Lower cholesterol with a healthy diet

Many people live with a real ‘cholesterol trauma’: their doctor has told them that their cholesterol is too high and that it is therefore best to take a pill every day, and that they are no longer allowed to eat butter, but can eat cholesterol-lowering margarine.

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol, many people are terrified of it but hardly know what it is. Cholesterol is a fatty substance that is an important component of the covering of the body’s cells. Most cholesterol is produced by the liver and is transported through the bloodstream to the body’s cells by special proteins called lipoproteins.
Cholesterol has the properties of oil and cannot dissolve in the blood without the lipoproteins. The two main lipoproteins are LDL and HDL , abbreviations for Low Density Lipoprotein and High Density Lipoprotein. An increased risk of cardiovascular disease is determined after a blood test by analyzing HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Read more about it in What does a blood test say about your health?
Cholesterol is found in food of animal origin (meat, poultry, fish and dairy products). Organ meats in particular, such as liver, are very rich in cholesterol. Plant-based foods do not contain cholesterol.

LDL, the ‘bad’ cholesterol

LDL is the main carrier of cholesterol in the blood. LDL cholesterol is called the “bad” cholesterol because elevated LDL cholesterol is associated with an increased risk of heart disease. LDL leaves cholesterol on the artery walls, causing a hard, thick layer to form called cholesterol plaque. Over time, the cholesterol plaque narrows the arteries. This process is called arteriosclerosis.
In people who suffer from arteriosclerosis, the arteries are no longer able to supply enough blood and oxygen to the heart muscle. If the heart muscle does not receive enough oxygen, it will hurt. The formation of blood clots in the coronary arteries can completely block them, leading to the death of the heart muscle (a heart attack). Atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries is the most common cause of death in the western industrialized world.

HDL, the ‘good’ cholesterol

HDL contains mainly protein and only a small amount of cholesterol. HDL proteins have the property of removing cholesterol from the arterial walls, thus protecting you against arteriosclerosis. That is why HDL is called ‘good’ cholesterol. It is good that your HDL cholesterol level is high: a low HDL cholesterol level increases the risk of problems with your coronary arteries.

Why lowering cholesterol with a pill is not the best solution.

Many people live with a real ‘cholesterol trauma’: their doctor has told them that their cholesterol is too high and that it is therefore best to take a pill every day, and that they are no longer allowed to eat butter, but can eat cholesterol-lowering margarine. Okay, the pill and the margarine will indeed lower cholesterol, but according to some researchers, these drugs have side effects that doctors, the pharmaceutical industry and the food industry prefer to keep quiet about. The patient usually has no idea about medicine and sees his cholesterol drop, so he accepts the prescription and the new nutritional advice without comment and without asking questions.

It is not cholesterol that is dangerous, but oxycholesterol

It is not the amount of total cholesterol that is important, but the amount of bad (LOL) cholesterol, the ratio between LOL and HDL and the extent to which the cholesterol is oxidized. This is then referred to as the amount of oxycholesterol. Oxycholesterol is dangerous for the blood vessel walls. You can compare cholesterol with a bottle of oil. Once the oil has solidified, it can no longer flow out of the bottle. When cholesterol is oxidized, it can no longer flow through the arteries.

Have oxycholesterol measured

If you have a cholesterol test done by a traditional doctor, there is little chance that he will measure the amount of oxycholesterol. Ask your doctor for clear information and do not be dismissed with a reassuring smile. If you have a cholesterol test performed, ask clearly about the ratio of bad LDL and good HDL cholesterol. Someone with LDL 150 and HDL 90 has less risk of heart disease than someone with LOL 150 and HDL 30. Too many doctors still only take the total cholesterol level into account and routinely prescribe cholesterol inhibitors from a cholesterol level of 220.

A healthy alternative to cholesterol inhibitors

The most important steps you can take to lower your blood cholesterol and thus avoid cardiovascular disease are a healthy diet, regular exercise and – if you are overweight – losing weight. Suppose you eat healthy (lots of fruit and vegetables, few saturated fats) and still do not have a good cholesterol ratio, orthomolecular doctors recommend the following:

  • reduce intake of all saturated fats. Reducing saturated fat intake is the most effective way to lower blood cholesterol. Limit your daily cholesterol intake;
  • reduce the intake of all types of margarines, peanut butter and all vegetable oils containing a lot of linoleic acid;
  • limit the use of coffee, black tea and cola;
  • eat foods rich in vitamin B (grains, fruits, beans, leafy vegetables). Vitamin B12 and folic acid help to reduce homocysteine levels;
  • eat more complex carbohydrates rich in plant fiber;
  • drink green tea regularly;
  • eat lots of garlic, onions, chili peppers and shiitake mushrooms.

 

Niacin (vitamin B3) can also provide a solution

Most people with cholesterol problems see their cholesterol drop if they follow these nutritional advice , nutritional advice that can easily be found on websites such as Gezondheidsplein.nl. If it turns out that your cholesterol level remains consistently high despite an adjusted diet, therapy with niacin is recommended. Niacin is vitamin B3. A sufficiently high dose of niacin can lower total cholesterol, increase HDL cholesterol and significantly lower triglycerin levels.
Taking niacin can be associated with a common side effect, namely short-term redness of the skin on the face and some other parts of the body. Niacin can also put extra strain on the liver. That is why it is recommended to take it together with milk thistle.

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