Cholesterol is like an old Western film – you have the good, you have the bad, and then there’s the ugly. And you really don’t want it to get ugly. Our bodies naturally produce cholesterol and we also consume it through the food we eat. If all is well, we will have greater HDL levels and lower LDL levels and live a healthy life. Unfortunately, 73.5 million Americans – that’s 31.7 percent of the population – have far too much LDL (bad) cholesterol, which is putting them at risk for poor cardiovascular health.
Diet plays a large role in managing our cholesterol; as mentioned, we acquire cholesterol from many of the foods we eat. So when we heard the news that drinking a particular beverage every night could help us better manage our cholesterol, we jumped at the opportunity to pass along the findings to you as well.
Wine with dinner helps manage cholesterol
It’s always nice to have another good reason to raise a glass of red, and now research has found it can help you manage cholesterol. The findings come from researchers at the American College of Physicians, where they measured the effectiveness of a nightly glass of red wine in type 2 diabetics.
For the study 224 well-controlled type 2 diabetics were randomly assigned to drink either 150 ml of mineral water, white wine or red wine with dinner for two years. Lipid and glycemic control profiles were measured along with cardiovascular measures.
The participants were also advised to follow a Mediterranean-style diet without any caloric restrictions.
After the two-year period, those who consumed wine decreased cardiometabolic risks in comparison to those who drank mineral water. Additionally, those who consumed red wine saw more benefits in lipid changes.
The take-away here is that, in moderation, a glass of red wine with a meal can go a long way towards managing your cholesterol – and it’s enjoyable as well.
Effects of cholesterol on the body
We’re sure your doctor has mentioned their concerns in regards to cholesterol – it’s a growing problem among the elderly. They may have even suggested the use of statins as a means of reduction. But if you’re still unclear why having high cholesterol is bad, let us explain the effects of cholesterol on the body.
- Builds-up along arteries and contributes to blood clots
- Increases risk of heart attack
- Stiffens arteries
- Can cause feelings of numbness if blood clot is in legs or arms
- Contributes to bile imbalance, which creates gallstones
- Blocks flow of blood to vital organs, such as the kidneys or stomach
- Can cause blood flow blockages to the brain and cause stroke
Natural ways to lower cholesterol
If your cholesterol isn’t completely out of hand, there are natural solutions you can try to help better control and lower it. Natural ways to lower cholesterol include:
- Reducing intake of saturated and trans fats
- Increasing fiber intake
- Increasing plant-based protein
- Losing weight
- Limiting red-meat intake
If these natural methods don’t work, you may need to speak with your doctor about beginning statins; however, you should always try to naturally reduce it as best as possible.