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Hello Mother Nature Organics (MNO) Community!
My name is Kevin, and I want to share something with you - I hope you can benefit from my story.
About six months ago, during a medical care routine, my doctor found out that my cholesterol was beyond the normal limit for an adult.
Guess what was the number? 350 mg/dL! Normal levels should be between 125–200 mg/d.l (1)
I decided at that moment to make some lifestyle changes that I would like to share with you. If you are in the same place, with high cholesterol, high triglycerides and you want to pursue natural ways to lower your cholesterol, let me guide you through!
During my research, I was bombarded with lots of information about natural products that claim to lower your cholesterol. So I decided to dive into scientific journals, searching for evidence of ingredients that actually can help lower your cholesterol.
But, the number one and to say the TOP recommendation I can give you is to change your lifestyle! It won’t help if you take medication for cholesterol or consume natural products and you don’t change how you eat, sleep, or exercise.
1.- You are what you eat.
You probably have heard a lot about this phrase, and YES! It’s true. I used to eat a lot of fast food, junk food, and fries. But, what’s wrong with this kind of food? It contains a bunch of sugar, salt, and saturated or trans fats! A diet high in trans fats raises the amount of “bad,” cholesterol and lowers the amount of “good,” cholesterol. This means that you are more likely to develop heart disease (and to have a high cholesterol level as I had).
I also searched more about what’s behind junk food and found that the high consumption of sugars (sodas) can lead to diabetes and insulin health issues, and an excessive salt diet (yes, those salty delicious fries) can lead to high blood pressure (hypertension), which narrows the blood vessels.
"Everything you eat becomes a part of not only your inner being but the outer fabric of your body as well," says Samantha Heller, MS, RD, a clinical nutritionist at NYU Medical Center in New York City.
I started to realize that I needed to make a lifestyle change in my diet, looking for more healthy choices and leaving junk food behind.
For lunch, a protein source (better fish or boneless chicken) boiled or grilled without oil (I used lemon as seasoning with a small amount of Pink Himalayan Salt), mixed with vegetables (lettuce, carrot, beetroot, and peas; boiled and seasoned with lemon, olive oil or moringa oil), and some portion of brown rice, other days with quinoa, sweet potatoes, lentils or beans, or non-gmo corn.
For dinner, low-fat yogurt (or greek yogurt with high protein), mixed with cereals, dried fruits/nuts, or fresh fruits. Easy, right?
2.- Exercise And Get Active!
I strongly suggest having a weekly routine of exercise to keep you active (Ideally, at least 30 minutes a day, at least five days a week).
If you suffer from back pain (like I do) don’t do much effort, go outside, walk around, do some stretching, sit-ups, push-ups, or aerobic exercises.
Exercise improves circulation, which results in more oxygen in your blood, and helps increase levels of HDL good cholesterol.
3.- Sleep Well!
Do you know that your sleep affects your heart and your cholesterol levels? I wasn’t aware of this until I started to research more about hacks to improve my cholesterol. So, why does sleep affect your cholesterol? Turns out that while you sleep, there are certain hormones that work in your body.
If you don’t get enough sleep, your body may produce too much cortisol (the stress hormone) and ghrelin (the appetite-boosting hormone) but too little leptin (which regulates body weight), resulting in an imbalance that affects your cholesterol levels.
Too Little or Too Much? It’s not healthy to sleep less than 7 hours, and no more than 9 hours, so a perfect range I recommend will be between 7 to 8 hours.
4.- Add Extra Hacks To Lower Your Cholesterol.
Besides all the care in your nutrition, sleep, and having an exercise routine, I strongly recommend adding extra ways to boost your “good” cholesterol and lower the “bad” one. So, what are these hacks, Kevin? These are my personal recommendations, based on the search I did:
- Add more healthy fats to your diet: Polyunsaturated fatty acids or monounsaturated ones. These can help lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol level. Sources: Olive Oil, Avocado Oil, Moringa Oil, Black Seed Oil.
- Add Omega Fatty Acids to your diet, like Omega 3 and 9. I prefer plant-based omega, from seeds like Moringa Oil, but you can opt for fish source.
- Take a CoQ-10 supplement on a daily basis (100mg to 200mg of Coenzyme Q10 supplement will be enough to protect your heart and lower your cholesterol). There is one Pubmed publication if you are interested to know more about CoQ-10 effects on the cardiovascular system. (2)
“Bad” Cholesterol will not get lower on the next day or two of your routine change. Be patient, and keep following in your new healthy routine. Even when you reach a healthy level of Cholesterol, I’d strongly suggest not giving up on your new YOU. Imagine all the benefits you can get with this mindset change, being physically active and having good nutrition is a major step toward good heart health. Keep Going!
My name is Kevin, and I will be posting my tips on how to live a healthy lifestyle. Stay tuned!