Consume Plant Sterols with Each Meal to Maintain Healthy Cholesterol LevelsLDL Cholesterol vs. HDL Cholesterol
Having healthy LDL cholesterol levels is one of the the greatest influences on having healthy arteries and a well balanced cardiovascular system. When LDL cholesterol levels get too high you are far more likely to develop plaque buildup in arteries and are more likely to experience clogged arteries if enough time passes with little change to your situation.
Having Lower LDL cholesterol levels means you have less cholesterol in your blood stream that will buildup along the walls leading to heart disease. HDL cholesterol acts to help flush LDL cholesterol out of the system. That is why HDL cholesterol is desirable but who else can you ensure that your circulating bad cholesterol levels remain as low as possible. You can participate in exercise, as you should be doing anyway, but you also should focus on improving your diet.
Plant Sterols and LDL Cholesterol
In a recent issue of Men’s Health a blurb was published referencing a new study conducted by Tufts University. In that study researchers found that people who ate plant sterol spreads (i.e. butter substitutes containing plant sterols such as Promise Active and Smart Balance with Heart Right) with every meal rather than with just a single meal or not at all were able to effectively lower their LDL cholesterol levels by approximately 6 percent. This is very significant because it is a means to managing your cholesterol in a completely different way than other actions such as exercise and dietary restrictions.
The reasoning quoted for the lower LDL cholesterol levels is due to the properties of plant sterols. Plant sterols basically hinder the absorption of cholesterol in the intestines. They decrease the bioavailability of LDL cholesterol and therefore keep more of it from ever entering your blood stream in the first place.
Plant Sterols Help You Live LongerWhere to Get Plant Sterols
If you can easily add plant sterols to your diet around the clock you will be much better off and will be much more likely to live a longer life than if you are not able to make this change. Butter substitute spreads are not the only source of plant sterols so make sure to keep a look out for other options. Some fortified orange juices contain sterols as do many other products. You may even be able to find quality plant sterol supplements which aide in lowering LDL cholesterol if you take them safely.
Other Ways to Manage Cholesterol Levels
Of course do not abandon the tried and true methods of managing cholesterol levels. Taking action by eating better and exercising are of course your first line of defense against unsafe plaque build up in the arteries, but assuming this is already happening, consider these findings for a little more help in the task of lowering LDL cholesterol, increasing heart health, and increasing your life expectancy rate.
Men’s Health – Nov 2009