In today’s fast-paced world, many individuals often overlook their health and do not give it due importance, all in a bid to achieve more and to do more. On top of our busy, stress-inducing lifestyles, the food we consume is also extremely deteriorating for our bodies. Full of artificial ingredients, and unhealthy substances, it wears away at our being bit by bit. Of the many health problems that arise from this way of living, high cholesterol is a common and deadly one.
Before we get into the intricacies of how to go about managing your cholesterol levels, let us take a look at what exactly the condition is and how things can go wrong.
Cholesterol – The Basics
A waxy substance, cholesterol, has a consistency that is similar to fat, and it is present throughout the body’s cells. While the dangers of a high cholesterol level are drastic, the substance itself is imperative to proper, healthy functioning as it is responsible for producing vitamin D, digestive substances, and vitamin D. For adults, a safe and healthy cholesterol reading sits at less than 200 mg/dL, whereas any number above this is cause for concern.
High Cholesterol – Causes and Dangers
High cholesterol is a direct result of consuming large quantities of saturated and trans-fat. Additionally, foods that are naturally high in cholesterol also contribute to increased cholesterol levels in the body. Animal products, processed foods, and red meat are go-to avoiders if you want to reduce your cholesterol levels.
You must be thinking: there is so much talk about high cholesterol levels, but what exactly are its dangers? Well, abnormal cholesterol levels result in restricted blood flow as vessels and arteries are clogged with a fatty build-up. This development leads to a significantly higher risk of heart disease.
Supplements to take to Manage your Cholesterol
Now that you have a basic understanding of what cholesterol is and its function within the body, and the dangers of abnormal levels, it is time to look towards remedies. Since high cholesterol levels can cause havoc on the body, it is important to take measures to bring them back to normal, and with these supplements, you can find yourself well on that path.
Here’s our top pick for cholesterol-reducing supplements:
1) Artichoke Extract
Artichoke is known to hold many health benefits, among which is its ability to reduce total and LDL cholesterol levels. However, caution needs to be taken as the substance may cause an allergic reaction in individuals that have a ragweed allergy.
The wonders and concerns of barley are surprisingly similar; while it does reduce total and LDL cholesterol levels, barley also flares up allergies in some consumers.
3) Blond Psyllium
Blond Psyllium is a substance found within seed husk, Metamucil, and the likes. While this, too, is apt at reducing cholesterol levels, it carries a longer list of potential side effects. These include stomach pains, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, and reduced absorption of nutrients such as vitamins and iron.
4) Fish Oil
Fish oil can be consumed in liquid form or as capsules. Either way, the substance targets triglycerides and works towards reducing their number. While fish oil is hailed for its many health benefits, it too is not without a downside. Downers include bad breath, a foul aftertaste, gas, vomiting, and diarrhea. Also, fish oil may not pair well with blood-thinning medication, either resulting in a reduced effect or one of the above symptoms.
5) Ground Flaxseed
Ground flaxseed specifically targets LDL cholesterol levels and strives to reduce them. Flaxseed holds relatively fewer side effects, with the main ones being bloating and diarrhea. Apart from this, it may not be suitable for consumption by individuals that are taking blood-thinning medication such as aspirin or warfarin.
6) Green Tea Extract
Green tea is held as a renowned superfood that is packed full of health benefits. Luckily, of its many blessings is the ability to reduce LDL cholesterol levels and triglycerides. Green tea can be taken in liquid form or through an extract in shakes, cakes, and the likes. Unfortunately, green tea can affect the stomach and digestive system negatively by causing diarrhea, vomiting, gas, and nausea.
Niacin is popularly known to reduce LDL cholesterol levels while simultaneously improving HDL, giving individuals a two in one benefit. If you are taking niacin at a prescription dose, it is likely that you will experience some or all of the following symptoms: headaches, vomiting, and diarrhea.
So, there you have it; a complete rundown of the best supplements to take for managing your cholesterol levels.