Updated: Sep 29
Did you know?
Approximately 70-85% of cholesterol in the body is produced WITHIN THE BODY (not consumed).
When someone says to you:
"Eggs are bad because they are high in cholesterol"
Shake your head and respond with:
"That is incorrect! More importantly, there are other foods (& lifestyle choices) that contribute to a rise in cholesterol."
What causes a rise in cholesterol?
Cholesterol is created in response to stress. Why? It is our precursor to our adrenaline hormones. These are the fight or flight hormones released in a state of emergency and/or excitement.
Here I am referring to internal inflammation. Caused by less than optimal diet & lifestyle choices, this is the ingestion of inflammatory substances like drugs, smoke, alcohol, synthetic ingredients, trans fat, poor quality oils, sugars, refined foods, etc.
This is an unfortunate fact: if we do not have regular and complete bowel movements, the cholesterol that was intended to be eliminated has the opportunity to be reabsorbed.
Just like everything I will ever write about on this website- cholesterol is regulated by various nutrients within the body. All studies you will ever Google confirm that diets lower in fresh foods and higher in processed foods are negatively related to cholesterol levels.
MANAGE SUGAR INTAKE: Reduce and only consume needed sugar. If you are active, replenish, however eating for pleasure (like in front of the TV), especially white and refined foods, overeating and maintaining a fluctuating or constant high blood sugar-state triggers cortisol and contributes to higher circulating cholesterol levels. This is the top source of imbalanced cholesterol levels and one of the first recommendations any doctor will tell you. Diet is very important! Take extra precautions to balancing your blood sugar. Research herbs and lifestyle inspirations that resonate with you. Many of the tips in this blog post relate to this.
WATCH TRANS FATS: Ensure quality oils are consumed. Over-processed oils are dangerous for the body (trans-fat), they run the risk of clogging our arteries. Check out my blog posts on fat: "What Are Overly Processed Oils?" & "Ultimate Guide to Healthy Oils".
Reduce and balance stress levels.
Increase colourful foods - this will increase the available micronutrients associated with your cholesterol pathways.
Improve liver function - check out this blog post here: "Tips to Reduce Hangover / Boost Liver"
Aim for quality bowel movements- every time!
Concentrate on having a healthy bacterial balance. This includes eating fresh and living foods. Try fermenting at home, and / or incorporating foods that are studied for their ability to balance our microbiome. Here are "Natural Tips for a Healthy Microbiome"
Rotate herb choices.
Triphala: increases digestion and bile production. An Ayurvedic blend of 3 herbs --->'Tri'+'phala'= translates to "three fruits" : amalaki, haritaki, bibhitaki.
Alfalfa leaves: are known to clear plaque build-up from the arteriole walls. Brew fresh and consume 3-5 cups of strong tea a day.
Fenugreek seeds: bitter and mucilage, aids in stimulating bite and clearing bowels. Sprout at home and eat fresh, or boil into a tea.
Dandelion root & mugwort: stimulates bile, increases digestion and cleanse the bowels. Try dandelion root tea, the bitter taste will stimulate bile and the detoxification of excess cholesterol.
Horse chestnut & burdock root: blood purification, try these via tincture or capsules- they have a strong taste.
Lemon balm: known as"heart's delight' for its historical use to support healthy heart health and manage cholesterol levels. Lemon balm tea is delicious and it is a very easy plant to grow at home.
Nettle: potent in minerals, vitamins and iron. Also a very nice tea!
Eat These Foods:
These foods contain nutrients related with cholesterol production and detoxification.
Ceylon (not cassia) Cinnamon
Fresh alfalfa sprouts
Garlic & onion
Dark Green Leaves
Chromium- high spikes of sugar can cause chromium to be excreted by the kidneys, and chromium deficiencies are linked to poor sugar metabolism, sugar remaining in the blood and a rise in cholesterol levels (since it is needed to counteract the inflammation that occurs with elevated sugar levels).
Vitamin E- increases the breakdown of LDL, increases HDL levels, and lowers platelet aggregation.
Co-EnzymeQ10 (CoQ10)- this is an important one! Cholesterol blocking drugs (statins) additionally block the conversion process of this enzyme- they are on a similar metabolic pathway. This enzyme is needed for circulation and heart health.