Many people nonchalantly visit the doctor for a routine check-up, have a few blood tests, and then whamo! Much to their surprise, they find out they have high cholesterol.High cholesterol doesn’t offer any outward symptoms to send up a red flag that there’s a problem. But, along with high blood pressure, it’s a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke.
Cholesterol problems are known as lipid abnormalities, which include high total cholesterol, high LDL (“bad cholesterol”), low HDL (“good cholesterol) and high triglycerides.
Physicians often prescribe medications called statins to lower cholesterol. Unfortunately, while statins can be beneficial, they also can cause unpleasant side effects such as muscle pain or weakness, liver damage, headaches and digestive problems.
In addition to medication, physicians often recommend exercise and dietary changes to patients to improve their cholesterol levels. Adding at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three or more times a week can increase your “good” (HDL) cholesterol by 5-10 percent and lower triglycerides.
Certain foods can also help improve cholesterol levels, including:
- • Avocados
- • Barley
- • Beans and lentils
- • Fish
- • Fresh vegetables and fruits, especially blueberries
- • Oats and other whole grains
- • Healthy fats such as olive oil, fish oil, flax
- • Garlic
- • Nuts and seeds, especially walnuts and almonds
Another Healthy Option
A healthier diet and regular exercise can definitely help your cholesterol levels. But here’s the kicker: Most studies and long-term follow-ups find most people fail to follow this lifestyle prescription. They may just rely on medication that sometimes still doesn’t lower cholesterol enough.
An easy way to further improve cholesterol levels — even if you also take statins — is through nutritional supplements. Soy and fiber each have been proven to improve lipid abnormalities and, in turn, benefit heart health. A recent multi-center, randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled study of Reliv Now® and FibRestore® found that these two nutritional supplements lowered risk factors for cardiovascular disease. See the study results.
Reliv’s CardioSentials® takes it a step further and works on multiple levels to support total heart health. CardioSentials has been clinically shown to reduce total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides for people with high cholesterol, as well as increase HDL (good) cholesterol and reduce blood glucose levels. Phytosterols help moderate cholesterol levels; policosanol helps maintain normal cholesterol and improve coronary blood flow; and an array of potent antioxidants help protect arterial walls and reduce lipid oxidation. View CardioSentials clinical study.