About Cholesterol NumbersMar 8th, 2011 |
About Cholesterol Numbers - What is Cholesterol
The word Cholesterol comes from two Greek words, khole, and stereos. Khole means bile, and stereos means solid, which in this indicates that the molecule is part of a class called sterols (the basis for the word steroids). Cholesterol is a necessary for the body to produce vitamin D during sun exposure, steroidal hormones (the natural ones), and bile acids (for stomach digestion).
It is important to note that most of the cholesterol that you have in your body comes from natural production by your liver!
Cholesterol is a type of fat, and like oil, it doesn’t mix well with blood. In order for it to travel efficiently through our blood stream, it is contained within a protein based “wrapper” know as a lipoprotein.
When your doctor talks about HDL, and LDL cholesterol, what he’s really talking about is the the type of wrapper that surrounds cholesterol, not the cholesterol itself.
HDL, also known as high density lipoprotein and “good cholesterol,” acts as a sponge that cleans up excess cholesterol and returns it to the liver for disposal (which is one reason you want to detoxify your liver)
LDL, also known as low density lipoprotein and “bad cholesterol,” transports cholesterol and fat from the liver to the rest of the body.
So, why does LDL have such a bad rap? There are two reasons:
- It is the main ingredient in blood vessel plaque
- It is highly susceptible to free radical oxidation (the same process that causes metal to rust). Oxidation of heart and blood vessels is bad news
Triglycerides are another type of fat (lipid) found in your blood. Unlike cholesterol, your body store unused calories and provide your body with energy. Unused triglycerides are stored in body fat. High triglyceride levels have been shown to contribute to atherosclerosis.
Why is Cholesterol So Important?
Below is a picture of the progression of arterioele plaque build up, and Atherosclerosis (scaring of the artery). As you can see, build up of plaque in your arteries severely limits blood flow.
If blood flow is severely compromised, it can lead to chest pain, shortness of breath, and heart attack. Also, pieces of this plaque can break off and move through an artery into smaller blood vessels, blocking the vessels, which can lead to heart attack or stroke.
What Do the Numbers for LDL and HDL Mean?
HDL and LDL are measured in miligrams per decileter ( 1/10th of a liter, or about 3 ounces ). So, when your doctor says you have 160 mg/dl of LDL Cholesterol, it means there are 160 milligrams of LDL cholesterol in every 3 ounces of blood.
Chart: Ideal Concentration of Cholesterol
|Total Cholesterol||Under 200||Desirable|
|200 – 239||Borderline High|
The Good Kind
|Under 40||Low For Men|
|Under 50||Low For Women|
The Bad Kind
(lower is better)
|Under 70||Optimal for those with heart disease|
|100 – 129||Near Optimal|
|130 – 159||Borderline High|
|160 – 189||High|
|Over 190||At Risk|
|150 – 199||Borderline High|
|200 – 499||High|
|Over 500||At Risk|
About Cholesterol Numbers - Ideal Ratio of LDL to HDL
The ideal ratio is between 1 to 1 and 3 to 1
What to do About High Cholesterol
Recent research has shown that the most effective method of reducing LDL is to follow a 100% plant based diet using a specific protocol (not taking statin drugs!). In fact, this protocol has shown a consistent 33% drop in LDL, with a 40% drop not uncommon (versus 26% for statin drugs) So let’s say you were in the “At Risk” category of 190 mg/dl. If you follow our protocol, you could reasonably see your LDL drop to 114 – 127 mg / dl (both in the optimal range!).
#1 Get and Stay Lean
You want to lose as much intra-abdominal fat as you can, and the best way to do this is using our Body Transformation Detox Plan
#2 Eat At Least 10 (1/2 cup) servings of Vegetables and Fruits per day
Vegetables and fruits have countless phytonurtients, vitamins, and minerals that have cholesterol lowering properties. After you complete our 28 day detox, you will move to a diet that makes this part EASY and TASTY!
Ideally, you would aim to get about 70% of your caloric intake from vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, nuts, and seeds! This is all covered in our Plan.
#3 Eat 1 Cup of High Density Whole Grains Each Day
Whole grains contain fiber and other nutrients show to improve cholesterol profiles and overall cardiovascular health. 1 cup per day provides a 30% lower risk of atherosclerosis!
#4 Get Plenty of Fiber
- Use Arbonne Essentials Daily Fiber Boost, which contains inulin. Inulin is a starchy substance found in a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbs. It is proven to help absorb and sweep away cholesterol. It also helps the promote positive bacterial growth and bowel function. It also contains pectin from citrus fruits and apples. Pectin has also been clinically proven to lower LDL cholesterol!
- Eat beans! Beans are rich in fiber, which binds to cholesterol in your digestive tract, and shuttles it out of your body!
#5 Eat at least 1/3 cup of raw nuts / seeds per day
Nuts and seeds contain LDL cholesterol destroying polyunsaturated fats. Check out this article on WebMD
#6 Supplement with High potency Omega-3′s
Beyond the anti-carcinogenic effects, brain boosting effects, skin health effects, and everything else beneficial about balancing your omega 3-6-9 profile, there are huge cardiovascular and cholesterol lowering effects as well!
The advantage of Arbonne Omega-3 plus is that it is 100% plant based. The oil doesn’t have to be super processed in order to ensure that it is pure, and free from mercury like fish oils do!
#7 Perform at least 45 minutes of Resistance Exercise and / or Cardio Training Each Day
According to the American Heart Association, resistance exercise can reduce triglycerides by 15%, and increase HDL cholesterol by up to 5%.
#8 Eat a wide variety of herbs and spices
This includes ginger, garlic, and curcumin. Ginger can increase circulation and curcumin can block cholesterol uptake in the gut.
Even cocoa can help. Flavonoid rich chocolate can decrease LDL, increase HDL, and reduce platelet stickiness.
#9 Limit Meat, exclude processed foods, trans fats, and dairy
If you eat meat / poultry, eat the organic, free range kind. They are much lower in triglycerides and trans-fats!.
#10 Drink 4 Cups of Arbonne Essentials Detox Tea Per Day
Tea can help to lower blood cholesterol, reduce arterial plaque, improve blood vessel function, and decrease lipid oxidation. If you drink coffee or soda, aim for the lower caffeine varieties. Caffeine can increase cholesterol levels by nearly 10%.
#11 Detoxify Your Liver
Remember, most of the cholesterol in your body comes from the liver (3 to 8 times more than your diet). You can lower LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol by cleansing your liver, and supporting it’s function nutritionally.
The Arbonne Essentials Antioxidant and Immunity Booster contains milk thistle, which has shown the ability to cleanse the liver and boost production of Glutathione, the strongest antioxidant anywhere.