Cholesterol is essential to human biology. It is a component of all cell membranes, where it allows for the transportation of vital compounds from the blood and lymphatic system into the cells. It is also necessary for the manufacture of bile, steroid hormones by the adrenal glands and the sex hormones progesterone, estrogen and testosterone. Cholesterol is also essential to Vitamin D synthesis. Cholesterol is produced by the liver and excreted into the intestines in the form of bile; about 50% of this cholesterol is later reabsorbed into the blood stream and returned through the blood to the liver. The liver also regulates the amount of circulating cholesterol by decreasing cholesterol production in response to an elevation in serum cholesterol due to the intake of a diet high in fat.
Sources of cholesterol ? In addition to the cholesterol manufactured by the liver, the major source of cholesterol in the bloodstream is dietary cholesterol. However, the amount of circulating cholesterol seems to be more closely related to the total intake of dietary fat than to the intake of cholesterol itself. In particular, diets high in animal fats seem to increase total cholesterol in humans. Major dietary sources of cholesterol include beef, pork, poultry, shrimp, egg yolks, milk and cheese. Polyunsaturated fats, also known as “Trans fats,” which are found most often in margarine and solid fats like “Crisco” and lard, also greatly increase serum cholesterol. The United States recently banned Trans fats from all food sold in markets and restaurants.
The amount of cholesterol in plant based food sources is very small. What’s more, certain plants contain cholesterol-like compounds called phytosterols which are believed to lower serum cholesterol. Phytosterols can be found in flax seeds, flax seed oil and peanuts.
For several decades, people have been harping over the fact that obesity and high cholesterol levels are harmful for the health. However, instead of declining, the number of obese and people suffering from high cholesterol has increased. Experts believe that high cholesterol level in the body is mainly because of improper diet and lack of exercises. Apart from having a balanced diet and regular exercise regime, using some herbal techniques is always desirable.
Here are 10 solutions that can be very beneficial for getting rid of high cholesterol problems.
How to Get Rid of Excess Cholesterol
1. Check cholesterol levels regularly
Rising level of cholesterol subjects a man to greater risk of heart attack. Cholesterol is lipoprotein in nature. The lipoprotein by nature is not easily degradable substance. Thus accumulation of lipoproteins in the cells makes it impossible to be degraded and make them block the system. The deposition of the cholesterol especially in the blood vessel is considered as very bad. This leads to the diseases like artherosclerosis and myocardial infarction. Cholesterols are the polymers of the fatty acids. Fatty acids are covalently bonded to form the lipoproteins. Thus this strong bondage prevents it from any kind of degradation. They are also called as the stored energy in the body. They remain unused in our body because of our eating habits as we take high amount of carbohydrate which prevents the usage of the cholesterol and thus they remain in the undegraded form in the body. To check the rising level of the cholesterol in our body it is necessary to monitor the current level of cholesterol in the body. It always makes a man aware of the current status of cholesterol in the body and takes necessary steps for lowering it.
2. Quit smoking
Smoking is directly linked to higher LDL (low density lipoproteins), the bad cholesterol, while depleting HDL (high density lipoproteins), the good cholesterol, levels. Apart from damaging arteries, nicotine in cigarettes can lead to heart palpitations. Smoking also leads to raised fibrinogen levels and platelet counts which make the blood stickier. Inhaled carbon monoxide from cigarette smoke also raises blood cholesterol levels; carbon monoxide attaches itself to hemoglobin, which diminishes overall oxygen supply.
Studies found that giving up smoking can reverse heart disease; good cholesterol or HDL levels automatically rise, driving down LDL levels. Within 24 hours of quitting, risk of a heart attack subsides. Within one year, the risk of heart disease is half that of a smoker. And within 15 years the risk of heart disease is similar to someone who never smoked. It makes good sense to quit smoking and reap a range of health benefits that translate into good heart health.
Worldwide, smoking is the main culprit in 20% of heart disease deaths. Cigarette smoking is thus the most modifiable risk factor for coronary heart disease. 80% of heart attacks in men under 45 years of age can be traced to cigarette smoking. A cigarette smoker has 2 to 3 times the risk of suffering a heart attack. For heavy smokers, the risk of a fatal heart attack is 10 to 15 times that of a nonsmoker. Even light smokers are at a high risk of developing coronary heart disease. Women smokers are not immune either: even as few as 4 cigarettes a day can lead to a 2.5% increase in fatal coronary disease.
