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How to Help Lower Cholesterol Without Medication – The Manual

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Cholesterol gets a bad rap, but it is actually an essential component in the membrane of nearly every cell in your body. Cholesterol also serves as a necessary precursor in the production of steroid hormones, bile acids, and vitamin D. That said, high cholesterol, or hyperlipidemia, is an adverse health condition characterized by excessively high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, often referred to as “bad cholesterol.”
In contrast with high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, or “good” cholesterol, which actually helps remove excess LDL cholesterol from the bloodstream, high LDL cholesterol increases the risk of atherosclerosis, or arterial hardening and plaque buildup, along with heart disease and other vascular diseases. For example, studies show that compared to those with normal cholesterol levels, people with high cholesterol are about not twice as likely to develop cardiovascular disease, one of the leading causes of death in the United States.
Cholesterol is naturally produced in the liver, but it is also consumed in the diet through foods like meat, cheese, eggs, full-fat dairy, butter, snack cakes, ice cream, shellfish, commercially-fried foods, and organ meats. While regular consumption of these types of foods, along with foods high in saturated fat and trans fats, can cause high cholesterol, hyperlipidemia isn’t necessarily solely attributable to poor diet; rather, there are numerous risk factors at play. In addition to poor diet, risk factors for high cholesterol include genetics, smoking, a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, certain diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, and some medications.
The good news is that several of these risk factors are modifiable, meaning you can lower your risk of high cholesterol with a few healthy lifestyle choices. In fact, there is evidence to suggest that several lifestyle choices can lower cholesterol as effectively as stains, the go-to type of medication for hyperlipidemia. Moreover, statins are poorly tolerated by many patients, making natural ways to lower your cholesterol or prevent high cholesterol all the more valuable. With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of the 9 best ways to lower your cholesterol naturally, without medications. Keep reading to see which changes you can start implementing today.
Adding more fiber to your diet can also lower your cholesterol. For example, one study found that a daily supplement of 3 grams of soluble fiber reduced bad cholesterol by an average of nearly 18%. Soluble fiber is found in foods like vegetables, whole grains, legumes like beans and lentils, oats, and fruit. Though our own bodies can’t digest soluble fiber, it’s the preferred fuel source for the beneficial gut bacteria and serves as a prebiotic. Moreover, research shows that the bacteria inhabiting your gut microbiome are instrumental in the production and regulation of cholesterol levels in your body.
Whole grains contain bran and are rich in B vitamins and soluble fiber, which has been found to reduce LDL cholesterol levels and the subsequent risk of coronary heart disease. For example, research indicates that an extra one or two servings per day of whole grains per day can decrease the risk of hyperlipidemia and heart disease by approximately 10% to 20%. Try adding more whole wheat, whole oats, sorghum, barley, and teff, or swapping refined grains for whole grains.
Trans fats offer absolutely no nutritional benefit and should be removed from your diet as much as possible. Also referred to as “hydrogenated oils” or “partially hydrogenated oils”, trans fats are found in processed foods like packaged snack cakes, commercially-fried foods, margarine, movie theater popcorn, vegetable shortening, and processed meats. These oils make food more shelf-stable but can wreak havoc on your health, simultaneously increasing LDL cholesterol and lowering HDL cholesterol, according to research.
Many animal products are high in saturated fats, and diets high in animal protein and fat have been shown to cause deleterious changes to the balance of bacteria in your gut, increasing the abundance of inflammatory microbes and reducing the abundance of bacteria that aid digestion, protect your gut barrier, and produce good HDL cholesterol. Vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, and seeds contain fiber, water, polysaccharides, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that support the production of HDL cholesterol, which then circulates and scavenges bad LDL cholesterol.
Unlike saturated fats and trans fats, unsaturated fats can lower your cholesterol and may reduce your risk of heart disease. For example, studies show that diets high in monounsaturated fats can lower LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol. Foods such as avocado, walnuts, almonds, and olive oil, are rich in monounsaturated fats, which may be part of the reason why the Mediterranean Diet has been found to be effective at reducing the risk of numerous lifestyle diseases.
Polyunsaturated fats, such as the omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines, as well as some nuts and seeds, can also reduce LDL levels, according to research.
While high-cholesterol foods can increase blood cholesterol levels, when considering a diet, saturated fats and trans fats are the real offenders of high cholesterol. Saturated fats are solid at room temperature due to the double bonds between the carbon atoms. They are found in many animal products, such as butter, cheese, meat, fatty poultry, and cream.
Aerobic exercise can have a two-pronged beneficial effect for your cholesterol levels, as research demonstrates that regular exercise can decrease LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol. Indeed, the improvement in HDL cholesterol levels is one of the most important health-promoting effects of exercise. While more studies have looked at the influence of low-impact aerobic exercise on cholesterol levels and blood lipids profiles, there is also evidence to suggest that resistance training is able to improve cholesterol numbers.
Much like exercise acts as a positive double whammy against high cholesterol by concurrently raising good HDL cholesterol and lowering bad LDL cholesterol, so too can following a healthy weight loss diet and losing excess weight. Research has found that independent of the specific type of diet followed and the foods eaten, losing weight through diet raises HDL and lowers LDL, markedly improving your blood lipid profile.
It probably comes as no surprise that smoking can cause yet another health consequence—high cholesterol, in this case. Smoking seems to interfere with the body’s ability to make good cholesterol, and when HDL levels are too low, LDL levels are no longer kept in check and thus they begin to climb. Fortunately, numerous studies have found that these changes are reversible, such that quitting smoking can lower LDL and raise HDL cholesterol to more optimal levels.
The Essential Guide for MenThe Manual is simple — we show men how to live a life that is more engaged. As our name implies, we offer a suite of expert guides on a wide range of topics, including fashion, food, drink, travel, and grooming. We don’t boss you around; we’re simply here to bring authenticity and understanding to all that enriches our lives as men on a daily basis.

