Demystifying Cholesterol: Your Heart's Best Friend
Let's take a journey into the world of cholesterol – it's not as daunting as it sounds, I promise. In fact, it's a key player in keeping our hearts healthy. National Cholesterol Education Month is here, and it’s the perfect time for us to unravel the mysteries around cholesterol and learn how it impacts our bodies.
Imagine cholesterol as your body's trusty sidekick, helping in ways you might not know. It's like the builder of cell membranes and a behind-the-scenes supporter of hormones, vitamin D, and bile production. So, let’s not label cholesterol as just a troublemaker; it’s a team player in our body’s success story.
Now, let's clear up a common misunderstanding.
You've probably heard about "good" and "bad" cholesterol, right? Well, the truth is a little more complex. Cholesterol hitches a ride using proteins like LDL and HDL. But here’s the twist: It's the small LDL and HDL components that can cause problems, leading to heart issues. The larger ones, though, are the heroes that keep things running smoothly.
Genetics also have a say in this story. Some people inherit genes that make them more prone to cholesterol-related problems. Have you ever heard of familial hypercholesterolaemia or elevated lipoprotein (a)? These are like the villains in our cholesterol story, making life tougher for our hearts.
But guess what?
You're the hero of this story, armed with knowledge and ways to tackle them.
While cholesterol-lowering medications have their place, It's important to consider a adjuvant approach to heart health, emphasising beneficial habits and supplements like Ubiquinol. Think of it as a valuable ally that supports your heart and helps maintain healthy LDL cholesterol levels. When paired with Bergamot, you have a powerful combination actively working to safeguard your heart's well-being.
Let's switch gears for a moment. Cholesterol isn’t just a mysterious molecule; it plays essential roles in our body. Think of it as your body’s superhero costume tailor – it builds cell membranes, produces hormones, and even helps with vitamin D production. But it doesn’t travel alone; it uses lipoproteins as its ride, making sure everything’s where it should be.
Checking your cholesterol is as simple as a blood test! It measures different types of cholesterol and triglycerides, giving you a sneak peek into your heart's health. Remember, it’s a smart move to keep tabs on your cholesterol levels, especially if it runs in the family.
Did you know that nearly half of Aussie adults have higher-than-optimal cholesterol levels? It’s time to act and show high cholesterol the exit door. You've got the power to make a positive change!
Let’s talk about food and cholesterol. Surprisingly, cholesterol in food doesn’t have a huge impact on your blood cholesterol levels. Eggs and animal products? They're not the villains you might think they are. And if you’re not in the high-risk group, no need to count your egg intake – enjoy them!
So, what's the key to a heart-healthy life? It's as simple as making fibre a daily staple in your diet. Achieve this by savouring fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. And here's a savvy trick: Embrace the company of flavourful spices to elevate your meals' taste without the need for excessive salt.
Ready for a heart-healthy twist? Foods like oats, legumes, garlic, and onions can give your LDL cholesterol levels a friendly nudge downward. And plant sterols? They’re like the heart's own superheroes, found in nuts, seeds, and plant-based foods.
Did you know that having a cozy bowl of oats before bedtime isn't just comforting but also a cholesterol-fighting superstar?
Oats, packed with LDL-battling beta-glucans, can help lower the "bad" cholesterol while boosting the "good" HDL cholesterol. Plus, they're the ultimate wingman for blood sugar balance and weight management. So, go ahead, snuggle up with your oats – your heart will thank you!
1/2 cup rolled oats (not instant)
1 cup milk (dairy or plant-based)
Sprinkle cinnamon (for added flavour)
In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the rolled oats, flaxseed & milk
Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. This should take about 5 minutes.
Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer. Continue to cook for another 5-7 minutes, or until the mixture reaches your desired consistency. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and ensure even cooking.
Remove the saucepan from heat and let it sit for a minute or two to thicken further.
To serve, sprinkle cinnamon to add a delicious flavour without the need for added sweeteners.
So, remember that a healthy heart isn't just about popping pills. It's about making smart choices, understanding your body, and embracing a heart-happy lifestyle. So, let’s celebrate National Cholesterol Education Month by giving our hearts the love and attention they deserve!
Written By Lisa Barry
Health, N. (2021, April 14). Nutrient Reference Values | Eat For Health. Eatforhealth.gov.au. https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/nutrient-reference-values
Healthy Living | Heart Foundation. (n.d.). Heartfoundation-Prod.azurewebsites.net. https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/Bundles/Healthy-Living-and-Eating?selectedfilter=healthy%20eating
Australian Burden of Disease Study 2015: Interactive data on risk factor burden, High cholesterol. (n.d.). Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/burden-of-disease/interactive-data-risk-factor-burden/contents/high-cholesterol
Walker, D. R. (2016, November 30). Cholesterol and Heart Disease. Medium. https://drrosswalker.medium.com/cholesterol-is-a-modified-steroid-fatty-molecule-that-is-a-vital-component-of-all-cell-membranes-93ffbbccd848