What is High Blood Cholesterol?
As the name suggests, High Blood Cholesterol refers to a condition characterized by a high level of cholesterol in the bloodstream. Cholesterol is a fatty substance found in the walls or membranes of cells. It is carried in the blood in small packages known as lipoproteins. These lipoproteins are of two types, namely Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) and High Density Lipoprotein (HDL). The risk of developing heart problems increases with an increase in the level of LDL.
On the other hand, High Density Lipoprotein is considered good as it helps in carrying the cholesterol to the liver from where it can be easily removed. Hence, an increase in the level of HDL is favorable as it decreases the risk of potential heart problems and diseases.
When cholesterol builds up along the walls of arteries, it increases the probability of developing heart diseases. In case the accumulated cholesterol or plaque bursts, it releases the cholesterol and fat content in the blood. As these substances are not readily dissolved in blood, they may lead to clots and blockages, which in turn may result in chest pain and heart attack.
Therefore, it is essential to identify and cure this disease in time to avoid further complications. Several natural home remedies for High Blood Cholesterol along with a healthy diet and appropriate amount of physical activity can help a lot in preventing as well as curing this problem. Even doctors suggest Therapeutic Lifestyle changes (TLC) to effectively cope up with this problem. Unfortunately, the disease generally remains undetected in its initial stages because it does not cause specific symptoms.
Hence, a proactive approach should be adopted in order to control High Blood Cholesterol right from the beginning. Generally, total cholesterol level under 200 mg/dL is considered safe. It is considered borderline when it ranges from 200 to 239. A total cholesterol level of 240 mg/dL or more is considered highly unfavorable.
The LDL level should generally remain under 100 mg/dL. LDL level beyond 160 is not considered good. It is considered very high in case it crosses the limit of 190 mg/dL. Conversely, a reading of 40 mg/dL or less than that is not considered lower than normal in case of HDL. Ideally, HDL should be around 60 mg/dL or more. The unit Mg/dL refers to milligrams of cholesterol per deciliter of blood. Adults should get their cholesterol levels checked at least once every five years.
Causes and Symptoms of High Blood Cholesterol
It has been observed the level of cholesterol rises with an increase in the age. Excess amount of saturated fats and cholesterol in the diet also contribute in increasing the cholesterol level. In fact, the effect of saturated fats is more than that of dietary cholesterol. Animal fats, butter, dairy products and certain vegetable oils like palm oil, coconut oil etc are high in saturated fats. Dietary cholesterol is mostly found in animal products.
Lack of adequate exercise or physical activity is another important yet ignored aspect. Obesity, stress, alcoholism and cigarette smoking have also been associated with this disease. Hereditary factors also determine the amount of cholesterol in an individual’s body. Diseases like Diabetes, Hypothyroidism, kidney diseases, and liver disease also increase the risk of having High Blood Cholesterol.
Moreover, women usually have lower levels of cholesterol as compared to men. Although, the situation tends to change after menopause as the bad cholesterol level or LDL tends to increase after menopause in women. Besides, certain medications like birth control pills, antidepressants, corticosteroids, diuretics etc are also harmful in this regard.
High Blood cholesterol, less commonly known as Hypercholesterolemia, coupled with high blood pressure and obesity increase the risk of developing heart diseases. Generally, symptoms like breathlessness, excessive sweating, pain or heaviness in the chest and a general feeling of lethargy are associated with the problem of High Blood Cholesterol.
Natural Home Remedies for High Blood Cholesterol
• Ginger and garlic are excellent home remedies for High Blood Cholesterol. Regular intake of these therapeutic foods, especially when taken raw, helps to reduce cholesterol. Garlic can also be taken along with milk by a glass of milk with garlic in it.
• Consumption of bran after meals is highly beneficial in the treatment of this ailment.
• Juice extracted from onion and raw onions serve as efficient natural home remedies for High Blood Cholesterol treatment. Alternatively, having a mixture of a quarter teaspoon of black pepper powder and some chopped onions in a cup of buttermilk is tried and tested natural remedy used to cure High Cholesterol naturally.
• Another valuable home remedy for High Cholesterol would be to use sunflower oil in place of butter or cream while cooking. It is useful in lowering cholesterol.
• Take two cups of apple juice, half a cup of apple cider vinegar and about half a cup of grape juice. Mix these ingredients and take approximately three ounces of this mixture three times a day to improve the condition.
• Add 10 cinnamon sticks in five cups of water and boil the solution. Having this concoction mixed with one tablespoon of honey is one of the most successful natural home remedies for High Blood Cholesterol.
• Take some fenugreek seeds in powder form and mix the powder in a glass of water. This home remedy serves as one of the most effective ways to lower High Cholesterol, provided it is followed for about a month on a regular basis.
• Boil a glass of water with two tablespoons of coriander seeds in it. Then, let it cool and strain it. Finally, drink this concoction on a regular basis as an effective High Cholesterol remdy.
• Having salads mixed with some olive oil is also helpful in getting rid of this problem.
Diet for High Blood Cholesterol
Total elimination of cholesterol from the diet is not good as it helps in the protection of red blood cells and muscular membranes of the body. Plus, it helps in the production of hormones, vitamin D and bile acids that help in the process of digestion. Though, a small amount of cholesterol is sufficient to fulfill these needs.
Therefore, the primary step while dealing with High Blood Cholesterol involves reduction in the amount of saturated fats and cholesterol in the diet.
Corn flakes serve as a good source of energy that works without increasing cholesterol levels in the body. Plus, moderate consumption of nuts like almonds and walnuts are also helpful in dealing with High Cholesterol. Fiber rich fruits and vegetables such as broccoli, green beans, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and other such foods are also beneficial in reducing High Blood cholesterol levels.
Regular consumption of curry leaves is regarded as one of the best home remedies for High Blood Cholesterol prevention as well as cure. Curd is also serves as a good natural cure for healing Cholesterol problems. Also, drink plenty of water throughout the day. It stimulates the excretory activity of the skin and the kidneys, thereby facilitating the removal of excessive cholesterol from the body.
Regular physical activity is beneficial in lowering the bad cholesterol levels and raising the good cholesterol levels. Consumption of trans-fatty acids has also been associated with this disease. Therefore, processed and fried foods, commercial baked products, margarines and other such items should also be eliminated from the diet. Excessive consumption of alcohol raises the level of bad cholesterol (HDL). Smoking, on the other hand, tends to reduce good cholesterol levels.