Have you been told by your doctor that your cholesterol is borderline or too high? Has he or she recommended statin drugs that you are not crazy about starting?? And what do your cholesterol numbers really mean to your overall health picture anyway???
As with any bio-marker, a lipoprotein panel or blood test for cholesterol is a way for us to take a peak under the hood and see how our engines are running. When our markers are not within “normal” range it is a red indicator light on the dash that there are underlying factors causing our cholesterol to rise, perhaps due to factors such as inflammation in the body. It is also a wake-up call telling us it is time to change how we fuel and care for our precious temples.
Although prescription drugs are readily available to treat your elevated cholesterol they will only reduce the symptoms, not get at the root the cause. I recommend tuning into the message your body is sending you and get started immediately with some diet and lifestyle changes which can help you lower your cholesterol and inflammation naturally.
When looking to lower cholesterol counts let us first understand what is a healthy target range:
- Total cholesterol - Less than 200 mg/dL
- Low LDL ("bad") - Less than 130 mg/dL cholesterol
- High HDL ("good") - 40 mg/dL or higher for men; 50 mg/dl or higher for women cholesterol
- Triglycerides - Less than 150 mg/dL
Next…important diet and lifestyle shifts for lowering cholesterol naturally:
- Dump the sugar. Sugar is the number one cause of hormone imbalance, inflammation and weight gain in the body. It is listed as an ingredient in all processed foods so be sure to read ingredients labels carefully and opt for fresh whole foods direct from nature whenever possible.
- Avoid wheat. Wheat is metabolized by the liver into sugar and is linked to increased levels of inflammation manifested as mucus, joint pain, fatigue, sleeplessness and more…
- Enjoy healthy fats. Olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds should be consumed daily.
- Shed excess weight. Thankfully this will be easy to do and a positive side effect of dumping sugar and wheat, especially around the belly where it is most dangerous to carry excess fat.
- Exercise regularly. Choose an activity you enjoy and treat exercise like play. Physical activity helps to increase your "good" HDL cholesterol and subsequently lower your "bad" LDL cholesterol.
- Quit tobacco. Tobacco use lowers HDL, can lead to high cholesterol, and is a major risk for heart disease in general.
- Meditate daily. Bringing the mind-body connection into balance helps to alleviate stress, lower cortisol levels, and pour water on the fires of inflammation.
- Supplement. Get your daily dose of Vitamin D and Fish Oil each day.
Have you recently been diagnosed with high cholesterol or other bio-markers you want to change? Contact me to schedule your initial consultation. Together we can create sustainable diet and lifestyle changes to transform your health and the quality of your life!
Health, Wealth, Wisdom & Happiness,