Attention to Reducing your Cholesterol

Reduce Cholesterol and Blood Pressure

New Years with a fresh new start to keep you on your toes and modeling ideal habits for those you love.  Follow these basic steps to reduce your cholesterol and blood pressure, impacting and leading to a stronger lifestyle.

In brief, it’s important to know very basic facts.

  1. The body’s liver makes its own cholesterol everyday.  Cholesterol is a key factor the functionability of our hormones and to the elasticity of our veins and arteries.
  2. HDL is a healthy cholesterol needed to keep our hormones, organs, muscles, veins and arteries operating properly.
  3. LDL is an unhealthy cholesterol when it becomes oxidized.
  4. Reduce Stressful Lifestyle:  walk away from or limit interaction with stress triggers, avoid comfort foods that can contribute to increasing cholesterol. (salty & fried foods, dairy products, red meats)                                                                                                                              

Knowledge to influence better habits

Oxidation of LDL is due to free radicals floating around in our body which are  O+ broken off from degenerating protein called homocysteine. The positively charged oxygen then attaches itself to LDL cholesterol and plaque begins to form in your arteries and veins. Hence forth, why anti-oxidants from fruit and vegetables need to be a part of ones daily intake, to clean up the free radicals.

Check the grocery cart before before bringing home the bacon! LDL cholesterol is established through nutrition and found in hydrogenated fats and animal fat.    Hydrogenated fats can be found in margarine, shortening, cookies, and oil-frying. By switching grocery purchases of high caloric fats for fresh seasonal fruits, you are already stepping up!

It’s easy to do!  Reduce consumption of animal fats, or saturated fats; found in milk, butter, cheese, ice cream, meats and pork.  Although we need a certain amount of meats and fats  they should be consumed in small amounts.  A meat serving is 3-4 ounce (84-112 g) servings consumed once or twice a day, while a fat serving is 2 Tbsp of oil per day

3 Effective Steps to Increase HDL

  1. Walk 30-60 minutes five times a week for a total of 2 1/2-5 hours per week.  Walking twice a day for 20-30 minutes each time will increase your metabolism, strengthen bones, muscles and keep your heart pumping…increasing the HDL cholesterol, which removes LDL cholesterol from your arteries.
  2. Consume foods that increase HDL levels:  Omega-3 rish foods: Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Canola, Walnuts, Almonds, Fish and Fiber.  Fruit and Vegetables , total of 9 1/2 cup servings a day.  Please refer to:  Daily Serving Guidelines.
  3. Beverages that assist in increasing HDL levels: Cleanse your body with lemon water or green/black/white tea throughout the day.  Wine and alcohol in moderation; 1 glass for a woman, 2 glasses for a man.
    Reducing cholesterol levels puts into place the first step to reducing blood pressure. It is important to note that attention to reducing salt levels and increasing potassium intake will impact a decreased blood pressure as well. By establishing a plan to  healthier eating and daily exercise, you will feel stronger sooner than expected!

By: K. Crocker-Scardicchio

References

You are What You Eat! Improving Your Skin…

How are you aging compared to others in your age group? A question that we do not easily hide from, as the lines on our face tell a story of  our experiences, happiness, defeat’s and triumph’s!

Our own collagen production slows down as we age, drooping and sagging on our body starts to appear. Expensive cream’s are bought and applied early in the morning and late at night with hopes that their magic will work and turn back the hands of time.  While it’s true that moisturizer’s can help reduce the velocity of water loss from our skin, beware of cream’s that indicate a topical collagen to reduce aging.  Research shows that certain cream’s can promote aging, as their collagen droplets are too big to be absorbed by the skin.  Instead, what we should be doing is eating our way to a healthier and younger body, so that our skin is receiving  a proper combination of nutrients to promote collagen synthesis through both animal and plant foods.

Vitamin C is required to improve skin elasticity and slow aging!

Collagen is  not only skin deep, it is a fiber found within connective tissue through out the body including:  skin,  tendons, ligaments, teeth, bones and organs.  Collagen’s main job is to protect  tissue and provide the body with support. These unique fibers are made from protein and have large amounts hydroxyproline and hydroxylysine. Both of these amino acids must be present for development of all types of collagen and are needed to provide the appropriate amount of strength and flexibility.

A good food source of proline from animal is Egg Whites. Wheat Germ is a high quality plant proline.  Fish has an abundance of animal lysine, while legumes (especially peanuts), nuts and seeds are a strong source of plant lysine.

The key macro-nutrient Vitamin C  needs to be present, in order to convert  proline into hydroxyproline and lysine into hydroxylysine (both amino acids present in the collagen form).  While most plants foods are full of vitamin C, eat those fruits and vegetables with bright colors, for a total of 5 a day to keep replenishing this water soluble vitamin. (Enjoy an additional 4 servings of Green Vegetables  per day.)

From time to time collagen damage may occur from diseases. Garlic is food that improves collagen damage and has two principle sulfur nutrients: an amino acid taurine and lipoid acid, giving garlic the unique ability to support damaged collagen fibers.

Lastly, consume foods from two categories of phytonutrients: catechins and anthocyanidins. Research shows that catechins found in Green Tea have been shown to help prevent breakdown of collagen. While anthocyanidins are found in red-blue Berries and Fruits (cherries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries) which help the collagen fibers link together and strengthen the connective tissue, providing you with healthy skin that keeps you from premature aging.

By:  Kim Crocker

References:

Leslie CA, Conte JM, Hayes KC, et al. A Fish Oil Diet Reduces the Severity of Collagen Induced Arthritis After Onset of the Disease. Clin Exp Immunol. 1998;73(2):328-32.

Mirhadi SA, Singh S, Gupta PP. Effect of Garlic Supplementation to Atherogenic Diet on Collagen Biosynthesis in Various Tissues of Rabbits. Indian Heart J.1990;42(2):99-104.

Nandhini TA, Thirunavukkarasu V, Ravichandran MK, et al. Taurine Prevents Fructose-Diet Induced Collagen Abnormalities in Rat Skin. J Diabetes Complications.2005;19(5):305-11.

Thirunavukkarasu V, Nandhini, Anuradha CV. Fructose Diet-Induced Skin Collagen Abnormalities Are Prevented by Lipoic Acid. Exp Diabesity Res. 2004;5,(4):237-44.

Bloomenkrantz N, Asboe-Hansen G. Effect of (+) catechin on connective tissue. Scand J Rheumatol. 1978;7:55-60.

Han B, Jaurequi J, Tang BW, Nimni ME. Proanthocyanidin: a Natural Crosslinking Reagent for Stabilizing Collagen Matrices. J Biomed Mater Res A. 2003;65(1): 118-24.