to improve your cholesterol health:

1. Substitute high-cholesterol food with other healthier options

One of the ways to achieve a healthy cholesterol level is by substituting or reducing your intake of high-cholesterol food such as eggs, dairy products, meat and shellfish. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends substituting 'cholesterol-raising' food with grains and unsaturated fat from vegetables, fish and nuts. The AHA also recommends limiting your average daily cholesterol intake to less than 300 mg per day or less than 200mg per day for those with heart disease.

2. Include cholesterol-lowering food in your diet

Apples, bananas, carrots, cold-water fish, dried beans, garlic, grapefruit and olive oil are some of the alternatives that can lower cholesterol level; you should consider consume more of these food to lower your cholesterol level. Plus, be sure to up your fibre intake as well by eating plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

3. Choose the right types of fat

There are 3 types of fat you normally consume in your diet: saturated fat, polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fat.

• Saturated fat - mainly from animal products such as fatty meat, butter, whole milk dairy products and egg yolk. Polyunsaturated fat - from OmegaM3 in fish and seafood, and Omega-6 in vegetable oils such as corn oil, safflower oil and soy bean oil.

• Monounsaturated fat - found in olive oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil and avocadoes.

Saturated fat stimulates the formation of LDL, while polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats may help to lower cholesterol level in total and LDL levels. Recent preliminary studies also suggested that monounsaturated fat may have a favourable effect on serum cholesterol and ultimately, help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. It also help to lower cholesterol and LDL without affecting the good HDL.

You should ideally aim for a total of less than 30% calories of fat intake in your daily diet. It is important to look at your diet as a whole, Le. over a day's period, and not in terms of an individual food/dish. For example, if you eat an ice-cream, cut back on other fat intake for the day, in order to keep your total fat intake within the ideal range.

4. Exercise regularly

Regular physical activity can help lower LDL and raise HDL levels, and can ultimately have a positive effect on your heart health. Being physically active is also a way to manage your weight. Therefore, try to exercise regularly for 30 minutes on most days.

5. Include food supplements in your daily diet

Salmon omega 3 fish oil is one example of a food supplement that can help improve your HDL level. We advise you to take more cold water fish, which is high in omega 3 or take good quality omega 3 oil supplements to lower cholesterol level in your body.

Specific Dietary Supplement to Reduce Your Cholesterol

I recommend Cholest-Natural from Xtend-Life as a natural way to improve your health in six ways:

Read our review about Xtend-Life Natural Products.

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