In many situations, an excess of LDL, the “bad” cholesterol will overpower HDL, the “good” one. This causes your cells to become filled with fatty wastes that create a serious risk for your heart.
Pectin, a natural substance found in the cell walls of certain fruits can help you obtain a good balance between the “good” and the” bad” cholesterol.
How much cholesterol do you need?
The problem with cholesterol is not that you have it, because cholesterol is part of your cells. The problem is that you may end up with higher levels of this fatty-like substance in your cells than you need, as this places you at an increased risk for cardivascular disease. Unfortunately, it is estimated that one out of every two adults have total cholesterol readings of 200 mg/dl (milligrams per deciliter) or greater.
Your doctor will measure your cholesterol level with a blood sample. The following numbers show you how the readings of your total blood cholesterol test relate to your risk of developing heart problems:
Desirable blood cholesterol: under 200 mg/dl
Borderline high blood cholesterol: 200 to 239 mg/dl
High blood cholesterol: over 240 mg/dl
A blood cholesterol level of 240 mg/dl or greater is considered high, but any level above 200 mg/dl increases your risk for heart disease. If your reading is 240 mg/dl or greater, you have more than twice the risk of someone whose reading is 200 mg/dl. You need to take corrective steps right away.
HDL versus LDL
HDL and LDL are two different substances. One cause wastes to accumulate while the other helps scrub them out. Let us see the difference:
LDL stands for low density lipoprotein, a form of cholesterol sludge that accumulates in your bloodstream. LDL molecules act as “delivery trucks” by picking up fats, wastes, cholesterol, and toxic materials and depositing them throughout your cells, especially in your blood vessels. It is dangerous because too much LDL sludge can block the arteries and result in a heart attack.
HDL stands for high density lipoprotein, a form of fat circulating in your bloodstream. This cholesterol is known as “good” because it helps clean your arteries. HDL molecules act like cell scrubbers, moving throughout your bloodstream and removing wastes. Them they take these wastes to your liver to be eliminated. As you can see, the more HDLs you have, the cleaner your cells.
Because your health depends on the balance of these two types of cholesterol, you want to make sure your LDLs are low and your HDLs high.
How pectin can improve your cholesterol numbers
Pectin is a soluble fiber that has the power to balance your LDLs and HDLs. Pectin, found both in cell walls of plants and between cell walls, helps regulate the flow of water in between cells keeping them rigid. Here is how pectin helps you lower LDL cholesterol:
When you eat, the gallbladder sends bile, a substance needed to process the fats in the meal, to the intestines. Once the bile has done its job in the intestines, if your meal contains enough soluble fiber such as pectin, both of them attach to each other and they leave your body through the feces.
Once the bile is gone, the liver needs to fabricate more and to do this, it needs cholesterol. Thus, the liver goes to the bloodstreams, gets the cholesterol it needs and makes bile. As you can see, this means that less cholesterol is roaming in your arteries and that you have a lower risk of getting our blood vessels clogged.
Pectin also binds with toxic wastes in the form of plaque, blocking their absorption within your cells and in your arteries. Pectin seizes these wastes and sends them through your eliminating channels. The result is a healthier balance between HDL and LDL.
Where can you find pectin?
Pectin is a component of most jellies. In fact, about 75 percent of the jelly is pectin. However, I would not advise to take pectin through these channels because of the sugar contained in jelly. The best way to provide your body with the needed pectin is to eat apples. Whether whole, sliced, grated, or made into applesauce (without sugar) will give you adequate amounts of pectin.
Be sure to eat the skin (after washing the fruit) because that’s where the highest concentration of pectin is found. One apple has about two grams of pectin. Ten grams daily are helpful in removing the toxic waste and boosting HDL cholesterol.
Sources of pectin
- Sun-dried raisins
- Sunflower seeds
- Sesame seeds
Eating most of the foods in the above list on a daily basis will help you lower your LDL cholesterol and boost your HDL cholesterol.