There is a lot of dubious information regarding cholesterol being filtered through the media, much of it deceiving and confusing. Is cholesterol really bad for you and how much cholesterol is too much?

Contrary to what drug companies want us to believe, cholesterol itself is actually good for your body. Between 80% and 90% of the cholesterol in your body is actually made by your own liver. Nature intended it that way for a reason. As oxidative stress causes damage to your blood vessels, the body produces cholesterol to repair the damage. Dr. Ron Rosedale, one of the world's foremost experts on cholesterol, explains very clearly that cholesterol itself is not to blame for heart disease. It is the metabolic imbalance of blood lipids and hormones that increase your chances of getting heart disease.

Specifically, it is important to make sure that your ratio of LDL to HDL, and also the ratio between triglycerides and HDL be below two. This means that the cholesterol going toward your blood vessels (this is the cholesterol they call 'bad') is not excessive relative to the cholesterol being carried back to the liver, the so-called 'good' cholesterol. It is LDL and triglyceride levels that are too high relative to your HDL and the resulting metabolic imbalance is taking place that actually increase your chances of getting heart disease.

Rather than take statins, which are cholesterol-lowering drugs with dangerous side effects, there are simple and safe ways to improve your blood lipid profile naturally, safely and effectively.

Any foods high in fiber and at the same time low in fructose and other sugars will help you move in the right direction. High fiber foods such as apples, whole grains, flax seeds, legumes and vegetables have fiber that can actually absorb the cholesterol you eat in your colon and stop it from entering the bloodstream. Especially effective in this regard is oat bran.

There are also some natural supplements that can help balance of blood lipid profiles. Perhaps the most important of these is concentrated fish oil. This supplement is actually effective at lowering both triglyceride and LDL levels while at the same time increasing HDL levels.

Unlike using drugs, the above strategies are safe and are actually aimed at the cause of the problem.

There are several other substances that can help balance cholesterol levels safely and effectively. These include policosanol, beta sitosterol and pumpkin seed oil. These are best taken as part of a comprehensive, natural cholesterol-lowering formula.

In my experience, taking a concentrated fish oil supplement daily, along with a cholesterol-lowering formula and a diet high in fibrous, cholesterol-lowering foods such as oat bran can go a long way to properly balancing blood lipids. It is also essential that this be done within the context of a healthy diet low in sugars, processed foods, junk foods and, most importantly, low-quality animal fats such as sausages and cold meats.

For most people, this regimen should be very effective. It should be noted, however, that about 3% of the population actually has a genetic problem which leads to excessive amounts of cholesterol being produced in the liver. If your cholesterol levels are excessive and do not go down even after making changes, then it is essential that you see a medical doctor about your problem.

Author's Bio: 

Sector rotator. Natural health and biophysics devotee. I enjoy mountaineering, baguazhang, learning interesting things and the music of Piazzolla.

Get more in-depth information on the extensive benefits of fish oil, or check out my blog post at which supplements to take.