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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Best Ways to Lower Cholesterol Level Naturally

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Best Ways to Lower Cholesterol Level Naturally

What separates good cholesterol from bad cholesterol can determine whether you have a healthy heart or coronary disease. Although cholesterol is not considered fat, it is very similar to fats. LDL or the "bad" cholesterol can also contribute to atherosclerosis; this is when the blood vessels become narrowed by deposits of fatty tissues, all of which are composed of cholesterol. This can create angina, and also raise the risk of a blocked artery in your heart which can cause you to have a heart attack.

The HDL or "good" cholesterol usually protects the heart against an attack. From the statements of researchers, it is the HDL which carries the cholesterol away from your arteries and back into your liver, where it will eventually be passed from the body. They have taken it a step farther and stated that HDL removes excess plague from your arteries.

If you have your blood tested each month, you will receive an indication of your bodily levels of LDL and HDL.

If your levels of cholesterol are below 200, you are considered to be in good shape. If it is above 200, it is essential that you change your diet, exercise, and/or begin taking cholesterol medications which should then lower the bad and increase the good. Also, your doctor will recommend that you stop smoking. However, some people bodies normally produce high levels of cholesterol, which means you may possibly be on medication for life; or sometimes there is a family history of elevated cholesterol. No matter what the case may be, drugs are available today which are considered to be safe, such as Crestor and Lipitor. They are non-habit forming, and can also lower one's bad cholesterol by as much as fifty percent.

Having a healthy diet would mean eating natural foods which should include fruits, veggies and whole grains. You should steer clear of foods that have large amounts of cholesterol like eggs, shellfish, shrimp or liver. Avoid fats that are unsaturated; when cooking use vegetable oil; and instead of whole milk, drink skim milk. Skinless chicken should be your choice; lean beef and pork; and make effort to limit the portions. You may not realize it but diets will work if the servings are smaller. It does not mean you will have to starve yourself. Eating little portions of food 3 or 4 times per day is okay, just as long as you continue with the low-fat, non dairy plan.

There is an old saying, "Never go to the grocery store if you have an empty stomach. " This is very true! At times some tend to purchase everything that they see; some of these items are sweets and are not very good for you. Eating slowly is another tip; use smaller plates and place your fork all the way down between bites. It really does work!

Last, lower cholesterol naturally by doing exercises. It is a proven fact that exercising for 30 minutes a day can raise the good and lower the bad cholesterol. If you are clueless as to what your cholesterol level is, ask your doctor to provide you with a blood test so that you will know exactly where you are. This is very important to the well being of your heart and health!

About the Author

Author Keith Jensen writes on a broad range of topics and has been contributing articles for the internet audience for the last six years. lower cholesterol naturally

Lower Cholesterol Level

Friday, March 6, 2009

How to Lower Cholesterol by 22% With Dry Beans

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How to Lower Cholesterol Level by 22% With Dry Beans

For centuries, dry beans have been a major component in what is known as an Authentic Mediterranean diet for the heart. By lowering cholesterol through their soluble fiber, they have contributed to lower the incidence of heart disease in the population living in the countries along the Mediterranean Sea.

Why? Because...
- Legumes contain essential minerals and vitamins such as iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, zinc, potassium, folic acid, and some of the B-complex vitamins.
- They are low in fat and sodium which make them an ideal food to keep high cholesterol and high blood pressure at bay.
- Legumes are also high in soluble fiber, the kind that lowers cholesterol.
- They can help balance your budget because they are very inexpensive.
As you can see, dry beans are an almost perfect food.

In the past few years, research has paid a lot of attention to the connection between regular legume, or dry beans consumption and a lower incidence of heart disease. The studies have shown that the people who eat dry beans regularly have a lower risk of suffering from heart attacks than the ones who barely eat them.

One study examined the relationship between soluble fiber intake and the risk of heart disease on 9,632 men and women over a period of 19 years. It showed that consuming legumes four times or more per week, compared with less than once a week, lowered the risk of heart disease by 22 percent1

How Eating Legumes Can Help You Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease?

