Foods can control cholesterol naturally

nutrition What's one of the most important rules in medicine? Never take a drug if a natural and safer remedy provides the same relief. Yet millions of people take cholesterol-lowering drugs to prevent heart attacks.

This therapy comes with a price. Patients can develop muscle cramps and liver and kidney problems and some have died.

Linus Pauling, a two-time Nobel Prize winner, says a high dose of vitamin C before breakfast is a smart way to start the day.

How much you take depends on your tolerance. Too much may cause diarrhea. But most people can tolerate 2,000 milligrams. Ascorbic acid powder (vitamin C) is the least expensive way to buy this vitamin. A flat teaspoon (5,000 mg) can be mixed with orange juice.

Vitamin C increases the rate of removal of cholesterol from the blood by converting cholesterol into bile acids that are then excreted by the bowel. Taking vitamin C before breakfast often triggers a bowel movement and removes bile acids before they can be reabsorbed and converted back to cholesterol.

As well, I tell my patients to start the day with oat bran. It's low in saturated fat and contains neither trans fat nor cholesterol. Oat bran is a soluble fibre, which reduces the body's absorption of cholesterol from the intestines.

Adding a banana or other fruit to the cereal makes it more palatable.

Soluble fibre is also found in prunes, apples, pears and kidney beans.

During this festive season, a glass of wine will boost high-density lipoprotein (HDL) the good cholesterol. HDL removes excess cholesterol from the blood.

But according to a recent report in the journal Nature, wines from southwestern France are superior in this since they contain high levels of procyanidins, which block a protein associated with heart disease.

Red wine has two additional advantages. It decreases the formation of endothelium-1, a chemical that makes coronary vessels less likely to constrict and thereby cause angina. And by making blood platelets (part of the blood clotting system) slippery, there's less chance of a fatal blood clot.

But use wine moderately.

Soy protein found in tofu, soy nuts and soy burgers will also boost HDL. In one study, researchers gave patients 40 grams of soy protein in the form of cookies. After 12 weeks, they had a five-per-cent increase in HDL.

There are also natural ways to lower low-density lipoproteins (LDL), the bad cholesterol. David Jenkins, director of clinical nutrition at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, studied 27 men with high cholesterol for three months and reports two handfuls of almonds a day decreased LDL by 9.4 per cent and decreased the risk of cardiovascular accident by 20 per cent.

Researchers at the Nutrition Research Center report that adding half a teaspoon of cinnamon to coffee, cereal or toast will decrease LDL by 20 per cent. A daily dose of five grams of psyllium three times a day with meals also lowers LDL.

In another study, black tea consumed three times a day for three weeks decreased total cholesterol 6.5 per cent and LDL 11.1 per cent. It's believed tea blocks absorption of dietary cholesterol.

And one to two cloves of raw garlic or a 300-mg garlic powder tablet taken three times a day lowers cholesterol, LDL and triglyceride levels 8 to 12 per cent.

Lastly, daily exercise increases HDL.

source - London Free Press 

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This page contains a single entry by ID Admin published on December 24, 2006 4:08 PM.

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