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MotoGP rookie Gardner has broken wrist setback – The Race

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MotoGP rookie Remy Gardner has required surgery after he cracked his wrist in a training incident weeks before pre-season is due to begin.
The Tech3 KTM rider broke his right wrist while riding motocross on Saturday, suffering a ‘small crack’ according to his French team.
On Tuesday he was operated on by Doctor Xavier Mir, MotoGP’s surgeon of choice, who installed two screws to stabilise the break.
The news means Gardner is now very much in a race against time to be ready for the start of the MotoGP season.
Starting on February 5 proper with the first full test of the year at Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit, the Australian doesn’t even have until then to return to fitness, however.
Instead, as a rookie rider he’ll be one of the four racers on the 2022 grid who’ll be allowed to join the three-day shakedown test at Sepang ahead of the two-day official outing, with MotoGP’s factory test riders joining the debutants on track.
Remy Gardner
Beyond Sepang, there isn’t much time for the Australian to heal up, either, with the paddock heading directly from Malaysia to Indonesia for the first visit to the new Mandalika Bay race, where three days of testing will commence on February 11.
Qatar hosts the first race of the season on March 6.
Spaniards fill over a third of the seats on the 2022 MotoGP grid – and the nation’s dominance of the feeder categories is formidable. Dorna’s trying to change that, but the task is huge
MotoGP’s move towards fully-synthetic fuel sounds complicated. With the help of series insiders, Simon Patterson explains what it is, the timeline for introduction and how it will have a bigger impact than you might think
Valentino Rossi protege Marco Bezzecchi enters MotoGP after two fine years in Moto2. To get to that stage, though, he had to overcome the troubles of a campaign that yielded a lowly 23rd in the points
Marc Marquez’s optimistic injury update and return to bikes take centre stage in the latest edition of The Race MotoGP Podcast
As Gresini returns to being a MotoGP satellite team, we remember the rosters of their Honda years – including a pair of riders tragically taken in their prime
Valentino Rossi was not far off reaching triple digits for 500cc/MotoGP wins – and for each win, there was obviously someone to take second
The Race started in February 2020 as a digital-only motorsport channel. Our aim is to create the best motorsport coverage that appeals to die-hard fans as well as those who are new to the sport.

