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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Lower Your Cholesterol With Just Four Foods

Lower Cholesterol Level Presents:

Lower Your Cholesterol With Just Four Foods

High cholesterol is bad news because it can lead to heart disease and cause strokes. It is now clear from the latest statistics that more and more younger people are on these cholesterol lowering drugs and that is yet another sign that the obesity epidemic is raging.

The rapid increase in the figures for the 20 - 44 age group - 70% in the last five years- is causing alarm. These drugs are normally associated with senior citizens so this increase could mean that the younger generation are taking their health more seriously or that there is an alarming increase in cholesterol levels. Experts agree that the latter option is the most likely scenario.

The most effective and widely tested cholesterol drugs are called the statins, which block the formation of cholesterol in the liver and increase the production of the receptors on liver cells that clean the bad cholesterol from the blood. If you are worried about the side effects of statins, you may want to consider lowering your cholesterol levels a more natural way and that is through a healthy diet. Here are my four top foods which will definitely lower your cholesterol without having to take any drugs.

Top of the list are tomatoes. They contain a very valuable substance called lycopene which acts to stop the oxidation of LDL which is the bad cholesterol. Once this oxidation occurs, it starts to form plaque in the arteries and that is dangerous. There have been studies on this and they have confirmed that lycopene is a valuable ally in the fight against high cholesterol.

My second one is fish, preferably baked or grilled rather than fried in oil. Look out for high fat fish such as wild salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, trout, etc. These are great sources of omega -3. Lots of studies done on the Eskimos who eat a lot of fish and they have a much lower rate of heart disease and blood pressure problems. Flaxseed and canola oil are also good sources of Omega -3

My third one is soy because it contains fibre and lots of vitamins and minerals. Recently the American Heart Association stated that the effects of soy on blood pressure and on triglycerides was actually minimal. But it is a great source of low-fat protein and that is why I eat or drink it all the time.

Researchers have shown that if you consume about 200 calories of nuts a day (let us say you are 1,200 a day), then this can in some cases reduce your cholesterol levels by about 12%. That is not bad - just by adding a very important food to your diet. That is why nuts are in my top four - any nuts will do- walnuts, almonds and cashews. Nuts are a great source of healthy fats not to mention some valuable minerals and trace nutrients as well.

These top foods I have outlined are just a few of those mentioned in the Mediterranean Diet which has been the at the centre of attention for a long time now. Studies show that people living in the Mediterranean basin actually have a lower rate of cholesterol and heart disease than many other nations. It has nothing to do with the sun - it is what they eat !
About the Author

Worried about cholesterol drugs? Try The Mediterranean Diet Visit The Wellness Bible (http://www.thewellnessbible.blogspot.com/) for up to date news and views on Health and Fitness.

Lower Cholesterol Level