Cholesterol is a sneaky condition because it discreetly raises a person’s risk of heart disease, an umbrella term for conditions that narrow or block blood vessels. Specifically, LDL – also known as the “bad” cholesterol – performs this deadly function. It does this by causing the build-up of fatty deposits within your arteries, thereby reducing or blocking the flow of blood and oxygen your heart needs. If your arteries become fully blocked, you could have a heart attack. Fortunately, there are ways to naturally lower your cholesterol. By consuming more omega-3 fatty acids and whey protein, your cholesterol could return to a healthy number. How?
Eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids have been described as having heart-healthy benefits.
Foods rich in these types of acids have many health benefits including reducing blood pressure.
Foods with omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, mackerel, herring, walnuts and flaxseeds.
“Eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids may help reduce heart disease and lower triglycerides,” said WebMed.
The health site added: “Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the rate at which the liver produces triglycerides.
“Omega-3 fatty acids also have an anti-inflammatory effect in the body, decrease the growth of plaque in the arteries, and aid in thinning blood.”
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Whey protein, which is found in dairy products, may account for many of the health benefits attributed to dairy.
Studies have shown that whey protein given as a supplement lowers both LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol as well as blood pressure.
This effect has been attributed to a family of bioactive peptides in dairy, so-called “angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors” (ACE-inhibitors).
In whey proteins, the ACE-inhibitors are called lactokins with several studies indicating its beneficial effects on blood pressure.
In a study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, alpha-lactorphin (whey protein) and its ability to lower blood pressure in hypertensive rats was investigated.
The study noted: “Cardiovascular effects of subcutaneous administration of synthetic alpha-lactorphin, a tetrapeptide originally derived from milk alpha-lactalbumin, were studied in conscious spontaneously hypertensive rats.
“Naloxone, a specific opioid receptor antagonist, abolished the alpha-lactorphin-induced reduction in blood pressure reversed it into a pressor response, which provides evidence for an involvement of opioid receptors in the depressor action of the tetrapeptide.”
Dietician Helen Bond added: “Cholesterol can change quite quickly, which is why exercise and eating healthy should be embedded into your everyday routine.
“But we’re talking a few weeks, rather than days – the odd meal or day where you eat a bit more than usual (including too much saturated fat) won’t make a difference to your cholesterol levels in the long run, but if your healthy eating and exercise habits have totally gone out the window during the lockdown, this could have a big impact on your cholesterol levels and your weight.
“Therefore, if your habits have changed over lockdown, now’s the time to reinstate healthy eating habits and get daily exercise (within UK Government guidelines to stay active and stay safe) before those new overindulgences become a habit that’s hard to break.”
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