Like the pipes under your kitchen sink, your arteries can get clogged with gunk, which slows the flow. The gunk in this case is plaque, and it sticks to the walls of your arteries, decreasing and sometimes blocking your blood flow.
Cholesterol, the main component in plaque, is a waxy substance that’s essential for some vital bodily functions, like producing vitamin D, hormones, and certain digestive substances. But when you have too much cholesterol in your system, it becomes sluggish, combines with other substances in your blood, and turns into plaque.
The only way to avoid this life-threatening plaque buildup that leads to atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease is to control your cholesterol level. So, how do you keep cholesterol in check? Our team of experts here at Balanced Medical Solutions in Hayward, California, have compiled this list of ways to lower and control your cholesterol, especially during the holidays when the challenge intensifies.
A quick lesson in lipoproteins
In order for fats (also known as lipids) to move through your bloodstream, they need to hitch a ride on proteins. When paired, these fats and proteins called lipoproteins form three variations: high density (HDL), low density (LDL, and very low density (VDL).
LDLs carry cholesterol throughout your body, but when you have too many, they stick to your arterial walls, so they’re sometimes called “bad cholesterol.”
HDLs efficiently carry cholesterol back to your liver where it’s eliminated, hence its nickname “good cholesterol.”
VDLs carry triglycerides (fat) just like HDLs and LDLs carry cholesterol (which is a waxy substance, but not technically a fat), and triglycerides also tend to build up on your arterial walls.
Bottom line: you want more HDLs than LDLs or VDLs in your bloodstream to avoid serious health conditions, like heart disease and heart attacks.
Ways you can control your cholesterol
The good news is that your cholesterol level is almost entirely in your control. While there are some genetic factors that may strap you with high cholesterol, the problem largely lies with lifestyle choices. If you want to control or lower your cholesterol, you need to control the following four areas of your life.
- Diet: Cholesterol is found in animal products, so steer clear of red meats and dairy. Read labels and avoid the words “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil” and “trans fats.” Do eat lots of omega-3 fatty acids, which you can get from salmon, walnuts, and flax seeds. Increasing your soluble fiber (apples, pears, oatmeal) can also lower your cholesterol.
- Exercise: Moving around more and getting your heart rate up for at least 30 minutes three times a week can increase your HDLs, the “good” cholesterol.
- Lose weight: If you eat a healthy diet and exercise more, you’ll likely lose weight — which is good, because being overweight or obese raises your cholesterol.
- Quit smoking: Tobacco smoke contains a toxin called acrolein that interferes with your body’s ability to metabolize LDLs.
During the holidays, when rich and fatty foods tempt you at every turn, and your schedule gets even tighter, leaving little time to workout regularly, controlling your cholesterol can be especially challenging. When you need extra help, we offer Plaquex®.
How Plaquex controls cholesterol
Used for decades around the world, Plaquex is an FDA-approved formula that removes plaque from your blood vessels.
Specifically, Plaquex reduces your triglycerides by up to 25% and LDLs by up to 31% while increasing your HDLs by up to 45%. Plaquex does this by triggering an enzyme that breaks up plaque deposits and allows your HDLs to carry them back to your liver for elimination. The result is lower cholesterol and triglycerides, and therefore a lower risk of heart disease and heart attacks.
Plaquex treatments are easy and painless. We administer the Plaquex formula intravenously, and it takes about an hour. Depending on your cholesterol levels, our team lets you know how many weekly treatments you’ll need to get your levels back to a healthy place.
As you approach the holidays and all the feasts and treats, do your best to make wise choices that will keep your cholesterol in check. But if you need help lowering your cholesterol or just want to learn more details about Plaquex and how it works, call us at 510-679-3300 to schedule a consultation.