3. Reduce the intake of caffeine
Not many know that by just taking care of your caffeine intake you can reduce your cholesterol level to a greater extent. Many of us might not know that intake of caffeine add to the cholesterol levels in our body. Also many of us don’t know how much caffeine we intake. People working in the office are not aware how many cups of coffee do they drink while working in the office. Under the pressure of work they tend to divert their pressure at the coffee counter to that cup of coffee that they drink without knowing what harm it may or, to be precise, it is causing to them. Caffeine is a component found in coffee. Actually, coffee contains two chemicals, which are identified to be raising cholesterol levels. Those chemicals are Cafestol and Kahweol. These chemicals are a member of a chemical family called Diterpenes in coffee oils. The amount of Diterpenes depends upon the brewing method. Drip-brewed coffee, instant coffee and percolated coffee contain only minimal amount of Diterpenes. But boiled coffees such as Greek, Turkish, espresso and those made in French “press” coffeemaker have quite a greater amount of Diterpenes and contributes to increase in the cholesterol levels. Caffeine is generally found in coffee, tea, soft drinks, soda etc. So we must limit drinking such drinks so as to reduce the caffeine intake.
4. Increase intake of spices
Though there is much type of treatments and medications available to lower and combat cholesterol, a very tasty technique for combating the cholesterol problem is by increasing the intake of spices. Spices really help us in lowering the level of cholesterol. So we can combat cholesterol while eating our favorite dish. They also help in combating various diseases arising out of high cholesterol levels.
The spices that help in lowering the cholesterol level are garlic, onions, linseed, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, mint, lemongrass etc. These spices help in lowering the cholesterol level. Certain spice such as mint prohibits the production of cholesterol. Fenugreek is high in saponins and soluble fibers which help decrease the absorption of cholesterol from food. Cinnamon a spice also helps in lowering the cholesterol. Onions have significant amounts of flavonoids which can act as antioxidants to protect LDL cholesterol from being oxidized and they can inhibit the formation of blood clots and provide anti-inflammatory and anti-tumour activity consequently it also helps in lowering cholesterol level. These spices also help in burning fats thereby consequently reducing the cholesterol level. Actually when we add spices to our foods then while eating it generates a great amount of heat which in turn helps in melting away of the fat deposits inside our body. So consequently, there is a reduction in the cholesterol level. The most beneficial thing regarding spices is that it adds to the taste of our food and also simultaneously reduces cholesterol level. Moreover, we also don’t require bearing any kind of medication or doctor’s cost. However, we must be careful while increasing our intake because such intake should not exceed limits, as it would be harmful to our health.
5. Increase in soya intake
Soya is found in various edible forms. They are consumed as soya milk, soya powder, tofu and various other forms. Soya is generally very useful in reducing the blood cholesterol level.
Soya generally has fatty acids beneficial to the human system. They are very low in saturated fatty acids are lineloic acid and alpha lineloic acid, which is contained in the soya; they are very essential to the human body. Thus the intake of soya itself ensures that intake of cholesterol in the form of dietary saturated fatty acid is almost nil. Soya contains small peptide chains. After the soya is ingested the peptide chains are broken down into even smaller peptide chains containing only 4-6 amino acids. These small peptides get attached to the cell membrane and increase the receptivity of the LDL is the abbreviated form of low density lipoprotein. Due to the increased receptivity of the LDL the blood cholesterol gets lowered. Thus intake of soya also ensures reduction in the existing blood cholesterol, which is in excess. It advised by the experts that a daily consumption of at least 25 gms of soya is necessary to reduce blood cholesterol level.
6. Intake great levels of barley
Barley is a wonderful versatile cereal grain with nutlike flavor. Its appearance resembles wheat-berries although it is quite lighter in color. Barley helps a lot in reducing cholesterol levels in the body. Barley’s insoluble fiber produces a short chain of fatty acids namely Propionic acid and Acetic acid, which are used as a fuel by the cells of the liver and muscles. The prop ionic acid produced from barley’s insoluble fiber is responsible for cholesterol lowering properties of the fiber. This acid inhibits the HMG-CoA reductase, an enzyme involved in the production of cholesterol by the liver. By lowering the activity of this enzyme, Propionic acid helps in lowering cholesterol levels. In addition barley’s dietary fiber is also high in Beta Glucan, which helps to lower cholesterol by binding to bile acids and removing them from the body via the feces. Soluble fibers of barley also help in reducing the amount of cholesterol manufactured by the liver.
