High cholesterol is characterized by an excess amount of lipids in the blood (hyperlipidemia). Increased levels of lipids (fat) in the blood can create plaque in arteries causing obstruction of blood flow or clots . This poses a risk for cardiovascular issues like coronary artery disease, hypertension, arrhythmias, etc. When a river is clogged with leaves it starts to collect other debris, the running water is no long running at full capacity and the fresh water becomes stale. Much like the obstructed river, the body manifests with disease when blood and qi are not freely circulating to nourish the body and it’s organ systems.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) there are two types of hyperlipidemia:
- Yin: high cholesterol due to elevated sterol lipids, these are a type of lipids that help to regulate cells.
- Yang: More of a chronic issue. High cholesterol is due to (yin) deficiency and the body is having a challenging time with maintaining normal levels of blood lipids due to oxidation.
“You are what you eat.”
I truly believe the saying that, “You are what you eat.” What powers our body is derived from what we consume continuing this healthy cycle of functioning systems carrying out nutrients to one another. Modifying your diet is a low risk therapy and can equal an impactful result making it a great starting point in treating disease.
So how do you know which type you have?
In general you want to eat foods that are low inflammatory, fruits and vegetables that are dark in color, and foods benefitting HDL (good cholesterol). Exercise is also a great addition to overall health, in this case, especially activities that includes aerobic, resistance, and/or mobility training.
One of my go to breakfast preps is overnight chia pudding. There are so many ways you can make it as far as toppings and fruits you include, you can't go wrong! It's a great way to get your omegas and antioxidants.
Overnight Chia Pudding (single serving)
1tbsp chia seeds
1/3 cup vanilla coconut milk
1 tsp matcha (whisk into coconut milk before adding chia)
Stir and leave overnight
Dark chocolate chips