Are you in a panic because your bad cholesterol has increased? Are you looking for ways to reduce it naturally? For starters, the good cholesterol is called HDL or high-density lipoprotein and, according to WebMD it is a “friendly scavenger [that] cruises the bloodstream [to] remove harmful bad cholesterol from where it doesn’t belong”.
The bad guys are LDLs or low-density lipoprotein.
1. Fibre, fibre, fibre!
Fibre is essential if you want to reduce cholesterol levels in your body. Some forms of fibre are better than others. Take for instance, water-soluble options such as pectin or guar gumpsllium seeds, and oat bran. These fibres take the shape of a gel that helps bind cholesterol and prevents it from entering the bloodstream
How to get tested
Test name: The Lipid Profile
Breaks it into HDL, LDL and triglyceride levels.
Recommended: Fast for 9-12 hours before
When to Get Tested
Screening: for adults, every five years; for youths, once between the ages of nine and 11 and again between ages 17 and 21 years. Regular monitoring if you have a proven history
2. Gobble the garlic Have garlic whenever possible. Raw crushed or chopped garlic can be eaten daily with salads
3. Move your body
Research has proven that routine exercise lowers total cholesterol while increasing the good cholesterol (HDL)
4. Abandon caffeine
There is a correlation between drinking tea or coffee and cholesterol levels. Not good news for those who drink six cups a day
5. Stomp out the stress
Regular stress-busting activity and relaxation helps keep cholesterol under control. Try yoga, exercise, meditation or prayer
6. Go vegetarian
Pure vegetarian diets have proven to be effective in decreasing cholesterol. Consider going vegetarian for a short term (say for three to six months). By eating more fresh vegetables, you will provide the body with a large range of vital minerals, vitamins and antioxidants
7. Cut the sugar
Sugar intake is normally out of control in an average individual’s diet to a degree that most people are no longer able to detect subtle gradations of sweetness. It is also highly addictive. If you eliminate it from your diet, you will find even simple grains tasting sweet
Results and levels the numbers to know
Total cholesterol: over 40 mg/dL
LDL cholesterol: under 100 mg/dL
HDL cholesterol: over 40 mg/dL
Triglycerides: under 150 mg/dL
*mg/dL is milligrams per deciliter
Test cost Rs 600 to Rs1,900 is the average range of the cost of a Lipid Profile test
Published in The Express Tribune, Sunday Magazine, April 7th, 2013.
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