My friend’s husband has it. Another friend’s father. In fact, one in every six adults has high cholesterol. That’s 17% of the adult population. A recent Gallup survey found drugs for high cholesterol were the second most prescribed medications in this country! All those people at risk and yet high cholesterol is one of the major controllable risk factors for coronary heart disease.
Scientifically speaking, your chances of having high cholesterol are greater if you are a male, are older, are a woman experiencing post-menopause, or have a family history of high cholesterol. You are also at risk if your diet is high in saturated fat and cholesterol like bacon, hot dogs, and pizza. Now, you can’t help your genes or your age but you can help what you eat!
It adds up fast!
According to the American Heart Association, eating one egg for breakfast, drinking two cups of coffee with 1 tablespoon of half-and-half each, lunching on 4 ounces of lean skinless turkey breast with one tablespoon of mayonnaise, and eating a 6-ounce serving of broiled short loin porterhouse steak for dinner yields 510 mg of dietary cholesterol. That’s nearly twice the recommended daily amount!
The good news is you can lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease without expensive medication by focusing on 3 key lifestyle changes.
Lose some weight:
Losing as little as 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can help reduce your cholesterol levels significantly. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends consuming no more than 300 mg of cholesterol a day; those with heart disease should consume less than 200 mg of cholesterol.
Eat heart healthy foods:
· Omega-3 fatty acids—found in salmon can actually protect against cholesterol.. helping lower “bad” LDL cholesterol, raise “good” HDL cholesterol, and lower triglycerides
· Avocados are a great source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. They have more cholesterol lowering effect than any other fruit.
· Walnuts, almonds and other nuts can also reduce blood cholesterol.
· Oatmeal is another good choice. It contains soluble fiber which reduces the bad cholesterol by blocking the absorption into your bloodstream.
· Beans are especially high in cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber The National Institutes of Health’s Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes Program recommends adding 5–10 g of soluble fiber to your diet each day.
· Olive oil contains antioxidants that can lower your “bad” (LDL) cholesterol.
Not all cholesterol is bad. The good kind—HDL cholesterol, short for high-density lipoproteins—offers some great health benefits. It’s the LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, or low-density lipoprotein ones, that we really need to watch out for. Moderate physical activity can help raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol and move the LDL out of your body.
If you think reducing your cholesterol just a little isn’t worth it, consider this. A 10% reduction of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol equates to a 10%–20% decrease in heart disease risk.
Shaklee Cholesterol Reduction Complex can offer some extra help if you are still having trouble with your cholesterol levels and don’t want drugs. It is an all-natural proprietary formula with clinically proven ingredients that help prevent the absorption of cholesterol and lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. It contains plant sterols and stanols that, when added to a healthy diet, have been shown in numerous studies to significantly reduce the amount of LDL cholesterol absorbed by the body. Here’s a few other things to know.
- Made with a powerful blend of sterols and stanols, which are found naturally in plants, fruits, vegetables, and grains
- Delivers 2,000 mg of plant sterols and stanols daily
- Delivers daily 100% of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) recommendation for plant sterols and stanols*
- Gluten free and Star-K certified (kosher)
The problem is the only way to know if you have high cholesterol is to get tested. Unfortunately according to the same Gallup survey, one in three Americans haven’t had their cholesterol levels checked in the last 5 years. So do yourself a favor, get tested. Know your levels. Encourage a loved one to get tested as well. It’s worth it.