Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Battle Against Cholesterol: Your 5 Strongest Allies

By Joanne Suan

Kick your high LDL cholesterol levels to the curb. You need help to fight your battle against cholesterol. These five natural foods when added to your arsenal might be key to watching those numbers drop. You are in this war to win.


Highly advertised on television as a powerful cholesterol-lowering agent, the oat is probably the most well-known of these foods. The oats have a deep history in Scotland, where it is the main staple of the Scottish diet. When the Scots settled in Vermont, they brought oats with them. This made Vermont the state that eats the most oats.

The property of oat that helps in the fight against cholesterol is its soluble fiber. Soluble fiber makes it harder for LDL cholesterol to be absorbed in your intestines. Thus there is less externally created cholesterol floating around in your bloodstream. Too much LDL cholesterol can cause some of it to stick and accumulate on your arteries.

Oats are found in a wide variety of foods such as oatmeal cookies, granola bars etc. Oatmeal is the most associated product with oats. If you don't like oatmeal, many companies are now incorporating oats into cereals and bread. Don't be afraid to add this powerful food to your arsenal.


Those white bulbs found in the grocery store are anything but new to the housewives cooking arsenal. Historically, it has been said that the smell has diverted many vampires and evil spirits. Villagers used to put them on their doors and hang them around their necks for protection. Used heavily in Chinese and Mediterranean dishes, it is probably the main reason why you don't find any Chinese vampires - yes that was a joke.

Of course, the most advertised property of garlic is its cholesterol & blood pressure lowering properties. Garlic is a natural antioxidant. It is thought that it helps prevent the LDLs from building up on the artery walls. Adding garlic as part of a healthy diet can help you lower cholesterol levels as well as help you fight the common cold.

Garlic is available in many forms. You can eat it raw. Although, its resulting odor maybe more than some can handle. In cooking, the potency of the smell and taste of garlic is diluted, resulting in a more palatable concoction for most people. It can also be taken in powder or pill form as part of a supplement. One of the main known active ingredients is Allicen so ensure that processed garlic pills still have this ingredient.


It is hard to speak of garlic without mentioning its cousin, the onion. Even more widely used than the garlic, it was heavily consumed in ancient times. One of its most surprising purposes was that the onion was used to pay rent.

The onion is a source of chromium and B6 vitamins. Both sources are linked to lowering cholesterol levels and preventing heart disease. Along with its cholesterol lowering properties, the onion has other benefits including lowering the risk of cancer.

Fortunately, there are only two ways to eat an onion, raw or cooked. With such a wide variety of onions available, it is relatively easy to find a variety that appeases your taste buds. If you don't like the sharp taste of stronger onions, try one of the sweet varieties or use it as seasoning in your food.

*Virgin Olive Oil

Virgin Olive oil is a natural product originally made from Greek olives. Once immortalized as liquid gold by Homer, it held great popularity in ancient times. Religions saw the olive oil as a pure burning oil and is held in high esteem for many different type of ceremonies. It was once used as a cure for bad breath when it was turned into a mouthwash.

Olive oil contains a high amount of monounsaturated fats. These fats help control your LDL cholesterol levels. Just by replacing your regular cooking oil, you can reduce the amount of bad fats that you are consuming.

Olive oil can be found in any supermarket as cooking oil. Many Companies are adding this cholesterol-lowering oil to salad dressings and using it in the creation of mayonnaise. The pill version of olive oil is available to take as well.

*Primrose Oil

The primrose plant is where primrose oil originates from. The primrose thrives in North and South America and is widely available. Nicknamed the King's cureall, the primrose was once thought to cure multiple aliments.

Primrose oil contains a high amount of essential fatty acids. These fatty acids contribute to lowering your cholesterol levels. Along with this, primrose oil can help treat eczema and even help relieve PMS symptoms.

Primose oil is available as a supplement. Usually found in pill form, it can be found in most grocery stores. Consult your doctor before taking any type of supplement. If your doctor disapproves of any kind of supplement, consider alternate medical advice and see a certified naturopath.

The fight against high cholesterol is a constant battle. These powerful foods are merely aids to assist you drop those numbers. When used in conjunction with a good diet, these foods can help you win the battle against high LDL cholesterol.

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