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12 New Probiotic-Rich Products Guaranteed To Bring Harmony to Your Gut Microbiome – Well+Good

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Allie Flinn
But with so many options, it can be difficult to figure out which gut health foods are actually worth shelling out for. To get insight into the gut-healthiness of 12 new foods and beverages, we tapped registered dietitian Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, RD, the host of Well+Good’s You Versus Food series. A word to the wise before we jump in: Be careful not to use any of these products as a cure for digestive issues rather than seeing an actual doctor, and consult with an RD or MD before trying any new form of gut-boosting food or beverage. “Some products claim to have gut-healing superpowers, so be weary if you are really trying to heal a GI condition with these without doing some research and talking to your doctor,” Lockwood-Beckerman cautions.
Ready to get gut-friendly? Read the RD’s thoughts and shop the microbiome-boosting products below.

GoodBelly To Go Fast Melts — $20.00

These are basically the probiotic version of pixie sticks—only with zero sugar and plenty of gut-boosting potential. Lockwood-Beckerman says these are a smart addition for people on-the-go. “These also helpful because GoodBelly added two scientifically-backed strains that help to reduce the severity of cold symptoms, which is especially key during travel,” says Lockwood-Beckerman. “That definitely can’t hurt!”

Olipop (12 Pack) — $36.00

This better-for-you soda brand recently added a new flavor, Classic Grape, to its lineup of flavors like Vintage Cola, Orange Squeeze, and Classic Root Beer. “Olipop is made with no artificial sweeteners and contains unique roots and botanicals that give this drink a whopping nine grams of fiber per can. Those nutritionals are pretty impressive,” Lockwood-Beckerman says.

Wildwonder Sparkling Prebiotic + Probiotic Water (12 Pack) — $42.00

“With plenty of fiber and immune enhancing ingredients like turmeric, elderberry, and ginger, Wildwonder has a unique combo of both beneficial prebiotics and probiotics. It also has functional herbs and real fruit, hammering home its holistic angle,” Lockwood-Beckerman says.

Poppi Sparking Prebiotic Soda (12 Pack) — $30.00

“Touted for its prebiotic powers, Poppi has made a splash in the good-for-you beverage world. It contains the ever-popular apple cider vinegar, which does contain healthy prebiotics, but the verdict is still out for its so-called ‘healing’ properties when it comes to cholesterol or metabolism management,” Lockwood-Beckerman explains. This writer is personally a fan of the Strawberry Lemon flavor.

Chi Kitchen Napa Kimchi — $10.00

“This delicious kimchi is fermented, which means it harbors gut-supporting probiotics such as lactic acid. Chi’s kimchi is also free of preservatives and focuses on the nature of eating more cabbage and wholesome vegetables, which is something we can all stand behind,” Lockwood-Beckerman says. Chi also offers a vegan version, along with fermented sesame slaw and kimchi pickles.

SMPL Immunity Bar (12 Pack) — $24.00

“Another vehicle to get in your daily dose of probiotics, this bar gets you 1 billion CFUs per bar. Its ingredients are pretty simple—clearly stated by the product’s name, SMPL—with almonds, quinoa and flax meal being its primary make up,” Lockwood-Beckerman says. “SMPL’s super berry bars are doubly functional because they contains 100 percent of your vitamin C requirements from the addition of acerola cherries.”

Lifeway Cultured Oat — $6.00

The newest addition to Lifeway’s gut-friendly offerings is dairy-free and available in a plain flavor, as well as flavors like blueberry maple oat and berries and cream oat. “Serving up both dairy-free and gluten-free oats and ten live and active vegan cultures, this alt milk is as functional as it gets. Plus, with a pretty short and simple ingredient list, it’s bound to be a household favorite,” Lockwood-Beckerman says.

