Cholesterol is a type of fat that is actually good for you in small amounts. Your body uses it to make your hormones, your bile and in supporting cell structure. Cholesterol is found in certain foods (e.g. meats, dairy products, eggs) but the majority of the excess cholesterol you have was made in your liver. Your body forgets to switch off when it has made enough. Too much cholesterol is bad for your health because it forms plaque inside your blood vessels when it is oxidised
This partially blocks the blood vessels and is a disease known as atherosclerosis which will give you an increased risk of cardiovascular(heart) disease.
When you get your Cholesterol checked your Practitioner will look for two main types of cholesterol–High Density Lipoprotein (HDL—The Good) and Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL—The Bad). Your practitioner will also look at the ratio between the two. The higher the HDL and the lower the LDL the healthier you will be.
Your treatment should be aimed at:
- Reducing the amount of total cholesterol
- Restoring the balance and converting the bad LDL into the good HDL
You can achieve this with a five point plan
- Follow a cholesterol lowering eating plan. Since your body will manufacture most of your cholesterol you will need to restrict the “ingredients” it uses to make the bad cholesterol and increase the “ingredients” it use to make the good type of cholesterol
- Eliminate trans fats from your diet. This is the worst form of fat and is found in fast foods,fried foods and many baked goods
- Reduce the amount of saturated fat you eat. You can do this by cutting off all the fat on your meat before cooking and be aware of the fat hidden in foods like sausages. This will increase your weight as well as your bad cholesterol
- Increase the amount of fish you eat (especially cold water fish like tuna and salmon). Also nuts and seeds
- Cut down on sugar in your diet. Most sugars are hidden soft drink and processed foods. Any excess sugar is converted to fat by your body and the less you exercise the more sugars are converted to fat.
- Increase the fruit and vegetables in your diet and steam them rather than baking
- Lose weight. If you are overweight it is essential that you lose weight as part of your cholesterol lowering strategy.
- Get moving. Daily physical activity is vital for stabilising your weight and controlling your cholesterol. Aerobic exercise will get your heart pumping more efficiently. Physical activity converts the bad LDL into the good HDL
- Adopt a healthy lifestyle. No smoking and reduce your stress exposure
- Take supplements to help manage cholesterol and restore the balance between the good and the bad
- Suggested supplements are
- Krill Oil. This is an excellent source of essential fatty acids, antioxidants and phospholipids which have been demonstrated to reduce cholesterol, restore the balance of the good and the bad cholesterol and also reduce inflammation
- Sterols from Sugar Cane. This help reduce LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol