Cheesy fries, deep fried chicken, fatty cuts of animal protein and Burgers. Sounds like a big night out and a recipe for disaster!
Cholesterol cannot travel through the bloodstream alone. It needs a partner in crime which comes in the form of certain proteins. These proteins act like miniature public transport systems inside your body. They pick up the cholesterol and transport it to different parts of your body. When this happens the cholesterol and protein form a LIPOPROTEIN together. A biological love story.
When talking about Cholesterol let it be known that there is the “Bad” Cholesterol (LDL) – low-density lipoproterins and the “Good” Cholesterol (HDL) – High – density lipoproteins.
How do I remember that easily?
Most cholesterol is LDL cholesterol. This is the kind that will most likely clog blood vessels which keeps blood from flowing freely through the body the way it should be.
HDL cholesterol is our friend! It removes cholesterol from the blood vessels and carries it back to the liver where it’s processed and removed from the body. One of the many reasons why we need to keep our liver in tip top condition!
Don’t let this all scare you! We do need cholesterol in our bodies to produce Vitamin D, some hormones, build cell walls and create bile salts to help you digest fat. Your liver produces cholesterol! Around 1,000 milligrams a day so there is no need for you to indulge in fatty junk foods. If you never touched a greasy burger again you would be fine, however sometimes it is hard to avoid it.
Your job? Make those HDL’s HAPPY and LOWER those LDL’s!
How do we keep those LDL’s Low?
Nourish your body with good foods, reduce stress and keep happy and creative!
Here are some foods that may help.
Start your Cholesterol Lowering journey in the morning with some oats! By adding two servings of oats to your morning routine you can lower your LDL cholesterol by 5.3% in about 6 weeks! This may differ for everyone though. The key is in the beta-glucan which absorbs LDL and then later excreted by the body.
Ahhhh the humble orange. Its magic ingredient for lowering cholesterol is pectin. Like other types of soluble fiber, pectin forms a gooey mass in your stomach that traps cholesterol and carries it out of your body before it can be absorbed into your bloodstream where it can wreak havoc and clog your arteries. This only applies if you eat the orange or blend it in order to keep the fiber content. So put away your juicer.
This wonderful leafy green is like a ray of sunshine thanks to it’s abundant supply of lutein which is the yellow pigment found in dark leafy greens and egg yolks. Spinach has certainly earned its Gold Star. It’s known to guard against age-related macular degeneration which can lead to blindness. Apparently, recent studies have shown that eating 1/2 cup of a lutein-rich food daily can help prevent heart attacks by helping artery walls scare away cholesterol invaders that lead to clogging. That’s enough to get your popeye on!
Want to lower your cholesterol? It’s time to go nuts! Recent studies have shown that those who nibbled on 1.5 ounces of whole walnuts 6 days a week for 1 month lowered their cholesterol by 5.4% and LDL cholesterol by 9.3%. You can find more on this study if you CLICK HERE.
Almonds and cashews are also other good options however, make sure you practice portion control as they are high in calories.
Garlic is one of my all time favourite foods! I’ve had it in smoothies and eaten it raw and added it to every meal I make! I recently did a detox and the main note from my naturopath was to include as much garlic as possible as it aids in the detoxing process. Garlic has been known to lower cholesterol, prevent blood clots, reduce blood pressure and protect against infections. I know I would rather have garlic breath than clogged arteries 😉
Avocados posses a fantastic source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat which can help raise HDL cholesterol and lower LDL. It also contains the cholesterol-smashing beta-sitosterol, a beneficial plant-based fat that reduces the amount of cholesterol absorbed from food. Be weary though, it is high in calories so use them in moderation.
These are only a select few of the foods that can help lower your nasty cholesterol levels! Be sure to start introducing them more and more into your daily diet and I am sure you will start to notice a difference. Here is an idea for a super simple smoothie that your HDL’s will hoorah for and the LDL’s will loathe…
What is a good smoothie to help with managing cholesterol levels?
Submitted by: Raw Blend
- 1 cup oat milk
- 1 1/2 tsp LSA
- 1 tsp lecithin granules
- 1 tsp psyllium husk
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1/2 banana (peeled)
- handful of ice cubes
- Optional – Stevia for sweetening
- Put all the ingredients into the Vitamix 2L container in the order listed and secure the lid.
- Select Variable 1. Turn the machine on and quickly increase the speed to 10, then override to High.
- Use tamper to effectively press the ingredients into the blades if required whilst processing.
- Blend for 60-90 seconds or until desired consistency is reached.
- Stop the machine and serve.
It is very important that when you take psyllium husk, you drink extra water to ensure that the psyllium can move through the colon with ease. It is also best that you begin with a low dose and slowly build up to the recommended dose.
Lecithin is also a best friend when it comes to lowering cholesterol levels. Lecithin is derived from soy beans and helps dissolve fat and cholesterol. Add it with some LSA and Psyillim husk for fibre and you have yourself a lethal concoction for those nasty LDL’s!