In 2003, researchers developed a synthetic version of a protein discovered in forty people in an Italian village. Why did they spend millions in research and development to do so?
Because this protein essentially made the villagers completely immune to heart disease even though they had startlingly high cholesterol levels. Unfortunately, this drug is currently too expensive to mass produce. Luckily, however, there are other simple and all natural ways to lower your cholesterol.
Whether you already have troublingly high cholesterol levels or you simply wish to prevent heart disease from ever rearing its ugly head in the first place, follow these simple steps and your arteries will be clean as a whistle.
Proactive Steps to Improve Your Cholesterol
Much of the medical advice on cholesterol simply boils down to “avoid this” or “avoid that”, but maintaining healthy HDL (good cholesterol) and LDL (bad cholesterol) levels can also be achieved by eating certain foods over others.
Nuts seem to have wondrous effects on blood cholesterol. Research has shown that eating two ounces of nuts a day can increase the ratio of HDL to LDL by as much as ten percent. Like your nuts covered in chocolate? If you do, you will be happy to know that it seems the polyphenols found in chocolate also help your HDL levels.
Eat more Calcium. In a recent study, people who took a dietary calcium supplement saw their HDL levels rise by eight percent. Make sure to supplement this with Vitamin D for maximum absorption, and choose calcium citrate over coral calcium.
Eat whitefish and other seafood. Research has shown that people who choose fish over red meat and even chicken have comparatively higher levels of HDL. Avoid fried fish, as the fat content will ultimately work against you.
Drink cranberry and grape juice. Cranberry juice has been shown to increase HDL levels by up to 10 percent whereas Concord grapes slow the formation of LDL (bad cholesterol) and lower blood pressure, all helping reduce the risk of heart disease significantly.
Eat dark chocolate instead of milk. It is higher in the polyphenols that seem to be quite adept at protecting your arteries.
Things to Avoid in Order to Improve Your Cholesterol
There is some reasoning behind the conventional wisdom. You can eat everything listed above, but it hardly seems to matter if you are simultaneously eating ten pounds of steak a day. If you already have high cholesterol levels or simply want to reduce your risk, there are certainly some foods that you should avoid.
Believe it or not, dietary cholesterol seems to have very little effect on your blood cholesterol. This means that even though eggs have extremely high levels of cholesterol in them, they will actually not do very much to raise your levels.
Unlike dietary cholesterol, saturated fat has a very strong effect on your body’s cholesterol levels;. You want to avoid saturated fat and the foods that are high in it whenever possible. Some foods that include saturated fat include red meat, high fat cheese, and other such items. Avoid trans-fats like the plague. They increase your risk of heart disease significantly.