Cholesterol is a double-edged sword. Being both a necessity and a crisis to our body, healthy levels of cholesterol promote well-being and a better life while the downside of unregulated cholesterol levels being heart attacks or cardiovascular diseases.
Cholesterol is found in every cell in your body and is responsible for generating hormones, digesting foods, promoting better organ function, and producing vitamin D. It is composed of two substances – high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein(LDL). LDL usually goes through the arteries and a high build-up of LDL cholesterol levels spells out coronary artery disease. HDL is transported to the liver and gets removed from the body.
Cholesterol’s appearance bears resemblance to a waxy fat-like form. Blood tests for cholesterol are done by most people at least once a year. Cholesterol can be reduced and regulated by means of a healthy lifestyle, and cholesterol lowering supplements.
Diet And Lifestyle
- Cholesterol is a slow-killing disease that can hit you with a heart attack or cardiac failure any moment if you’re not careful. The best way to combat high cholesterol levels is by altering your lifestyle for the better. A vegan diet is found to be most effective for high cholesterol levels in most, however, we understand that meat and fish are an integral part of life which is why consulting with a certified dietician is recommended.
- In general, a balanced calorific intake is recommended to maintain a healthy weight or promote weight loss. Obese patients are at a higher risk of heart attacks due to high cholesterol levels and reducing stored body fat by leading a healthy lifestyle and following a healthy diet, generally, helps.
- The second way to reduce cholesterol is by exercising. Exercising improves blood circulation, aids in clear thinking, relieves depression, and promotes lower levels of cholesterol.
- Walking and running are two forms of physical activity which best beat cholesterol. Besides improving blood circulation, walking 10,000 steps a day is said to improve heart health and reduce aging alongside lower LDL levels in the blood. Additionally, staying hydrated and drinking enough water also helps the cause.
- The key point here is that you must balance both exercise and diet since each goes hand-in-hand with the other. Crash dieting or following unnatural fad diets will only worsen the situation. These are the first steps of combat before we get a look into some life-saving cholesterol lowering supplements.
Causes of High Cholesterol Levels
High cholesterol levels, which translates to future heart attacks, are caused by several factors like:
- Liver/kidney disease
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Low thyroid function
- Drugs that increase LDL levels and decrease HDL levels in blood like statins, anabolic steroids, and corticosteroids
Cholesterol Lowering Supplements
When the natural ways of reducing cholesterol don’t help and if you’ve been progressively aging to only see the situation for the worse, then incorporating cholesterol lowering supplements may prove to be beneficial.
Cholesterol lowering supplements help lower triglyceride levels in the blood, which, in turn,lower high cholesterol levels. Again, supplements work best with a healthy diet and lifestyle and if you want accelerated gains, it’s best to keep that in mind and work towards your personal goal accordingly. Avoid saturated fats, meat, and dairy products as much as you can if you have high cholesterol levels since they’ve been scientifically proven to raise LDL levels in the blood.
The following cholesterol lowering supplements prove to be especially helpful and recommended in the cholesterol combating community:
- Artichoke Extract – Reduces LDL levels in blood, known as “bad cholesterol”
- Barley – Reduces LDL levels in blood too, and may reduce total cholesterol levels in blood
- Blond psyllium
- Fish oil, effective both in capsule and liquid form
- Green tea extracts
- Oat bran
- Plant sterols
- Soy protein – to be used as a substitute for dairy, may reduce LDL-cholesterol
- Whey protein
- Doctor prescribed cholesterol lowering supplements
Red yeast rice may lower cholesterol but the presence of a chemical compound known as lovastatin makes it dangerous since it’s considered to be part of prescription medication. Consult with a certified doctor or dietician before you incorporate red yeast rice amongst your other cholesterol lowering supplements.
The best cholesterol lowering supplements are healthy foods. A healthy food and diet can triumph complex forms of medication any day and anytime. This rings truer than anything else in terms of high cholesterol levels. Incorporating a healthy lifestyle starts with tiny steps.
Registering ina gym, or taking the help of a certified fitness trainer and nutritionist can save years of your life and promote healthy cholesterol levels down the line. At the end of the day, cholesterol lowering supplements are just additions that help with the entire process, not determine the ultimate outcome, and that’s something to keep in mind.