On this Page:
- High cholesterol – what is it?
- What causes high cholesterol?
- How is high cholesterol diagnosed?
- How lifestyle changes help lower cholesterol?
- Dietary Supplements that help lower cholesterol
High cholesterol – what is it?
When you have high cholesterol, it means you have excess cholesterol circulating in your bloodstream. This isn't a disease in itself, but it may lead to serious health problems, including peripheral vascular disease, coronary heart disease, and stroke.
What causes high cholesterol?
The three main causes of high cholesterol that you can't control are your:
- Genetics or family history
There are people that due to genetics or family history, have high cholesterol even though they're young in their 20's for example.
If your parents, grandparents, brothers, or sisters have high cholesterol, you and your children may be at risk. All family members should consider being tested.
Women have a lower rate of high cholesterol, since before menopause they have lower cholesterol levels than men of the same age. However, as the women get older, their blood cholesterol levels rise until about 60 to 65 years old. After the age of 50, women often (but not always) have higher total cholesterol levels than men of the same age.
There are four secondary causes of high cholesterol, which with some discipline you can avoid.
Excess weight tends to increase you LDL (bad) cholesterol level. If you are overweight and have high cholesterol levels, losing weight may help you lower it. Weight loss also helps to lower triglyceride levels as well as raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
Diet is the most important of the secondary causes of high cholesterol, which affect almost everyone.
Remember that the liver produces all the necessary cholesterol needed by the body. As such, it is not necessary to get additional cholesterol from food. Foods to consume without fear are fruits and vegetables. Limit as much as you can animal and dairy products.
Alcohol is "good" because it increases HDL cholesterol (the good one). However, it does not decrease the bad or HDL cholesterol. Plus, drinking too much alcohol damages the liver and heart muscle, leads to high blood pressure and raises triglyceride levels.
Smoking reduces your good or HDL cholesterol and is linked to about 20% of deaths from heart disease.
How is high cholesterol diagnosed?
The only way to know whether you have high cholesterol is to have a simple blood test. Experts recommend that healthy adults have the test at least every five years. You may need to be tested more often, depending on your age and other factors.
How lifestyle changes help lower cholesterol?
Your lifestyle -- what you eat and drink, how much you exercise, and habits such as smoking -- can contribute directly to high cholesterol and heart disease. Conversely, positive lifestyle changes can help lower your cholesterol.
Talk to your doctor about what steps you can take to lower your cholesterol and your risk of heart disease. He or she may recommend:
- Stress reduction
Eating healthy can lower your cholesterol, help you lose weight and lower your risk of developing heart disease. In fact, research has shown that lowering the cholesterol and saturated fat in your diet can help lower your total blood cholesterol and LDL levels up to 15% (amount varies). The best way to determine the cholesterol and fat content of the food you eat is to read food labels.
Your physician or a registered dietitian can also help you choose the best foods to eat. One's diet needs to be higher in fruits and vegetables (5 servings per day) and higher in fiber (bread, cereals, fruits and vegetables). Consider replacing butter with olive oil. Eat fatty fish twice per week (salmon, mackerel).
According to the American Heart Association® Aerobic exercise can help you control your cholesterol, as well as lower your blood pressure and increase your physical fitness, energy, and self-esteem. It can also keep the weight off and increase HDL. Each person's fitness needs are different. Your needs will depend on your age, current health and health goals, so be sure to talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise program.
Reducing and controlling stress is important for good health, but especially important for people with high cholesterol and heart disease. When under stress for long periods of time, the body reacts by constricting blood vessels, making circulation more difficult. Healthy ways to reduce stress include relaxation exercises, meditation, time management and a flexible attitude. If you feel stressed, try to figure out why and make changes where you can.
Dietary Supplements that help lower cholesterol
nzpurehealth Omega-3 is sourced from pure New Zealand deep ocean cold-water fish. Omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) promote heart health and balanced blood pressure.
Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to play a part in keeping cholesterol levels low, stabilizing irregular heart beat (arrhythmia), and reducing blood pressure. Researchers now believe that alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), one of the omega-3s, is particularly beneficial for protecting against heart and vessel disease, and for lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels. An excellent source of ALA is flaxseed oil, sold as both a liquid oil and a semisolid margarine-like spread.
Omega-3 fatty acids are also natural blood thinners, reducing the "stickiness" of blood cells (called platelet aggregation), which can lead to such complications as blood clots and stroke.
nzpurehealth Squalene is purely extracted from New Zealand cold water shark liver oil rich in vitamin A and D. Squalene is an excellent antioxidant, which makes it a likely candidate to be the skin's best natural protector.
Dietary Squalene has also been found to lower cholesterol levels in blood. This mechanism seemingly derives from Squalene's ability to down-regulate the HMG Co-A reductase, which in turn enhances the liver's capacity to filter bad cholesterol. These findings are supported by epidemiological correlation studies of Squalene-rich olive oil consumption with a low incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD).
nzpurehealth Spirulina is a tiny aquatic plant offers 60% vegetable protein, essential vitamins, amino acids, fatty acid GLA and antioxidant beta-carotene. It has the ability to strengthen the immune system, release high stress and help the body to cleanse..
Health Benefits of spirulina include:
- World's richest natural source of GLA , reduces cholesterol and benefits the heart.
- Only vegetable source of vitamin B12, calms your nerves and fights stress
- World's richest natural source of protein, iron, vitamins, and minerals. Helps weight loss.
- World's richest natural source of Pro-Vitamin 'A', helps protect your eyesight.
- Best natural source of anti oxidants, a natural anti ageing drug. Help you stay young.