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Have you been told that you have high cholesterol? The good news is that this lifestyle ailment is easy to prevent and quick to fix when you know what to do – and do it! In this episode, Jen talks about fats – the good, the bad and the very bad and gives practical tips on how you can reduce your cholesterol and eat your way to good heart health.

Did you enjoy the podcast today? Please let me know by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts. Every month I draw one lucky reviewer to have a free one-hour consultation with me. Also, remember to subscribe wherever you’re tuning in from so that you always catch the next episode.

SHOWNOTES

My doctor said I have high cholesterol – what do I do? This is a question I get asked a LOT. So, let’s look at cholesterol in more detail.

What is cholesterol?

HDL or high-density liquid proteins are considered “good” cholesterol, and LDL or low-density liquid proteins is considered “bad.” 

HDL carries cholesterol to your liver, where it can be removed from your bloodstream before it builds up in your arteries. Conversely, LDL takes cholesterol directly to your arteries and deposits the harmful fat in vessel walls. 

The great news is that this is a lifestyle ailment that is pretty quick to fix – and prevent. Next to Type 2 Diabetes, this is the easiest imbalance for a naturopath to bring back into balance.

How can you bring your cholesterol down?

To bring your cholesterol down, you need to eat close to nature.

1. Eat good fats

To lower your cholesterol you need to:

  • Reduce saturated fats – Saturated fats, found primarily in red meat and full-fat dairy products, raise your total cholesterol.
  • Eliminate trans fats
  • Eat the good fats 

Where you can get the good fats:

  • Olive Oil – This will increase the good and decrease the bad cholesterol
  • Flaxseed Oil – This is my favourite source of Omega 3, though you can’t cook with it, and you need to keep it in the fridge
  • Avocados – Avocados are full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats – the same fats that are in olive oil. Eating avocados may slowly lower LDL cholesterol and boost HDL cholesterol. 
  • Coldwater fish – Salmon and Krill, not farmed Omega 3
  • Nuts – almonds, walnuts, peanuts, and other nuts are good for the heart. Eating 50 grams or two tablespoons of nuts a day can slightly lower LDL, on the order of 5%. My favourite is almonds, as they are rich in unsaturated fats. Almonds work hard to raise healthy HDL cholesterol while lowering unhealthy LDL cholesterol. They also make LDL less likely to oxidize, which helps prevent build-ups in the arteries and restricted blood flow to the heart. When you snack on nuts, remember their high-calorie count. 

2. Increase soluble fibre 

Soluble fibre can reduce the absorption of cholesterol into your bloodstream. 

Soluble fibre is found in:

  • Whole grains – Barley, oatmeal and brown rice have lots of soluble fibre, which has been proven to lower LDL cholesterol by reducing the absorption of cholesterol into your bloodstream. 
  • Beans and legumes – Black beans, lentils, kidney beans, black eye beans, pinto beans slow the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream
  • Whey protein – Studies have shown that whey protein given as a supplement lowers both LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol as well as blood pressure.
  • Fruits – Apples, grapes, strawberries, citrus fruits. These fruits are rich in pectin, a type of soluble fibre that lowers LDL.

Some other good fruits to include in your diet are:

  • Blueberries – Blueberries are a nutritional superstar, and these benefits extend to cholesterol. They reduce levels of artery-clogging LDL, which may lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. 
  • Tomatoes – Lycopene-rich tomatoes not only lowers bad LDL cholesterol but may also modestly increase beneficial HDL cholesterol. 

Other foods to help with lowering cholesterol include:

  • Steamed vegetables – steaming enhances a vegetable’s ability to bind to bile acids in the gut. Bound bile acids use up more cholesterol to produce bile, leaving fewer harmful fats floating around in your bloodstream. Steamed asparagus, okra, carrots, beets, green beans, eggplants, and cauliflowers are all a bit more heart-healthy after a quick steam. 
  • Chocolate – In small doses, chocolate can be healthy for your heart. Dark chocolate is full of flavonoids, antioxidants that help lower bad cholesterol. Ensure the chocolate is at least 70% cocoa. 

3. Move your body

Exercise can improve cholesterol. Moderate physical activity can help raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol. 

4. Reduce alcohol and smoking

Not much more needs to be said on this one. Quit smoking and reduce your alcohol intake.

5. Drink green tea 

Green tea contains powerful antioxidants that may reduce cholesterol levels. 

6. Reduce stress 

Stress can change blood chemistry faster than crap food. Adaptogens help you adapt to stress, so it doesn’t tax your body the same. 

Helpful Links

The Adrenal Tonic Jen takes – Ionix Supreme

Healthy Life Hacks

So, the healthy life hacks I want to leave you with today are: 

  1. Don’t stress. It’s the 90/10 rule if you do everything right 90% of the time your body can easily cope with the 10%
  2. Focus on three foods listed above and start there. Small changes make a big difference.
  3. Manage your stress. Stress is toxic and can override everything else good that you are doing.

Did you enjoy the podcast today? Please let me know by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts. Every month I draw one lucky reviewer to have a free one-hour consultation with me. Also, remember to subscribe wherever you’re tuning in from so that you always catch the next episode.

Are you looking for more great resources? Get a free copy of my Feed Your Body ebook here and be sure to explore my blog while you are there.

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