A Natural Approach To Health
Living With High Cholesterol
I had a question the other day about high cholesterol.
Cholesterol is a type of fat (lipid) in your blood.
Your cells need cholesterol, and your body makes all it needs.
But you also get cholesterol from the food you eat.
If you have too much cholesterol, it starts to build up in your arteries.
This is called hardening of the arteries.
It’s usually a slow process that gets worse as you get older.
To understand what happens, think about how a clog forms in your kitchen sink.
Like the buildup of grease in the pipe, the buildup of cholesterol narrows your arteries and makes it harder for blood to flow through them.
It reduces the amount of blood that gets to your body tissues, including your heart.
This can lead to serious problems, including heart attack and stroke.
Your cholesterol is measured by a blood test:
>High cholesterol is 240 or above.
>Borderline-high is 200 to 239.
>Best is less than 200.
The different kinds of cholesterol are:
>LDL is the “bad” cholesterol (think lousy), the kind that clogs your arteries.
This is the cholesterol you need to lower if you have high cholesterol.
>HDL is the “good” cholesterol (think healthy).
HDL helps clear fat from your blood.
A high level of HDL helps protect you from a heart attack.
>Triglycerides are another type of fat in your blood.
If you have high triglycerides and high LDL, your chances of having a heart attack are higher.
High cholesterol doesn’t make you feel sick.
By the time you find out you have it, it may already be clogging your arteries.
So it’s very important to address the problem even if you feel fine.
Many things can cause high cholesterol, including:
>The foods you eat.
Eating too much saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol can raise your cholesterol.
Saturated fats are in foods that come from animals.
Trans fats are in packaged and snack foods, like cookies, crackers, and chips.
>Age. Cholesterol starts to rise after age 20.
>Family history. If family members have or had high cholesterol, you may also have it.
>Overall health. Diseases like hypothyroidism can raise cholesterol.
If you have high cholesterol, you need to address it in order to lower your risk of heart attack and stroke.
The two main treatments are lifestyle changes and medicine.
To deal with high cholesterol it’s beneficial to:
*Drink 6-8 cups of purified water daily to hydrate and flush toxins.
*Increase exercise and movement as much as possible.
*Increase stress and relaxation techniques: yoga, meditation, prayer, deep breathing, etc. Consider energy medicine.
*Address emotional connections.
*Increase fresh air, sunshine, connect with nature.
*Increase essential fats (flax oil, olive oil, Omega-3 oils).
*Increase fresh, raw fruits and veggies (organic when possible).
*Consider fresh juicing; consume fresh garlic and onions.
*Increase fiber intake; ensure good bowel function; avoid constipation; consider liver and/or colon cleanse.
*Consider an arterial cleansing program.
*Investigate use of herbs (hawthorn, valerian).
*Monitor blood pressure, cholesterol, triglyceride and homocysteine levels.
*Decrease toxic exposures of all kinds (food and environmental).
*Decrease “hidden allergies”.
*Decrease any and all hydrogenated, trans fats, deep-fried foods, margarine, fast foods, etc.
*Decrease sugar, sweets, white flour products, processed foods.
*Understand and control diabetes.
*Avoid tobacco, alcohol, caffeine, soda pop.
*Decrease excess weight, particularly around your mid-section.
*Understand your medications and possible side effects.
*Understand your family history and address any concerns. Practice preventive measures.
*Investigate possible connection to dental procedures; consult a holistic dentist.
*Eliminate MSG and all artificial sweeteners as they are neurotoxins.
*Decrease processed meats, deli meats (nitrates).