“Cholesterol” is probably the most demonized and misunderstood terms in the health world.
With the proliferation of cholesterol-moderating drugs and pharmaceutical companies advertising their products on television, cholesterol has been given a bad rap.
We all know that maintaining high levels of certain types of cholesterol in the blood is bad, as they can lead to heart, kidney, and vascular disease; stroke; cancer; and hypertension. But let’s not lump all cholesterol together and paint a skewed picture.
There are two types of cholesterol and neither is inherently good or bad—they both serve vital purposes in the body.
Why Cholesterol Balance is Important
Lipoproteins carry fats around the body—every cell needs fat for energy. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) has been labelled the “good” cholesterol; it regulates low-density lipoprotein (LDL)—the “bad” cholesterol. High levels of LDL have been associated with illness and disease.
If there is too much fat in the blood, it accumulates on artery walls, forming plaque that restricts blood flow. High levels of LDL can contribute to this condition (1). However, LDL also bring cholesterol to cells, where it plays a role in maintaining cellular membranes. On the other hand, HDL removes excess cholesterol from cells, carrying it to the liver for processing and elimination (2).
Health risks develop when either lipoprotein level is too high, too low, or out of balance.
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Optimal levels of total blood cholesterol include anything less than 200mg/dL, with an LDL count lower than 100mg/dL and an HDL count above 60mg/dL (3).
The Truth About Cholesterol
Cholesterol is produced naturally in the body by the liver. Every day your body produces anywhere between 1,000 mg to 2,000 mg.
Cholesterol becomes unmanageable when diet and lifestyle factors influence the quantity and type of cholesterol produced. High LDL levels are caused by eating saturated and trans fats found in animal products and processed foods; smoking; diabetes; obesity; and lack of exercise. Processed foods are especially high in omega-6 fats—your body needs some of this kind of fat but we can easily get too much from processed and fast food.
Cutting out processed food and animal fat from your diet goes a long way toward reducing your LDL cholesterol.
How to Reverse Arterial Plaque
Diet – As mentioned, eliminating unhealthy foods is the first step towards controlling your cholesterol levels.
- Add more vegetables and fruits to your every plate. Cooked tomatoes have been found to work better at regulating LDL cholesterol than prescription drugs due to their high concentrations of lycopene, the carotenoid pigment that makes tomatoes red (4).
- Increase your intake of high-fiber foods: Soluble fiber can help eliminate cholesterol through the digestive tract. Coconut, oats, barley, and flax seeds are examples of high-fiber foods.
- Cinnamon has been found to effectively decrease LDL levels in the blood (5). It’s also a potent anti-inflammatory.
- Replace animal fats, canola and corn oils with nutritious oils like olive, coconut, and sesame.
Exercise – Begin or expand your regular exercise regimen to improve your cardiovascular health. Cardio exercise increases HDL levels and reduces LDL and resistance training can enhance this effect (6, 7). Even if you’re not interested in losing weight, regular exercise will positively impact your cholesterol levels (8).
This natural remedy can begin to break down arterial plaque in only forty days. Raw garlic can decrease LDL cholesterol and prevent atherosclerosis (9,10). Lemons—flesh and peel—have been found to reduce serum cholesterol (11). They also reduce blood pressure and cleanse the liver; a healthy liver is crucial for cholesterol production and regulation (12).
- 4 large garlic cloves
- 4 medium-sized lemons
- 3 quarts of distilled or boiled water
- Peel and crush garlic. Set aside.
- Scrub lemons under boiled water to clean. Chop into slices, rinds and all.
- Blend garlic and lemons together in a blender or food processor.
- Place the mixture in a large glass jar with a lid and cover with boiled water.
- Stir with a wooden spoon to mix.
- Cover and store in the refrigerator for 3 days.
- On the third day, strain solids from the water and drink 1 tablespoon 3 times a day, keeping remainder refrigerated.
- Gradually increase the amount of tonic per day until you reach 3 tablespoons, 3 times a day.
- Continue the treatment for 40 days.