Low Cholesterol recipes
Cholesterol is an essential component for every cell membrane in the body and is also required for the synthesis of hormones and protection of the nerve fibres. It can be either introduced into the body from dietary sources (exogenous) and also manufactured (endogenous) within the body. It is needed in the digestive system to breakdown fats, lipids and oil from foods. About 30% of the body's cholesterol content is derived from dietary sources although it is actually not necessary to consume it in the diet as enough is produced within the body. Your bodies levels of Cholesterol can be taken from a blood test and healthy levels are approximately <3.5mmol/ litre for LDL (low density lipoproteins) and >1mmol/ litre. for HDL (high density lipoproteins)
High cholesterol levels in the body are an indicator for an increased risk of developing heart disease, and not a disease in itself.
Deciding when cholesterol levels are an health issue and when to treat these levels can be based on two factors: lipid levels (total cholesterol, LDL, and HDL,) and the presence of additional risk factors, as follows.
- cigarette smoking
- hypertension (high blood pressure)
- low HDL cholesterol
- family history of premature heart disease
Foods which increase the elimination of cholesterol in the body
- All grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables are void of cholesterol.
- Increase fibre: certain forms of fibre such as oat bran, slippery elm powder, flax seed and psyllium seeds encourage cholesterol excretion.
- Eat mainly a vegetarian diet with plenty of grains, fruits and vegetables. Reduce the amount of animal fats consumed.
- Apple pectin has an affinity to cholesterol, it binds to it and facilitates the excretion of it. Grate an apple onto your porridge in the morning.
- Garlic, Ginger and Onions should be used as much as possible in cooking as it can reduce blood cholesterol and triglycerides.
- Reducing saturated fats (oils) and transfatty acids, refined carbohydrates and sugar. 95% of the average daily consumption of trans-fatty acids is in the form of partially-hydrogenated vegetable oil products such as "easy-spread butters", margarine (which contains 20% trans-fatty acids) and vegetable shortenings. Trans-fatty acids are "hidden" in many processed foods that use partially-hydrogenated vegetable oils in their manufacture (e.g. doughnuts, biscuits). Most commercial dietary oils have been subjected to partial-hydrogenation and therefore contain large amounts of trans-fatty acids.
- Avoid fried and fatty foods.
- Increase Omega 3 essential fatty acids in the form of deep sea oily fish (Salmon, Snapper, Mackeral, Anchovies, Cod, Sardines, Halibut).
- Decrease Omega 6 such as Corn oil, Safflower oil, vegetable shortenings, margarine, processed foods, tinned foods.
- Lose weight if necessary, exercise regularly and manage stress.
- Reduce alcohol intake.
- Manage stress as it alone can make quite a significant impact on cholesterol.
- Psyllium (a type of mucilage) lowers total serum cholesterol levels by up to 15% by inhibiting the absorption of dietary Cholesterol.
- Use antioxidants such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, CoQ10 and a B Complex formulation. These offer a counter attack to the damage caused by free radical activity on the artery wall. Free radicals can damage blood vessel walls long before blockages develop in the coronary arteries.
- Achieve your ideal body weight, not only will you look and feel better, but you will reduce your risk of heart disease and other serious health problems. If you need help in this area, your practitioner is able to help you with a sensible approach to weight loss.
- Always use cold pressed oils such as Virgin Olive Oil.
- Lecithin sprinkled on your food, cereal, in a smoothie helps to emulsify fats, lipids and oils and the break down of cholesterol in the digestion.
- Avoid processed and refined foods
- Herbal treatment of high cholesterol focuses on liver health: Herbs such as Globe Artichoke, Golden Seal, Dandelion and Milk Thistle support and protect liver function and are indicated for the treatment of cholesterol. Bitter herbal preparations such as Dandelion Root tea are also traditionally used to support liver function.
- Herbal teas which increase liver detoxification and cholesterol elimination - Dandelion Root, Chicory, Burdock
- The scientific and medical evidence in support of vitamins is increasing and much of this information is covered in the book, "Highway to heart health:antioxidants and you" written by Ross Walker. His program is based on fresh foods which are rich in antioxidants and similar to those found in the traditional Mediterranean diet, plus extra doses of vitamins, extra virgin olive oil, green tea, fruit and vegetables, red wine and supplements of Vitamin C, Vitamin E and a B Complex.
- Stop smoking if you are a smoker and manage stress levels.
- Start each day with a half a lemon squeezed into some warm water first thing in the morning. This stimulates liver and gall bladder function, cleanses the bowel and primes digestion for the day.