Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Treatment Tuesday - Natural Cholesterol

Welcome to our first Treatment Tuesday! Each week we will be posting information on how to treat different health issues naturally.

Much is known about controlling cholesterol. The key is to form new eating and lifestyle habits and disciplines. Here is a summary of the foods, nutritional supplements, plants, herbal extracts, and lifestyle treatments that will do the trick:
  • To keep LDL cholesterol under control, and thereby keep arterial walls clear, be sure to have a lot of garlic, soy, and lutein-rich vegetables in your diet. These include carrots, corn, kale, spinach, Swiss chard, collard greens, mustard greens, red peppers, dill, parsley, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, potatoes, and red, blue, and purple fruits.
  • Research shows that the mushroom Cordyceps (tincture or pill form) reduces LDL and raises HDL cholesterol, while inhibiting the formation of plaque in cell walls and raising energy.
  • Take potent lipotropics (to promote the utilization of fats) such as methionine, choline, and inositol.
  • Also add vitamin B6, non-flush niacin, omega-3 fatty acids, chromium picolinate, pantothenic acid, red yeast, and tocotrienol vitamin E. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in flaxseed oil, rapeseed oil, and some fish. You can also get omega-3 in chia seeds and salba seeds from the salvia plant.
  • Reduce intake of saturated fats and omega-6 fatty acids. Sources of omega-6 include vegetable oils (canola, soybean, walnut, safflower, and sunflower oils).
  • Drink a glass of red wine each night. Red wine contains powerful polyphenols that inhibit oxidation of LDL cholesterol. Red wine also has many antioxidants and bioflavonoids.

If you are on a blood-thinning drug such as Coumadin (warfarin sodium), consult your health care provider before taking garlic supplements because garlic also thins the blood.

Other Considerations
Soybean oil and walnut oil are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, with a leaning toward omega-6. Since our diets already tend to give us an excess of omega-6 and a shortage of omega-3, you should probably avoid these oils along with other omega-6 sources.

As you’ve probably already heard, eating foods high in fiber, like oatmeal, also helps lower the LDL cholesterol level, the cholesterol that free radicals oxidize and turn into plaque that sticks on arterial walls. Plus, eating whole grains (rather than refined grains) is better for your whole body, playing a role in the prevention of diabetes and obesity.

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