February is American Heart Month.
It was started in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson to tackle heart disease in the United States.
So, for today’s hacks, I wanted to discuss ways to reduce high cholesterol.
High cholesterol happens when fatty deposits develop in your blood and eventually limits blood flow.
As we age, it’s important to keep your cholesterol in the good range to prevent heart attack and stroke.
It’s also key to do this before you are put on medications, which can cause other issues or have side effects that make you feel worse in other ways.
I equate medication to having someone working in my house.
You see, when someone comes to fix something in my house they almost always cause another problem. (Maybe it’s just me)
Most of the time it’s only cleaning up after them. But there have been more serious problems that occurred, like dinging up a wall, cracking the flooring, throwing away something important, etc.
So while one thing gets fixed there’s another issue to deal with.
And, if you already have high cholesterol and are on medication, maybe some of these things can help you get off or reduce your medication.
So … Happy Monday!
Here are your cholesterol-lowering hacks:
- Eat more fiber. Fiber can help lower cholesterol by binding to bile acids in the gut and promoting excretion. This forces the liver to produce more bile acids, which in turn uses up cholesterol in the body. You can find soluble fiber in foods like oats, beans, and fruits.
- A psyllium supplement taken in pill form, mixed with liquid, or sprinkled on food, has also been shown to help significantly with fiber intake. And in diabetics it has lowered blood sugar.
- Omega-3 fatty acids are known for their heart-healthy benefits, including reducing inflammation and lowering triglyceride levels. They can be found in fatty fish like salmon, as well as in fish-oil supplements.
- Vitamin B3 also known as Niacin has been shown to significantly reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels while also raising HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
- Ginger has also been found to lower LDL cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. It has been found to activate an enzyme that reduces cholesterol. If you don’t like the taste of ginger you can take a supplement. I love taking it as a tea.
Of course eating healthy, reducing your fat intake and exercising are also important to lowering your cholesterol … but you knew that :).
Have a great week!
Uehleke B, Et. al. Cholesterol reduction using psyllium husks – do gastrointestinal adverse effects limit compliance? Results of a specific observational study. Phytomedicine. 2008.
Alizadeh-Navaei R, Et. al. Investigation of the effect of ginger on the lipid levels. A double blind controlled clinical trial. Saudi Med J. 2008.
Fuhrman B., Et. al. Ginger Extract Consumption Reduces Plasma Cholesterol, Inhibits LDL Oxidation and Attenuates Development of Atherosclerosis in Atherosclerotic, Apolipoprotein E-Deficient Mice. The Journal of Nutrition. 2000.