In Part 2 of our 4-part series on health, fitness and nutrition, we want to take a look at cholesterol because the more we become aware of how cholesterol works, the more empowered we become in knowing how to take care of body. Secondly, it is important because too often many of us have high cholesterol levels and don’t know to what extent due to a lack of doctor visits to have our blood work done or fear of going to the doctor to hear bad news. For others it is we can’t afford to pay for a doctor’s visit. Consequently, reading becomes the source for information needed to give insight. That being said, because this is about you and your body, let’s look at cholesterol from a practice u-ology approach and get a visual understanding.
What is Cholesterol?
Many scientists and nutritionist agree with cholesterol being described as a waxy substance that helps our body make cell membranes, many hormones and vitamin D. It starts in two places. The first place is the food we eat. The second place is the liver. When our food is digested from mouth to stomach it turns into smaller portions of liquid food that travels through our blood stream to the other organs in our body such as the liver. The liver is like a washing machine. It separates the good ingredients we need for the body such as the creation of cell membranes, hormones and vitamin D from the dirty toxic ingredients we don’t need. The liver sends it out to out intestinal tract to be eliminated in the restroom. That is the process that every digestion system goes through under normal circumstances. Our liver is designed to make our cholesterol naturally. However, when we consume too much of the types of food that can cause damage to our chemical balance that’s when we began to see and feel the impact of excessive cholesterol.
What Causes Cholesterol?
The types of food that causes high cholesterol are food such as fried meat, fish and eggs, butter, cheese and milk. Each one of these desired foods has cholesterol in them. For many families, breakfast may consist of fried bacon, sausage and eggs, with buttered toast and jelly. Hmmmm… it taste so good. Later on in the day for lunch, one may decide to eat a meal deal or mix and match sandwiches such as a cheeseburger and chicken nuggets with French fries and a soda followed by dinner on a Friday night pizza or hot dogs and chips with a beverage. When we add up all the fried greasy food we eat in a day or day after day for weeks, months and years, we don’t see or feel the damage we’re doing to our body. Like many things in life, it takes time to realize what we have done.
At Practice U we believe digestion truly begins the moment we see the advertisement of the unhealthy food we love to eat. We can taste it before it hits our mouth. Our minds are made up. That’s what I want to eat. Therefore we go hunt down that unhealthy processed food that satisfies our urge.
Consequences of High Cholesterol
Unfortunately, there are consequences with too much fried greasy, buttery, dairy type food and not enough self-discipline. It takes awareness and consistent practice to change old habits to good habits. One of the major consequences of high cholesterol is poor circulation. Poor circulation is caused by too much of the waxy substance in our blood that flows to our heart, brain and the rest of our body. When our blood vessels are clogged, we become candidates for a heart disease, heart attack, stroke and unfortunately death. If that’s not enough consider our poor black and brown communities where we see on every street corner several family-owned fast food eateries, liquor stores and or corporate owned fast food chains that our kids turn to fill their empty bellies. This is why our black and brown communities have such health challenges with not only high cholesterol, but also high blood pressure, high sugar diabetes and more. We’re not aware of what we’re doing it to ourselves.
Foods That Lower Cholesterol
So, what are some steps that we as a people should take to help reduce high cholesterol? The answer is eat lots of fruit, green vegetables, grains and drink lots of water. Fruits, vegetables and grains such as oatmeal don’t have any cholesterol, which means our liver will make all the cholesterol our body will need naturally. Secondly, exercise more often. Third read the labels on the back of packaged microwaved food. The nutritional percentages on trans-fat, saturated fat, sodium, sugar and the additives are in the food to help preserve the taste and flavor. Read the number of calories when ordering food at a fast food restaurant and dine in restaurant. Be proud to be called a practi-co-lo-gist by staying consistently aware of what you put in your body. At Practice U, we believe that the more you practice your awareness, the stronger you’ll become.
After all, practice is where it all begins..