Friday, August 24, 2012

The Number Game That May Save Your Life

In 1951 the Pentagon sent a pathologist to Korea to autopsy around 2000 soldiers. It was discovered then that high cholesterol begins to be a health issue much earlier than originally assumed. After all, over 75% of these soldiers were just 21 and up until then it had (wrongly) been assumed that artery clogging deposits were only found in older men, say of at least 35 years of age!

Our bodies manufacture cholesterol, both good and bad, but where does it get the ingredients?

About ¼ of our manufactured cholesterol comes from the food we eat. Our liver makes more cholesterol when it senses that the body is getting low. There is a demand for cholesterol to synthesize sex hormones. Some people will just slow down production when it is not required while others will end up with elevated LDL levels and their cholesterol will be found throughout the blood stream.

The process of heart disease begins with yellow deposits of plaque on the artery walls. Shortly after, a waxy substance builds up in the blood. The major contributor to this process is cholesterol.

Lowering your cholesterol levels by 1% will decrease your risk of heart attack by 2!

Total cholesterol should be less than 200. But just to be clear, there are two main cholesterol numbers to keep in mind:

LDL – low density lipoproteins: These increase the risks of heart attack, and should be less than 100.

HDL – high density lipoproteins: These decreases the risk of heart attack, and should read at above 40 for women and 50 for men

The best ways to increase HDL:

(Increasing your HDL will simultaneously lower your LDL)

  • Exercise for at least 20- 30 minutes at least 3 times a week.
  • Lose excess belly weight.
  • Replace bad fats with good fats. Avoid cakes, cookies, processed foods, white breads, pastas, hydrogenated oils, deep fried fast food and so forth.
  • Eat healthy foods containing natural fats such as seeds, nuts, fish oils, safflower oil, whole grain breads, brown rice, fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Increase fiber in the diet such as flax seeds, oatmeal, and whole grains.
  • If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do, stop! Smoking increases the bad cholesterol while decreasing the good cholesterol simultaneously.
  • Take advantage of natural herbs and supplements.

Let’s take a look at some of the natural herbs and supplements that assist in lowering cholesterol:

Artichoke Leaf Extract
Flax seed
Red Yeast Rice
Vitamin B5

Change your numbers by changing your lifestyle

Replace your chips with nuts, your current cooking oil with safflower oil, soda pop with water, your white bread with whole grain, white rice with brown, white potatoes with sweet and red meat with white meat. Now exchange one half hour of television time with exercise time and watch not only your cholesterol numbers go down, but also your blood pressure.

Please have regular doctor’s visits and get your labs drawn routinely to monitor your cholesterol levels. Lowering your cholesterol could very well save your life.

Thanks to this informative article written by Ms. Judy  SheldonWalker

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