Lavva Dairy-Free Yogurt — $3.00

“Cornering the market as one of the lowest sugar yogurts thanks to the use of the pili nut, this yogurt also contains both pre and probiotics,” Lockwood-Beckerman says. 50 billion strains at that. “Without any added sugar, gums, added flavors, or dairy, it’s a great gut-friendly food for those following a vegan or plant-based diet. You may want to add some fruit or flavorful spices to make it an even more scrumptious situation for your tastebuds.”

DAH! Yogurt Smoothie (6 Pack) — $65.00

“Slow-cultured yogurt is busting into the yogurt scene, and I’m here for it,” Lockwood-Beckerman says. “The slower processing yogurt lends itself to a naturally more nutritious option with a higher probiotic count and lower sugar. There’s a variety of yogurts and yogurt-based smoothies to choose from depending on your dietary needs like lassi, almond, and dahi yogurt. For context, their oat, almond, and coconut blended yogurt contains 50 billion probiotics per serving and one can of prebiotic soda typically contains just 1 billion probiotics per can.”

Dalci Dark Chocolate Brownies (6 Pack) — $19.00

“This is a ‘better for you’ brownie whose mission isn’t meant to be a health booster or a healing food, but rather a treat that happens to be more natural and holistic than its traditional counterparts,” Lockwood-Beckerman says. “It contains pretty wholesome ingredients—like avocado oil and almond flour—so it can be enjoyed by those looking for anti-inflammatory ingredients.” In addition to brownies, they also offer an Almond Butter Dark Chocolate Blondie, Apple Spice Blondie, and Lemon Coconut Blondie.

Health-Ade Pop (4 Pack) — $8.00

You’re probably familiar with the Health-Ade’s probiotic-rich kombucha, but if you’re looking for something a little different, check out their probiotic sodas. “These cans are packing both the fizz and the function thanks to the prebiotics. Why not reap some gut-balancing health benefits while sipping this organic, gluten-free, and vegan bubbly?” Lockwood-Beckerman says.

AYO Almond Yogurt — $2.00

“This vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free yogurt is all about the almond. From the growth and picking of the almond to the churning and cultivating of the the yogurt, this company puts all its pride and focus into maintaining its four generation family-run almond farm,” Lockwood-Beckerman says. It’s also packed with probiotics and contains six grams of heart-healthy fiber per serving.

 

