Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Best Supplements to Include in Your Low-Cholesterol Diet

By Zaiden W Xavier

A common solution to help lower cholesterol levels in the blood are vitamin supplements. However, it is important that you talk to your doctor about these supplements since not all have the same effects on the body. For this reason, it becomes even more important that cholesterol levels are monitored and the proper vitamin supplements chosen to find the best health benefit. When considering vitamin supplements, it is important to keep in mind that these will not negate any unhealthy habits such as a high fat diet, smoking or lack of exercise. Supplements that lower cholesterol should only be used as part of, and not in lieu of, a healthy diet and exercise.

One nutrient that fights cholesterol is niacin or vitamin B3. It is found in milk, vegetables, eggs and fish. But the concentration of niacin in these foods are not adequate to lower cholesterol. The body's daily need to fight cholesterol would be around 2,000-3,000 mg and can be supplied with medication. However, consuming niacin must be done carefully, since too much can cause hot flashes, nausea, gout, indigestion, and gastric problems. For this reason, you should only consume niacin with a doctor's prescription.

Soluble fiber is another ingredient that is essential to keep cholesterol in check. Natural foods like barley, apples, beans, oat bran, citrus fruits and lentils are known for rich fiber content that also helps with digestion. When soluble fiber binds with the existing cholesterol in our body, it takes that bad cholesterol with it when it leaves the body, minimizing cholesterol absorption by way of the intestines.

Garlic extract is yet another vital ingredient to manage cholesterol levels in the body. If taken excessively however, fiber and garlic extract can lead to bloating, gas, nausea, body odor, heartburn and vomiting. It will also absorb omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil and health supplements. Noted for their HDL elevating qualities, omega-3 fatty acids are useful in maintaining high HDL cholesterol levels in the body (this is the 'good cholesterol'). If using blood thinning drugs though, check with a health practitioner first when incorporating garlic and omega-3 fatty acids in the diet plan.

If you are searching for all-natural food supplements to regulate your cholesterol levels, flax seeds are a great choice. These kinds of whole grains are identified to lower amounts of LDL cholesterol ("bad cholesterol") and avoid it from being absorbed in the intestines. Flax seed is a flexible type of food that you can consume with cereal, yogurt or baked with bread or muffins. Be cautious of taking larger portions of flax seed if you are on blood thinning medicine.

These are just examples of supplements you can take to lower your cholesterol risk. Your health care provider can provide you a more complete list of supplements you can take.

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