Did You Know That High Cholesterol Can Kill?
A recent study shows that more than one third of American adults are at risk of coronary disease because of high blood cholesterol, according to the New York Times. The researchers reported that 60 million Americans over 20 years old have cholesterol levels high enough to require “medical advice and intervention.”
LDL cholesterol, or “bad” cholesterol, as it is sometimes referred to, is produced by the liver and circulates in the blood. It slowly accumulates on the inner walls of your arteries, which nourish your heart and brain. It contributes to the formation of a hard substance called plaque that can actually block the flow of blood in your arteries and make them less flexible. This in turn puts your circulatory system at risk. If a clot forms, it can cause a heart attack. If it travels to the brain, it can cause a stroke.
What can you do to improve your health? Prescription medications can help, but they are costly. Dietary changes will improve your cholesterol over time, but you have to stick with them; which means cutting out some of your favorite foods altogether. Foods that are high in fats from animal sources, like fried foods and fatty meats, directly raise your cholesterol. Also, diets high in simple carbohydrates and sweets can also contribute to high LDL cholesterol levels. Some studies even show that stress is linked with high LDL levels due to the body’s chemical response to stressful situations.
How can you improve your LDL cholesterol levels by adding something to your dietary habits, rather than taking something away? Beta-sitosterol is a natural plant phytonutrient that has been shown to reduce harmful LDL cholesterol levels. It is a natural compound found in pecans, pumpkin seeds, soybeans and rice. It is clinically proven to reduce the body’s absorption of cholesterol.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study that reported a 42-percent decrease in absorbed cholesterol when a subject took beta-sitosterol before eating scrambled eggs.
Beta-sitosterol appears to inhibit cholesterol production in the liver as well. Beta-sitosterol actually breaks down an enzyme that is key in the production of harmful LDL cholesterol. The body naturally produces more cholesterol than a person normally consumes. A big part of your cholesterol numbers is determined by heredity. You inherit some of your cholesterol problem from your parents, but a natural plant phytonutrient may be powerful enough to counteract a part of that problem, according to recent medical testing.
So, if you aren’t interested in wolfing down piles of rice and soybeans before every meal, what can you do to incorporate Beta-sitosterol in to your everyday routine to improve your cardiovascular health? Thankfully, supplements are available. Taking care of your ticker is now as simple as taking an herbal supplement before your meal. Hopefully, the supplements will help you avoid the unwanted side effects, financial burden and physical stress on your body that comes with prescription cholesterol medications.
You should combine your beta-sitosterol supplements with a heart-healthy diet and exercise for maximum results. Just losing 5 to 10 pounds may dramatically reduce your LDL cholesterol levels. Little changes in your daily routine will make a big difference in your long-term health. Try walking up the stairs instead of taking the elevator at work or ordering veggies instead of French fries at lunch. Combine these changes with the addition of a beta-sitosterol supplement and you’ll be well on your way to a happier and healthier future.