Best ways to lower cholesterol begin with know exactly what cholesterol is and what you need to do to control and maintain the best numbers just like blood sugar numbers. Diabetes and cholesterol are two things you want to monitor for sure. Does high cholesterol cause diabetes? Let’s explore this:
What’s the Importance of Normal Cholesterol Levels?
Lowering your blood sugar can help you lower high cholesterol numbers. Not going to get too technical here, but I just wanted to give the actual definition of what I’m talking about here.
Cholesterol definition: a compound of the sterol type found in most body tissues. Cholesterol and its derivatives are important constituents of cell membranes and precursors of other steroid compounds, but a high proportion in the blood of low-density lipoprotein (which transports cholesterol to the tissues) is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease.
Bad Cholesterol (LDL)- The Villain
This is the bad boy you don’t want. He’s the one who can stress you out. LDL- low-density lipoprotein and excess forming in the blood spells trouble. Plaque (fatty deposits) builds up on the inside walls of the arteries.
Plaque restricts the blood flow through the arteries which results in lesser amounts of blood getting to your vital organs.( Brain and heart most importantly) You don’t want clots leading to stroke or heart attack. And trim that belly fat for sure!
Reduce intake of trans fat and saturated fats. Make sure you exercise regularly and watch your weight daily. Eliminate any foods that contain partially hydrogenated oils.
Levels to aim for: below 100 mg/dl
Good Cholesterol (HDL)- The Hero
This is the guy you want on your side! HDL (high-density lipoprotein) is like the 4th batter in the baseball lineup. The cleanup man does just that. He cleans the bad plaque in your arteries and delivers it to the liver to dispose of. A higher HDL level protects the heart against heart disease.
Levels to aim for:
- Women- 50 mg/dl or higher
- Men- 40 mg/dl or higher
Triglycerides | Another Unfriendly Culprit
Triglycerides are another pawn in the game of not wanting you to be healthy. They are another kind of fat in the blood and gets stored for food in the body. If your level goes too high, the risk of heart disease goes up. You want your levels to be less than 150 mg/dl.
Following the pre-mentioned above about exercising, eating healthy is key. Stay away from the carbs. You know they aren’t good for you anyway. Lower saturated fat, increase omega-3 fatty acids and increase fiber.
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Your Total Cholesterol
Diet and cholesterol go together. Going to the doctor to have your labs done is obviously important. You’ll want to have your total cholesterol number checked too.
Exercise such as riding a bike and walking can help lower cholesterol. This number consists of your LDL, HDL, and triglycerides all together. Target number here is: (Drum roll) less than 200 mg/dl- YES!!!
Supplements and Foods that Help Lower Cholesterol Fast
I’d like to mention a few popular supplements and some lowering cholesterol foods. Let’s try to keep in mind that some may help LDL, others help HDL, while some may have effects on triglycerides. As always, you should consult with your physician or health care team before so they can advise you professionally.
I’ve had back pain in the past so I especially want to level my blood sugar numbers and monitor my blood pressure. You don’t want worry about them being too high, but you especially don’t want your sugar numbers too low. And something else that is extremely beneficial is vitamin D and apple cider vinegar. Try them and you’ll see what I mean.
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Red Yeast Rice
This is actually a fungus that grows on rice and it has the ability to block the production of cholesterol by the liver. Red yeast rice is in part a lower dose of a statin which is related to a prescription drug known as lovastatin. Anyone with side effects to this drug have instead turned to red yeast rice. There is still a possibility of side effects so check again with your physician.
Garlic has been known to lower cholesterol levels but only temporarily. It does offer benefit in reducing heart disease by slightly lowering blood pressure. It may also reduce the risk of some types of cancer. There are very few side effects. But be careful anyway.
Because recent studies have shown that ground flaxseed is a plant that has omega-3 fatty acids, it is beneficial in lowering LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. This aids in healthy digestion. Consuming just one tablespoon a day of whole flaxseed helps lower LDL. Possible side effects can be bloating, nausea, and diarrhea, but for the most part it’s safe. Don’t overdo it and check with your doctor.
Avocados are extremely healthy for you. Regular consumption can increase HDL levels by more than 10% and decrease your LDL and triglycerides by up to 22%.
Moderation is key here because of calories and fat grams. Two tablespoons a day at most. Mix in with your meals. Excellent source of fiber to balance your blood sugar numbers.
Some nuts can be addictive, but if you eat them in moderation such as 1 handful (or approx. 50 nuts), they will reduce the LDL, raise the HDL, and raise your blood antioxidant levels, all good for the heart too. Pistachios prevent blood sugar spikes after a meal.
This is my favorite! I LOVE peanut butter! It’s a great choice for reducing cholesterol. It has heart-smart polyunsaturated fats to raise the HDL. But? Two tablespoons a day. Lots of CALORIES too! Peanut butter also helps the spiking after you eat. So go for the protein but watch the calories!
The Health Plan for a Healthy Heart
- Foods rich in fiber, both insoluble and soluble coming from whole grains, cereals, beans, vegetables, and fruits.
- Healthy fats for the heart, omega-3 fatty acids (walnuts, flaxseed, fish)
- Oils such as: canola, corn, peanut and olive
- Limiting fats including: Whole milk, fast food, red meat, lard, margarine, and cheese
- Watch the sodium! Canned or processed foods or soups, frozen dinners, and processed lunch meats, to name a few
My Thoughts on the Connection of Cholesterol & Diabetes:
Because many people that have type 2 diabetes have high levels of LDL and high triglycerides, these elevated levels are associated with cardiovascular disease. Does high cholesterol cause diabetes? You can manage your diabetes much more efficiently and help lessen your chances of cardiovascular disease too. Supplements are a great way to lower your sugars. Make sure you test your sugar! Now go sleep on it because you don’t want to be fatigued tomorrow.
Final Thoughts about Cholesterol
I hoped you enjoyed this article and if you have any questions about cholesterol and your blood sugar, please leave a comment below. I would appreciate it very much.
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