Cholesterol Treatments

Medication to lower cholesterol levels is widespread. But is it necessary or even wise to take those medications with all those serious side effects? Heart disease is the number one cause of death for both men and women in America, according to the American Heart Association. It is estimated that at least 100 million Americans have one or more of the risk factors associated with heart disease. But high cholesterol is still only a risk factor for heart disease, not an actual disease. Why are medications dispensed without first trying safer, more natural methods of bringing cholesterol levels into a healthy range?

When it comes to cholesterol we have two types, HDL (good) and LDL (bad). The National Institutes of Health recommend the following cholesterol levels:

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  • Total Cholesterol – less than 200 mg/dL
  • LDL Cholesterol – less than 130 mg/dL
  • HDL Cholesterol – 60 mg/dL or more

Your body needs cholesterol to construct your cell membranes and form many of your hormones. Cholesterol in the body comes from production in the liver or from diet (foods that contain high amounts of saturated fats). Lowering cholesterol naturally begins by reducing the amount of cholesterol that is absorbed by the body. Limiting foods high in cholesterol and saturated fats and taking a proven supplement made with plant sterols and stanols that prevent the absorption of cholesterol and lower LDL cholesterol can help you reach a healthy range of cholesterol levels. The plant sterols and stanols in food or supplements are structurally similar to cholesterol and compete for absorption in the intestines. This allows the plant sterol and stanols to bind the receptors in the intestines and reduce the amount of cholesterol that is absorbed by the body and enters the bloodstream.

Other health factors that affect cholesterol levels include soluble fiber in the gender, age, diet, exercise, and weight loss. Men usually have have higher cholesterol levels than women. However, after menopause, the reduced levels of estrogen can cause women to have elevated cholesterol levels. Everyone should consume at least 25 grams of fiber every day and exercise at least 30 minutes every day. The American Heart Association also recommends limiting dietary cholesterol intake to less than 300mg per day or less than 200mg per day for those with heart disease. Losing ten pounds if you are overweight can have a positive impact on your cholesterol levels as well.

Controlling cholesterol naturally requires effort aimed at making healthy diet and lifestyle choices. The alternative is taking statins medications with very serious, even life-threatening, side effects. Many healthcare professionals automatically prescribe these medications without offering other, more natural, options. Be sure to discuss all treatment options with your healthcare provider before beginning or changing cholesterol reducing medications. Your life could depend on it!

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