These are basically the probiotic version of pixie sticks—only with zero sugar and plenty of gut-boosting potential. Lockwood-Beckerman says these are a smart addition for people on-the-go. “These also helpful because GoodBelly added two scientifically-backed strains that help to reduce the severity of cold symptoms, which is especially key during travel,” says Lockwood-Beckerman. “That definitely can’t hurt!”
This better-for-you soda brand recently added a new flavor, Classic Grape, to its lineup of flavors like Vintage Cola, Orange Squeeze, and Classic Root Beer. “Olipop is made with no artificial sweeteners and contains unique roots and botanicals that give this drink a whopping nine grams of fiber per can. Those nutritionals are pretty impressive,” Lockwood-Beckerman says.
“With plenty of fiber and immune enhancing ingredients like turmeric, elderberry, and ginger, Wildwonder has a unique combo of both beneficial prebiotics and probiotics. It also has functional herbs and real fruit, hammering home its holistic angle,” Lockwood-Beckerman says.
“Touted for its prebiotic powers, Poppi has made a splash in the good-for-you beverage world. It contains the ever-popular apple cider vinegar, which does contain healthy prebiotics, but the verdict is still out for its so-called ‘healing’ properties when it comes to cholesterol or metabolism management,” Lockwood-Beckerman explains. This writer is personally a fan of the Strawberry Lemon flavor.
“This delicious kimchi is fermented, which means it harbors gut-supporting probiotics such as lactic acid. Chi’s kimchi is also free of preservatives and focuses on the nature of eating more cabbage and wholesome vegetables, which is something we can all stand behind,” Lockwood-Beckerman says. Chi also offers a vegan version, along with fermented sesame slaw and kimchi pickles.
“Another vehicle to get in your daily dose of probiotics, this bar gets you 1 billion CFUs per bar. Its ingredients are pretty simple—clearly stated by the product’s name, SMPL—with almonds, quinoa and flax meal being its primary make up,” Lockwood-Beckerman says. “SMPL’s super berry bars are doubly functional because they contains 100 percent of your vitamin C requirements from the addition of acerola cherries.”
The newest addition to Lifeway’s gut-friendly offerings is dairy-free and available in a plain flavor, as well as flavors like blueberry maple oat and berries and cream oat. “Serving up both dairy-free and gluten-free oats and ten live and active vegan cultures, this alt milk is as functional as it gets. Plus, with a pretty short and simple ingredient list, it’s bound to be a household favorite,” Lockwood-Beckerman says.
“Cornering the market as one of the lowest sugar yogurts thanks to the use of the pili nut, this yogurt also contains both pre and probiotics,” Lockwood-Beckerman says. 50 billion strains at that. “Without any added sugar, gums, added flavors, or dairy, it’s a great gut-friendly food for those following a vegan or plant-based diet. You may want to add some fruit or flavorful spices to make it an even more scrumptious situation for your tastebuds.”
“Slow-cultured yogurt is busting into the yogurt scene, and I’m here for it,” Lockwood-Beckerman says. “The slower processing yogurt lends itself to a naturally more nutritious option with a higher probiotic count and lower sugar. There’s a variety of yogurts and yogurt-based smoothies to choose from depending on your dietary needs like lassi, almond, and dahi yogurt. For context, their oat, almond, and coconut blended yogurt contains 50 billion probiotics per serving and one can of prebiotic soda typically contains just 1 billion probiotics per can.”
“This is a ‘better for you’ brownie whose mission isn’t meant to be a health booster or a healing food, but rather a treat that happens to be more natural and holistic than its traditional counterparts,” Lockwood-Beckerman says. “It contains pretty wholesome ingredients—like avocado oil and almond flour—so it can be enjoyed by those looking for anti-inflammatory ingredients.” In addition to brownies, they also offer an Almond Butter Dark Chocolate Blondie, Apple Spice Blondie, and Lemon Coconut Blondie.
You’re probably familiar with the Health-Ade’s probiotic-rich kombucha, but if you’re looking for something a little different, check out their probiotic sodas. “These cans are packing both the fizz and the function thanks to the prebiotics. Why not reap some gut-balancing health benefits while sipping this organic, gluten-free, and vegan bubbly?” Lockwood-Beckerman says.
“This vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free yogurt is all about the almond. From the growth and picking of the almond to the churning and cultivating of the the yogurt, this company puts all its pride and focus into maintaining its four generation family-run almond farm,” Lockwood-Beckerman says. It’s also packed with probiotics and contains six grams of heart-healthy fiber per serving.
 
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How Fitness Might Help You Live Longer – Southlake Style

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January 18, 2022
11:29 PM
Exercise is more important than weight loss for improving the prospects of a longer life, according to “The New York Times.” 
In their most recent episode, “Strength Changes Everything” podcast co-hosts Brian Cygan and Amy Hudson discuss the research findings found in Gretchen Reynolds’ article, “Why Exercise Is More Important For A Longer Life.” 
Gretchen says research shows that exercising matters more statistically than losing weight for a person’s longevity. Losing weight is hard, that’s why it has to be combined with nutritional changes and exercise that maximizes muscle health. The research looked at overweight and obese individuals with health problems and found that people who exercise saw great results, regardless of whether or not they lost weight. 
Brian emphasizes that a higher level of fitness is more important to longevity than weight loss. Cutting calories without strength training is one of the worst ways to lose weight. Activity alone has its limitations related to weight loss and increasing longevity. Meanwhile, intentional exercise with the goal to improve muscle quality is one of the best predictors of mortality. Exercise and muscle mass alone doesn’t increase your longevity, but they are correlated to the physiological effects that do such as blood pressure, cholesterol and insulin resistance. 
Being fit at any weight is far more important than the numbers on the scale. Learn more by listening to the “Strength Changes Everything” podcast episode No. 56.  
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