Today I’m talking about the effects of cholesterol, understanding what it is, and how to maintain a healthy level so that you don’t get any nasty diseases.
So first, what is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is an anti-oxidant & body repairer.
To help give you a better understanding of the role of Cholesterol in your body…
I will start by telling you what Cholesterol is NOT.
Let’s debunk two of the biggest myths regarding Cholesterol:
Myth #1 – Cholesterol is bad for you
This is not true at all.
Cholesterol actually is quite an important nutrient for various bodily functions.
For example, the brain comprises of Cholesterol and needs it to perform optimally. The nervous system is shielded by Cholesterol.
Cholesterol is a key ingredient within our sex hormones. Our body’s digestion process relies on Cholesterol to utilize the food we have consumed.
Basically put, our bodies need Cholesterol to survive. Without it, you literally couldn’t stay alive.
Myth #2 – Cholesterol only damages the body
Actually, Cholesterol assists in repairing damage in the body.
For example, if there is damage to your blood vessels, it could lead to your blood possessing increased amounts of Cholesterol therein.
This is the case when a patient could be suffering from a disease. Higher levels of Cholesterol may arise because the body is simply trying to repair itself.
Cholesterol increase in the blood often times is just the body’s way of attempting to resolve the problem.
Now, this isn’t to say that there isn’t risk connected with Cholesterol.
Heightened Cholesterol levels is dangerous & puts you at risk to contracting deadly diseases such as stroke, heart disease, & peripheral artery disease.
The problem arises really when Cholesterol levels are too high.
Typically, the arteries begin to amass plaque build-up which lowers the blood flow to important organs & cells.
This then affects their functioning. Continued plaque build-up would lead to a ‘blocked pipe’, greatly reducing or completely stopping blood flow, leading to stroke or heart attack.
So the ‘trick’ here is to understand that it’s not that Cholesterol is bad…
But rather that excessively high levels of Cholesterol is what is dangerous, and that you need to focus on keeping levels lower for optimum health & body functioning.
An unusual nutrient that lowers high Cholesterol
There is quite an unusual nutrient that can help boost your Cholesterol health.
It is a ‘health’ mineral called sulphur.
Ranked by many experts as the 4th most important mineral for human health, adequate dietary sulphur supply to the body has a number of health benefits.
Equally so, the reverse also holds true – inadequate dietary sulphur supply to the body can spell negative health benefits for your body.
Yet science has proved this loud & clear – if you want to obtain optimum, improved Cholesterol health, adequate dietary sulphur is the key ingredient.
You can get a good supply of healthy sulphur from the following foods:
Eggs are a great source of Sulphur, as well as a rich source of choline – another cholesterol lowering ingredient.
Eggs have been frowned upon as a food to ‘stay away’ from because of their cholesterol risk factor, but in fact, studies have shown that they can actually reduce Cholesterol related diseases such as heart disease.
They are also known as ‘brain food’. And because the brain comprises about 25% of the body’s cholesterol, eggs provide a natural supplement to keep & maintain required cholesterol levels.
Note: heart disease implications are due to types of Lipoproteins and not cholesterol. And eggs boost these lipoproteins types to help reduce risk of such heart disorders.
Garlic is sulphur rich and is a recognized ‘cholesterol-improving’ food.
Individuals who eat garlic regularly enjoy many health benefits. Actually, garlic has been viewed as a health food for many thousands of years.
For example, people who eat garlic have shown improvement in cardiovascular health, as well as a decreased risk factor in suffering from stroke or heart attack.
Recorded studies reveal that garlic is a powerful cholesterol improving food, with another study showing boosted (lowered levels of) cholesterol health by 7% & LDL protein reduction by 10% – meaning there was an increase in the favourable HDL protein.
Sulphur can be attributed as one of the major nutrients in garlic which encourage these health benefits.
Onions are also another sulphur-rich food that brings with it cardiovascular health benefits.
You can improve your cholesterol levels by eating onions every other day, raw or cooked.
A study followed men who ate raw onions every day for 90 days straight, and revealed noticeable benefits in cardiovascular well-being, as well as a boost in HDL protein levels by 30%.
Onions are a great cholesterol-improving companion to eat with garlic on a regular basis.
Other types of foods that help maintain correct cholesterol levels are soluble fibre foods.
Soluble Fibre Foods
Soluble fibre is a nutritious, mild type of fibre that increases the amount of important antioxidants in your body.
This type of fibre has a highly positive effect on the cardiovascular well-being of individuals, thereby effecting cholesterol to be at a great level.
Increase your soluble fibre intake by consuming more fruits & vegetables.
For example, at the end of each meal you have, you may include a fruit of veg of some sort eg. Apple, banana, peach etc. as your dessert.
Fruit juices contain lower fibre content, so if you were to choose, rather opt for consuming a whole fruit instead. They are also a great snack for in-between meals.
We’ve been told to watch out for our cholesterol levels, but there are still certain misconceptions about it’s role in our bodies.
Cholesterol is not bad, nor damaging to our bodies – in fact at the right levels, cholesterol is an important nutrient that helps repair our damaged organs.
Maintaining cholesterol at optimum levels includes eating foods that have the ‘unusual’ mineral of sulphur.
Eggs, onions and garlic are great sources of sulphur-rich foods that you can eat periodically to contribute to your improved cholesterol health.
Soluble fibre foods such as fruits & vegetables also assist in boosting optimum cholesterol levels.
Here are your recommended next steps:
- Ask your doctor to do a check up on your cholesterol levels. If you are older than 20 years old, its recommended by American Heart Association that you check up periodically every four to six years.
- Include sulphur-rich foods in your diet. Foods such eggs, garlic & onions. Aim to eat them at least once a week.
- Include fruits & vegetables in your diet to eat every day.
- Avoid foods that are rich in saturated fats eg. Butter, hard margarine, fatty meat & fatty foods, junk food.