In observance of National Cholesterol month, I thought I would write a little bit about cholesterol from what it is, its’ very important bodily functions and some tips to keep cholesterol in balance.
What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a fat lipid. It is produced in the liver, it is located on the outer layer of every cell and is an important component to everyday body functioning.
Why do we need cholesterol?
Cholesterol has numerous jobs in our body. Below are just a few of them.
- it builds and gives integrity to the outer cell membranes
- it is a gate keeper security guard that will allow certain things in and out of the cell membrane
- aids in the production of hormones released from certain glands in the body ( ie: adrenal glands)
- insulates the nerve fibers
How do we keep cholesterol in balance?
Genetics do play a role in cholesterol balance but as Dean Ornish MD states, “ You can’t get different genes, but how you act can change how your genes act.” Below are a few things that you can do everyday to keep your cholesterol levels in check.
This is HUGE. And you first may think, I need to stop eating all the greasy foods, which of course is definitely something to work on, however, I think a much more important challenge is to stop eating so much sugar. Sugar recks havoc in the body on so many levels. I believe sugar plays an integral role in the chronic ( inflammatory) diseases – like heart – our society seems to be plagued with. Below are a few things to begin with.
- Stop purchasing processed and baked goods. They are packed with excess sugar, food coloring and other additives. Shop the periphery of the store where you will find whole and real colorful foods.
- Eat at home. Although take out is fast and convenient, it is not so healthy. If time is an issue, invest in a crock pot or if you just are too tired to cook, make a protein packed smoothie and some toast with nut butter. Filling, nutritious and simple.
- Begin to eat 5 small meals a day. Make the small meals packed with fiber, color and protein. Maybe a smoothie for breakfast, apple with nut butter for a snack, small salad with seeds and nuts at lunch, carrots and hummus in the after noon and then a light dinner. This will keep you satisfied, and your blood sugar stable.
Keeping your weight within a healthy range is crucial to fend off all diseases. Making changes in your diet and lifestyle can make profound difference that will make you feel better: more alert and less fatigued. In return, this will encourage you to continue taking better care of yourself – everyone wants to feel great!
If you do not get any daily physical exercise, now is the time to start. Begin with a 20 minute morning or evening walk. Once you begin feeling better you will want to do more.
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