7. Use Olive Oil
It is very easy to say that obese individuals and people suffering from high cholesterol problems must minimize the intake of oil. However, this is very difficult to implement in practice. Hence, instead it is a better idea to use alternative oils that do not deprive the individuals the pleasure of fried foodstuffs and also keep the cholesterol levels in check. Olive oil obviously is extracted from the olive fruits. This means that this oil is a vegetative extract and is better than animal fat. Olive oil contains monounsaturated fats. This means that these fats do not get deposited on the walls of the arteries and result in life-threatening disorders like arteriosclerosis. The fats in olive oil immediately get absorbed in the body system and are thus beneficial for the individuals. Olive oil reduces the quantity of undesirable blood cholesterol, also known as LDL cholesterol. It only enhances the level of HDL cholesterol, which is beneficial for the health of an individual.
Olive oil contains a large number of antioxidants that are very essential for the health of the individual. In order to reduce cholesterol levels in the body, it is also not advisable to completely avoid fats. A bare minimum amount of fats is necessary for maintaining the metabolism in the body and also for the smooth functioning of the joints and the muscles in the body. This requirement can be satisfies with the help of olives and olive oil. Since olive oil does not go well with meat-based foodstuffs, it is recommended to use it with vegetables. Olive oil enhances the taste of vegetables greatly. These way individuals would start consuming more of salads and raw vegetable mix topped with olive oil. Olive oil is bound to make a significant difference to the health of the individual. It would definitely help in the endeavor of the individual to reduce cholesterol and increase the intake of health foods.
8. Take multivitamins
Vitamins are very essential nutrient of the body. Vitamins are the nutrients which cannot be synthesized in our body naturally but rather should be consumed externally so as to fulfill the requirement of the vitamin.
The multivitamins have the quality to prevent the oxidation of the bad cholesterol (LDL). Due to the process of the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, they are broken into free radicals and are easily available to the cell for their own oxidation. This actually spells doom on the human system. The content of the cholesterol rises to a greater level and hampers normal functioning of the cell. Thus it is also said that the level of harm caused by the LDL cholesterol is not due to the amount present in the body but rather due to the amount of cholesterol getting oxidized. Multivitamins has been very instrumental in lowering the level of cholesterol in the body. In addition multivitamins also contains antioxidants vitamins which is helpful in reducing the level of amino acids homocystaein. The collective effect of both of the actions helps in lowering the risk of any cardio vascular diseases. It has been found through clinical research that vitamin c has been the most responsible vitamin for checking the oxidation of the LDL cholesterol.
9. Drink more water
Drinking more and more water helps to keep body fit more. So try to drink at least eight glasses of water per day. It is good for health. Drinking more water has much gain like drinking water properly leads to weight loss as it reduces fats. It helps in metabolizing more fats of the body. Even kidneys do not perform well if enough water supplies are not there. Water contains minerals and salts which is essential for body. Drinking plenty of water also kills water retention problem too. It also makes endocrine glands to function properly. This helps in balancing your body electrolytes, minerals such as sodium, chloride, and potassium, which regulate body temperature and control blood pressure. It also helps in transporting water-soluble vitamins and nutrients, such as protein, minerals, and the B and C vitamins across the body.
10. Drink fresh fruit juice
In the last few years there have been nearly countless studies on the benefits of fruits and vegetables that people eat more of them in their regular diet. Important substances in fruits and vegetables called phyto chemicals are being studied for their positive effect on preventing health problems and sometimes for treating health problems like cholesterol. The result of this and similar research is an ever-increasing wealth of data that point to the possible positive effect of fruits and vegetables on the health. It helps to control cholesterol level in the body and protect it from getting cholesterol. To get the best benefit from juice it is better to drink fresh fruit juice that is without any preservatives. The best one is homemade juice.