Saturday, October 30, 2010

Managing Cholesterol


There are several ways that you can begin to manage your own cholesterol whether you have a genetic predisposition or not. You can truly lower your cholesterol without drugs if you do ALL of these things every day.  I am not saying that it is easy, but if you do it, you will see a change. And even if you don't do all of these things at once, even some of them will offer heart healthy benefits to you. Start with a few, then add a few more after a week and continue that until you are doing all of these things every day:
  • Eat oatmeal for breakfast.  Steel cut is the best, but use old fashioned if you can't deal with the steel cut.
  • Eat a handful of almonds every day (a combination of almonds and walnuts also works). Buy them UNSALTED and raw from the baking aisle.  1/4 to 1/3 cup per day is good.
  • Eat 1-2 Tbs milled or ground flax seed. This can be added to the oatmeal, to your yogurt, sprinkled on salad, or my favorite is adding to my Juice Plus smoothie!
  • Take psyllium husk (most commonly found in Metamucil but can also be found in health food stores in its pure form). 
  • Eat 1/2 cup legumes every day. 
  • Eat an apple every day! (yes that old adage about keeping the doctor away works)
  • Take plant sterols (2-3 grams a day. These substances are found in many foods now but can be taken as a supplement easily. And of course they are found in high levels in the Juice Plus brand that Healthy Environments promotes.).
  • Use soy protein (soy milk, edamame, soy nuts, tofu, etc).  I know--there has been some bad press around this issue. That was with very high doses and not using foods. So stick to the foods and not the high doses in supplements.
  • Take garlic--and eat it too!  Aged garlic extract is a good source.  But put real garlic cloves in your food as often as you can.
  • EXERCISE--yes, that means move on a regular basis. Even if you focus on walking 30 minutes a day, that is perfect! 
Not only are the above steps good for lowering cholesterol, but many are generally healthy habits as well.  The reasons are complex and directly influence different ways that the body produces and attacks cholesterol.  But, for most people, this plan will allow you to improve your cholesterol outlook without drugs.  All you need to do is go to the grocery store with these things on your list.
 So, rather than focusing on what you need to give up and what your doctor has told you to 'stay away from, focus on this list of TO DOs.  Check them off every day for heart disease prevention and to move towards healthy cholesterol levels.

To Your Health....

Deborah Mumm
Healthy Environments

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