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Vitamins & Supplements

Decoding Cholesterol

Cholesterol gets a bad press, but we need it to maintain normal cell functions.

Cholesterol gets a bad press, but we need it to maintain normal cell functions, for the production of certain hormones and the manufacture of vitamin D. It’s just that we don’t need too much of the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol, because this is not good for our heart and circulation.

Low fat is best

An essential step in lowering cholesterol is to cut down on the amount of fat you eat. Reducing saturated fats, found in animal products, is important as it increases ‘bad’ cholesterol levels.  However, some fats are actually good for us and these are called unsaturated fats, found in olive oil, seeds, walnuts, almonds and avocado. They are thought to help to lower cholesterol, so including more of them in the diet is good news.

Fill up with fibre

Porridge oats, which are a rich source of soluble fibre, are often recommended as they bind to cholesterol, removing it from the body. Try starting the day with a bowl of porridge, add pulses to a meal and snack on nuts as a good way to increase your intake of these ingredients in your daily regime.

Step up exercise

Exercise helps reduce levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol whilst increasing ‘good’ HDL cholesterol levels. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise, (which can be a brisk walk) on at least five days a week.

Opt for Omega 3s

The body can’t make essential fatty acids, so we need to obtain them from our diet or take a supplement. Oily fish are a rich source of omega 3s and so one or two portions a week are recommended. If you don’t eat oily fish then an omega 3  supplement is a good idea.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has acknowledged that there are several nutrients believed to help maintain normal blood cholesterol levels.

High Potency Fish Oil 1100mg

One of the UK’s strongest fish oils with an unrivalled 700mg of Omega 3s in each taste free capsule. Special 5 stage purification process. View Our Fish Oil product

Plant Sterols

Plant sterols occur naturally in food and are similar in structure to cholesterol, the HDL fat that is abundant in animal sourced fats. But what is not generally known is that the body produces its own cholesterol which is secreted into the digestive system in the form of bile to aid the digestive process. Plant sterols are useful because they block cholesterol from being re-absorbed from the gut into the bloodstream, and any cholesterol not absorbed is simply excreted. This is why diets high in plant sterols can help to control blood cholesterol levels, and why plant sterols are now added to some specialist margarines. Although plant sterols are naturally present in vegetable oils and grains, modern diets tend to be low in these important nutrients, and so it may be difficult to always achieve optimum levels from diet alone.

Natural Plant Sterols 800mg

Each Nature’s Best plant sterol tablet contains 800mg of free plant sterols, with up to 80% beta-sitosterols. We quote the level of pure plant sterols, not the compound weight declared by some companies that may be only 50% sterols. This can make a useful contribution to our daily intake, without any unnecessary additional calories. View Our Plant Sterols product

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