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At my last annual physical, my doctor smiled and said, “Your cholesterol is a little high.” I couldn’t understand why he was smiling, until I remembered something.
There are two types of cholesterol. Low-density lipids, or LDLs, the “bad” cholesterol that blocks our arteries, and high-density lipids, or HDLs, the “good” cholesterol that helps protect our heart.
So, when we talk about healthy cholesterol levels, we have to talk about both. According to the American Heart Association, a healthy cholesterol reading (in mg/deciliter) is 200, with HDL at 40 or higher and LDL of less than 100.
Apparently, while my LDL reading was healthy, my HDL reading was pretty high. But this is a good “problem” to have.
It’s up to us to control the increase in LDLs that seems to creep up as we age (though young people get high LDL, too). You probably know that a diet consisting of whole foods, little to no sugar and healthy fat is key. The Okinawan diet and the Mediterranean diet are two eating plans that seem to ring all those bells.
But, you’ll definitely want to consider adding some herbal teas to that eating plan. Most teas are full of powerful health-promoting compounds called polyphenols. These act as antioxidants and fight free radicals.
And there are at least four different refreshing varieties that can help keep your cholesterol in check…