1. Dry beans contain high amounts of soluble fiber
Fiber is what gives plants its structure. It's found mainly in fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds, as well as whole grains. It is the portion of plants that our system can not break down because it doesn't have the appropriate mechanisms to do it. Consequently, our cells have very little use for fiber. Fiber can be soluble and insoluble, and most plant foods contain a combination of both.

Soluble fiber means that the fiber dissolves in water and forms a jelly-like paste with other foods in the intestine. This feature is very important because it reduces the amount of cholesterol circulating in the blood. Soluble fiber not only lowers LDL cholesterol, the "bad" guy, but it also raises HDL cholesterol, the "good" guy.

Insoluble fiber does not have any effect on cholesterol but it is very beneficial for our whole body because it acts as a natural laxative

2. Dry beans help remove cholesterol from your system
Bile, produced by the liver, is a substance necessary to break down the fat we ingest in food. To produce bile, the liver grabs the cholesterol from the blood, converts it into bile, and sends it to the gallbladder where it's stored until needed. Then, when we eat, the gallbladder sends the bile to the intestines to help break down the fat portion of the food. Once the bile has done its job in the intestines, one of two things can happen:

- If our meal has enough soluble fiber, the fiber grabs the bile and takes it out of the body through the feces. Once the bile is eliminated, the liver responds by drawing more cholesterol from the blood to make new bile. The result is less cholesterol circulating in our system.

- If our meal does not have enough soluble fiber, the bile is not taken out of the body. In this case, the liver doesn't need to draw more cholesterol from the blood to produce more bile because there is plenty available in the system. The result is more cholesterol navigating in our blood vessels.

3. Dry beans stop cholesterol from even forming
When our meal includes soluble fiber, bacteria in the colon ferment it. This fermentation produces certain compounds that prevent the formation of cholesterol. This results in lower levels of cholesterol circulating in your blood vessels.

4. Dry beans can stop homocysteine from causing heart attacks or strokes
Homocysteine is a substance the body needs to produce certain compounds vital for our organs to function properly. To produce homocysteine, the body needs adequate amounts of vitamin B6, B12, and folic acid. However, when any of these vitamins is lacking, homocysteine is not converted into the necessary compounds. It then spills into circulation.

Many studies have shown that when homocysteine accumulates in our system, it becomes toxic. Even in small amounts, it will dramatically increase your risk of heart disease. High levels of homocysteine concentrations in the blood may cause a heart attack or a stroke, even among people who have normal cholesterol levels.

How can homocysteine cause heart attacks or strokes?

Abnormal levels of homocysteine appear to:

- Damage the inner lining of the arteries and blood vessels
- Promote blood clots
- Oxidize LDL cholesterol

How can you prevent homocysteine from accumulating in your blood?
Eat foods that contain folate as well as vitamins B6 and B12. Legumes are an excellent source of folate and contain moderate amounts of B6. Recent data show that the practice of fortifying foods with folate has reduced the average level of homocysteine in the U.S. population.

You don't have to eat dry beans every day, but based on studies conducted during more than 25 years, nutrition experts at the Michigan State University have concluded that eating 2 to 4 cups of cooked dry beans every week can protect us against heart disease by lowering cholesterol. Mediterraneans follow this practice and are notorious for having a low incidence of heart attacks and strokes, so let's follow their example and let's include more dry beans as part of an Authentic Mediterranean Diet.

About the Author:
With her new book, "Your Heart Needs the Mediterranean Diet", Emilia Klapp has helped thousands of people just like you reduce the risk of heart disease, lose weight and enjoy a more abundant life at the same time. For more information on an Authentic Mediterranean Diet for the heart, what is heart disease, and to receive a FREE especial report on the "Top 10 Mediterranean Curative Ingredients" go to: http://www.MediterraneanHeart.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Emilia_Klapp

Lower Cholesterol Level