Cholesterol levels: Level up your understanding with Herbay
Do you understand cholesterol and what is considered healthy cholesterol levels? Chances are, you have heard of ‘cholesterol’ and immediately thought it has negative connotations. On the contrary, it is not all bad. We explore the types of cholesterol, the good and bad, how to manage it and ways to lead a healthier life for those afflicted by high cholesterol.
What is cholesterol and what are cholesterol levels?
Cholesterol is essentially a waxy, naturally occurring body-produced substance. There are two distinct sources:
- The liver
The body creates cholesterol to construct cells and develop vitamins and hormones.
Cholesterol is an important feature of the nervous system, as it acts as an insulator around the nerves.
Within the liver, cholesterol is converted to bile salts, which contribute to proper digestion.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter and hormone which promotes a feeling of well-being. Receptors of serotonin in the brain require cholesterol to function properly.
The pituitary gland, adrenal gland and sex hormones are all made from cholesterol. And when there are any potential weak spots or gaping holes along the wall of the arteries, the body may produce extra cholesterol to plug these spaces.
In this case, it’s best to avoid removing cholesterol from the walls of the arteries. Instead, it’s better to repair the walls of the blood vessels while lowering cholesterol levels.
- From foods derived from animals
These foods include poultry, meat, and also dairy products. These same food categories also contain saturated and trans fats, which makes the liver create more cholesterol to process during digestion.
Also, look out for overeating baked goods made with tropical oils such as palm, palm kernel and coconut oils. These contain saturated fats and can also increase ‘bad’ cholesterol.
Types of cholesterol – The good, the bad and the dangerous
When there is an overproduction of cholesterol – this is considered problematic.
Two types of cholesterol
High-density lipoprotein (HDL, good cholesterol) – Helps to keep the bad cholesterol under control. It is thought that it carries the bad cholesterol out of the arteries and to the liver.
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL, bad cholesterol) – This cholesterol can clog the arteries and cause atherosclerosis.
While LDL can be produced by the body, it occasionally can make too much when it detects that blood vessel walls are becoming too thin and reinforces them. Repairing blood vessel damage becomes essential when treating elevated cholesterol levels.
Understanding cholesterol levels
- Your HDL (good cholesterol) should be kept high above 60.
- Your LDL (bad cholesterol) should be below 100.
- These two cholesterols combined create your total cholesterol, which should be below 200.
High cholesterol symptoms
- High blood pressure
- Chest pain/angina
- Pain or tingly legs while walking
- Heart attack
Who is more at risk for high cholesterol levels?
As the body ages and matures, its metabolism rate changes. One of these typical changes includes the liver not removing the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol as it usually does for younger bodies.
Unfortunately, that puts many people between the ages of 40 and 59 at risk for developing high blood cholesterol or hypercholesterolemia.
Additional risk factors, in addition to, age include a poor diet, obesity, little to no exercise, smoking and consuming alcohol. Some individuals with high blood pressure, diabetes, liver disease and kidney disease also increase their chances of getting high cholesterol.
Overall, exercising and reducing animal products in your diet are the first steps. There are also additional naturopathic solutions to add to your approach, like consuming more herbs and taking supplements.
Generally, peppers with capsaicin reduce cholesterol. Cayenne also aids in digestion, improves circulation, reduces blood fat levels and decreases body weight.
This common plant contains bioactive compounds that may contribute to lowering cholesterol levels by reducing blood lipids and lipids, which include cholesterol and triglycerides.
This bioflavonoid (plant pigment) is found in certain vegetables and fruits, like most citrus, apples, buckwheat, figs, and black and green tea.
A mixture of fats is used by the body in the metabolic process and to also remove fats. Lecithin is found naturally in soybeans, egg yolks, wheat germ, peanuts and liver.
Not only does this seed lower blood cholesterol, particularly LDL, but it also helps with digestive health and eases constipation. Take about 1-2 tablespoons of flax seed a day. Add it to oats, smoothies, salads or in homebaked bread.
Vitamin B3 / Niacin
This vitamin helps with the functioning of fats and sugars in the body to maintain healthy cells. You can find it in proteins like meat, fish, milk, and eggs, as well as green vegetables and cereals.
Omega 3, 6 and 9
These fatty acids are a type of fat the body cannot produce (except for omega 9), but can be consumed through foods. Focus on consuming more omega-3s (fish, fish oils) than omega-6s (plant oil, nuts and seeds).
This oil is 100%, 80-90% of which is saturated fat. Take this in moderation, about two tablespoons (28 grams) or less per day.
In addition to the above lifestyle and dietary changes, another suggestion is to try the Herbay Cholesterol Drops. These drops are composed of 50% medicinal ethanol, cayenne, celery, fenugreek, and dandelion. Together, these ingredients help the body maintain an alkaline state to reduce the need for the body to produce excess cholesterol.
How to take the drops
Simply add 20-30 drops in a small glass of water and drink twice daily. Use them in conjunction with regular exercise and a balanced diet.