Tips to find good cholesterol

We all need cholesterol for many reasons, to help produce a variety of substances in our body.

  • Mar. 4, 2015 1:00 p.m.

We all need cholesterol. It helps produce cell membranes, hormones, vitamin D and bile acids.

It’s when we get too much of the wrong kind that health problems start to develop.

The “bad” cholesterol is LDL (low-density lipoprotein), which builds up on artery walls and increases our risk of cardiovascular disease. The “good” kind is HDL (high-density), which actually helps rid our bodies of LDL.

Here are some tips to help naturally normalize your cholesterol levels:

1. Maintain good sugar levels. Our bodies turn sugar into fat, which in turn leads to high cholesterol – particularly LDL.

2. Eat fewer saturated fats and red, processed or cured meats. These items have been linked to higher levels of bad cholesterol. If a fat is solid at room temperature, it’s not very healthy; reach for olive and avocado oils rather than butter.

3. Eat more garlic. Studies show that garlic can lower total cholesterol by 10 to 12 per cent, so aim for one clove of crushed raw garlic a day. Garlic supplements are a decent backup choice, and onions offer similar benefits.

4. Get enough dietary fibre, which binds with cholesterol in the gastro-intestinal tract before being excreted through the stool. Aim for 30 grams a day. (A cup of black beans is 15 grams; an apple is 5 g; a cup of brown rice is 8 g; a cup of green peas is 9 g). Fruit and vegetable sources typically provide more vitamins and nutrients than cereal sources.

5. Exercise daily for 30 minutes to reduce LDL and elevate HDL levels.

6. Consume more Omega-3 fatty acids. Cold-water fish are a great source.

7. Eat antioxidants such as berries and supplements. LDL is bad because it has oxidized; antioxidants help reduce the number of free radicals that cause that oxidization.

Dr. Erika Kneeland is a naturopathic physician and owner of Braidwood Naturopathic Clinic in Courtenay. For appointments, call 250-334-0655 or visit

Just Posted

Valley company reaching out to women near and far

Three Comox Valley business women know firsthand what good menstrual products can… Continue reading

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

Miniature horses visit Glacier View residents

Glacier View Lodge residents had a couple of special visitors on Wednesday… Continue reading

Annual women’s march in Courtenay Saturday

The Women’s March was a worldwide protest on Jan. 21, 2017, to… Continue reading

Portables arrive for students on Hornby Island

Five portable classrooms have officially arrived on Hornby Island this week in… Continue reading

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

In limbo: Leftover embryos challenge clinics, couples

Some are outright abandoned by people who quit paying storage fees and other couples struggle with tough decisions

BREAKING: Jury finds man accused of killing B.C. girl, 12, guilty

Twelve-year-old Monica Jack disappeared in May 1978 while riding her bike along a highway in Merritt, B.C.

B.C. government extends coastal log export rules for six months

Premier John Horgan talks forest policy at loggers’ convention

B.C. pair accused of ‘honour-killing’ in India to be extradited within days

Malkit Kaur Sidhu and Surjit Singh Badesha are accused of conspiracy to commit murder

Netflix rejects request to remove Lac-Megantic images from ‘Bird Box’

At least two shows on Netflix’s Canadian platform briefly use actual footage of the 2013 tragedy

FOCUS: Canada’s revamped impaired driving law brews ‘potential for injustice’

There must be ‘trigger’ for cops to come knocking, Surrey MP says

Barack Obama to speak at Vancouver event

Former U.S. president will speak with board of trade in March

Former welfare clients still owed money, B.C. Ombudsperson says

Investigation found 2,600 people docked illegally for earning income

Most Read