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7 Tips for Controlling Cholesterol

Despite its reputation, cholesterol isn’t inherently bad—your body actually needs it to build cell walls, among other things. But its waxy consistency means cholesterol needs help getting around the bloodstream from carriers known as lipoproteins, and that’s where things get interesting.

Lipoproteins come in two basic types, low density (LDL) and high density (HDL). HDL helps out by dragging cholesterol back to the liver for processing. But LDL can turn troublesome when it oxidizes, a bodily process similar to the rusting of a car.

Managing cholesterol levels, particularly LDL levels, is a basic part of maintaining heart health. Here are seven ways to help you do just that.

1. Know Your Risks (That Means You Too, Ladies)

You can’t control your cholesterol if you don’t know what your levels are. (Females, beware: Women are less likely than men to keep cholesterol within limits.) For LDL a reading over 100 is not good; anything over 160, downright high. (The cutoffs for total cholesterol are 200 and 240.) HDL levels should be at least 40 for men, 50 for women. Have a healthcare professional help you put those numbers in an overall context that includes other cardiac risk factors, such as high blood pressure and smoking.

2. Keep Stress, and Hostile Feelings, at Bay

Evidence suggests that stress can throw one’s internal chemistry out of balance, which in turn can contribute to heart woes. But in research presented at an annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, men with the lowest hostility levels boasted better HDL levels than their more hot-headed peers. That makes stress control crucial to cardiac health.The information provided is not an endorsement of any product, and is intended for educational purposes only. NaturesPlus does not provide medical advice and does not offer diagnosis of any conditions. Current research on this topic is not conclusive and further research may be needed in order to prove the benefits described. The conditions and symptoms described may be indicative of serious health problems, and therefore should be brought to the attention of a qualified healthcare practitioner.

3. Get Moving—for Life

Exercise is the exact opposite of stress: Staying active is linked to all that makes for sweetness and light, particularly when it comes to cardiovascular well-being. Getting physical helps your heart pump more efficiently and helps lower both total and LDL cholesterol while raising HDL. What’s more, exercise also helps to drop blood pressure, another cardiac risk factor.The information provided is not an endorsement of any product, and is intended for educational purposes only. NaturesPlus does not provide medical advice and does not offer diagnosis of any conditions. Current research on this topic is not conclusive and further research may be needed in order to prove the benefits described. The conditions and symptoms described may be indicative of serious health problems, and therefore should be brought to the attention of a qualified healthcare practitioner.

4. Remember That Calories (Sigh) Do Count

One way to increase your lifespan is to drastically cut your calorie intake, in part because such restriction helps improve the ratio of HDL to LDL. Life extension has been shown in lab mice, who can only eat what they’re fed. Lucky them—they don’t have to ignore culinary enticements on every corner. But going easy on portions even a little is a good idea, and taking a high-quality multivitamin every day can help keep you covered nutritionally.The information provided is not an endorsement of any product, and is intended for educational purposes only. NaturesPlus does not provide medical advice and does not offer diagnosis of any conditions. Current research on this topic is not conclusive and further research may be needed in order to prove the benefits described. The conditions and symptoms described may be indicative of serious health problems, and therefore should be brought to the attention of a qualified healthcare practitioner.

5. Go for Healthy Fat

For a long time, people thought that cutting every last bit of fat out of your diet was the way to heart happiness. Wrong. The idea is to stick with such unsaturated fats as olive oil, the stuff that made the Mediterranean diet famous. It also means enjoying the healthy fats, known as omega-3 essential fatty acids, found in cold-water fish.The information provided is not an endorsement of any product, and is intended for educational purposes only. NaturesPlus does not provide medical advice and does not offer diagnosis of any conditions. Current research on this topic is not conclusive and further research may be needed in order to prove the benefits described. The conditions and symptoms described may be indicative of serious health problems, and therefore should be brought to the attention of a qualified healthcare practitioner.

6. Color Your Diet Healthy

Back when you were blithely ignoring your mom’s pleas to finish your vegetables, none of us fully realized the power of produce. Today, we know that the phytonutrients in plants not only give fruits and vegetables their brilliant colors but confer a wealth of health benefits, including a considerable cardiovascular assist, on plant-consuming humans as well. So please do eat your veggies.The information provided is not an endorsement of any product, and is intended for educational purposes only. NaturesPlus does not provide medical advice and does not offer diagnosis of any conditions. Current research on this topic is not conclusive and further research may be needed in order to prove the benefits described. The conditions and symptoms described may be indicative of serious health problems, and therefore should be brought to the attention of a qualified healthcare practitioner.

7. Feast on Fiber

Your body may not be able to digest the fiber found in whole foods, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t valuable. Fiber not only keeps your intestinal system operating on all cylinders, but the soluble kind helps drain your bloodstream of excess cholesterol. Eating a fiber-rich diet also helps to fill you up, which in turn helps head off the obesity that is itself a threat to cardiovascular health.The information provided is not an endorsement of any product, and is intended for educational purposes only. NaturesPlus does not provide medical advice and does not offer diagnosis of any conditions. Current research on this topic is not conclusive and further research may be needed in order to prove the benefits described. The conditions and symptoms described may be indicative of serious health problems, and therefore should be brought to the attention of a qualified healthcare practitioner.

The information provided is not an endorsement of any product, and is intended for educational purposes only. NaturesPlus does not provide medical advice and does not offer diagnosis of any conditions. Current research on this topic is not conclusive and further research may be needed in order to prove the benefits described. The conditions and symptoms described may be indicative of serious health problems, and therefore should be brought to the attention of a qualified healthcare practitioner.The information provided is not an endorsement of any product, and is intended for educational purposes only. NaturesPlus does not provide medical advice and does not offer diagnosis of any conditions. Current research on this topic is not conclusive and further research may be needed in order to prove the benefits described.

The conditions and symptoms described may be indicative of serious health problems, and therefore should be brought to the attention of a qualified healthcare practitioner.

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**These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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