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To lower your cholesterol, you have to raise it!

by , 12 June 2014

This statement may read like a printing error but it's absolutely accurate. To lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol, you have to raise your HDL (good cholesterol).

Here's why…

To prevent heart disease, you need to balance your cholesterol levels 

Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) molecules carry cholesterol to the organs and tissues in your body. But if you have too much of it, the excess LDL enters and attaches itself to the walls of your blood vessels. This is called plaque.

Eventually the plaque can build up to the point that it blocks your blood flow and causes coronary artery disease. This is why your doctor has probably recommended that you lower your cholesterol levels. 

But here’s the thing, High-density lipoproteins (HDL) molecules, on the other hand, circulate in your blood and mop up the excess LDL cholesterol and take it back to the liver where it’s broken down. So, the higher your HDL cholesterol, the less LDL cholesterol you’ll have to worry about. And this is why you also need to focus on increasing your HDL levels.

Here’s how you can do just that…
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Eat these six foods to get your dietary cholesterol right!

If your doctor’s told you to lower your cholesterol, limit your intake of foods that contain saturated fat. These include: Fatty meat, dairy fat, baked goods, fried foods, margarine and butter.

Then, focus on raising your HDL cholesterol by eating these six foods:
  1. Healthy fats: These include monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats and omega 3 fatty acids. Add nuts, olive oil, avocado, flaxseed and fatty fish, like tuna, salmon and sardines.
  2. Dark chocolate: Chocolate containing at least 70% cocoa is rich in polyphenols. These help increase your HDL cholesterol.
  3. Vitamin D: Studies show that vitamin D can also help lift your HDL levels. Sit in the sun for 20 minutes per day with your face, head and arms exposed to soak up all that vitamin D goodness. You can also get vitamin D from eggs, milk and fatty fish.
  4. Calcium: This mineral could help keep your cholesterol levels in check. You can get calcium from dairy, leafy green vegetables, bony fish, dried figs and apricots, and legumes.
  5. Alcohol: One or two glasses of alcohol per day has its uses too!
  6. Niacin: This B vitamin increased HDL cholesterol by 30% in a recent study. You can take a niacin supplement or get it from your food. Eat mushrooms, legumes, chicken, beef, tuna, trout, mackerel, eggs, sea greens and nuts.
There you have it, the six foods that could mop up your excess LDL cholesterol and help prevent heart disease!

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