When it comes to education and testing, greater numbers amount to greater success, but when it comes to cholesterol the higher the score the worse you often are. Cholesterol is required to build and maintain cell membranes, but a score of over 200 begins to lead to the potential for complications from stroke, heart attack, and peripheral vascular disease.
Cholesterol is also a heavily marketed word. Almost every person has heard of cholesterol, but few know why it's so important. The name cholesterol originates from the Greek chole- (bile) and stereos (solid), and the suffix -ol for an alcohol. Although cholesterol is essential for life, high levels in circulation are associated with atherosclerosis. Human breast milk contains significant quantities of cholesterol. Cholesterol can be ingested in the diet, and re-used within the body through re-absorption of bile in the digestive tract.
Within cells, cholesterol is the precursor molecule in several biochemical pathways. In the liver, cholesterol is converted to bile, which is then stored in the gallbladder. Bile contains bile salts, which emulsify (break down) fats in the digestive tract and aid in the absorption of fat molecules as well as the fat soluble vitamins, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E and Vitamin K. Cholesterol is an important molecule for the synthesis of Vitamin D and the steroid hormones, including the adrenal gland hormones; cortisol and aldosterone as well as the sex hormones progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone.
If you or a loved one is facing high cholesterol here are some suggestions to lower your cholesterol naturally. If you're in the extreme red zone (over 200), please consult your physician. Here are a couple of tips to keep your cholesterol in check naturally.
1. Oatmeal-- Oatmeal is rich in soluble fiber, which cuts down the amount of cholesterol your intestines absorb. Aim for at least 10 grams of fiber each day to reduce your LDL levels.
2. Salmon-- Salmon is loaded with omega3 fatty acids this will help reduce the inflammation in the blood stream.
3. Olive-oil-- Extra-virgin olive oil is most best and olive oil has been shown to reduce the risk of ulcers and cancer.
4. Almonds-- Almonds are a great source of plant sterols, which slow your body's absorption of cholesterol. Watch the calories, almonds are loaded with energy.
5. Avocado-- Unsaturated fats in avocados help lower the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
6. Blueberries- Blueberries are on the all-star team for super foods. They are loaded with antioxidants and have shown to be effective in reducing cholesterol.
7. Walnuts-- Walnuts contain a plentiful supply of polyunsaturated fatty acids.
8. Fish-- Fish is full of omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce levels of LDL and triglycerides. Make sure you know which fish are high in mercury.
9. Apples-- An abundant source of both soluble and insoluble fiber.
10. Broccoli-- Broccoli is plentiful in soluble fiber, which does wonders for high cholesterol.
This is an incredible list of wonderful food to help you start moving in the right direction. Please remember you have to add moderate cardiovascular exercise to any healthy lifestyle. As with the food, if you find yourself overweight, out-of-shape or injured, please consult your doctor first. Be sane with your health, and as always guard your health well, who else is going to?
Jensen RG, Hagerty MM, McMahon KE (01 Jun 1978). "Lipids of human milk and infant formulas: a review" (PDF). Am J Clin Nutr 31 (6): 990-1016.