How to Lower Cholesterol Naturally
Cholesterol is a waxy lipid found in all body cells and is found in only foods of animal origin. Cholesterol plays a very important role in the human body. It forms the many hormones in the body, such as testosterone, estrogen and a form of the active vitamin D hormone. Cholesterol is also a building block for bile acids needed for fat digestion. Completely removing fats or fat building blocks from your diet can be damaging to the body. Before you jump into a strict eating plan, make sure you do the research about the side effects of limiting certain aspects of a human diet.
When talking about Cholesterol in the human body we must first start by defining Hyperlipidemia (High Cholesterol). High Cholesterol is defined as values above which the risk for coronary heart disease rises more steeply. For patients with blood cholesterol values between 200 and 239 mg/100mL, the appropriate treatment is determined by the HDL to LDL ratio. HDL’s are the “good cholesterols”, while LDL’s are considered the “bad cholesterols.” Recommendations for total cholesterol should be < 170 mg/100mL and the total LDL’s should be <110 mg/100mL. These numbers can be found by simply asking your family doctor to check your cholesterol levels.
The most up to date information on fat intake is from the American Heart Association (AHA). The recommendations of fat consumption per day are not to exceed 20%-35% of total calories, which equals 44 to 78 grams per day. The American Heart Association recommends these Lifestyle Goals to prevent cardiovascular Disease:
- Consume an overall healthy diet (low in saturated and trans fats)
- Aim for a healthy body weight
- Aim for recommended levels of LDL’s, HDL’s and triglycerides
- Aim for a normal blood pressure
- Aim for normal blood glucose
- Be more physically active (30 minutes of activities 3-5 times per week)
- Avoid use of and exposure to tobacco products
Dr. Dustin K. Young will be happy to sit down with you and go over your current eating habits. If you have any questions or would like us to review your current diet or a diet you might be considering, feel free to ask us.