Lipids – in the form of fatty acids and oils – are an essential part of a healthy diet. They are essential for biological functions such as energy storage, hormone production, nutrient absorption, and the structural makeup of cell membranes.

The most well-known lipid is cholesterol. Cholesterol is necessary for the  formation of hormones like testosterone and estrogen, as well as the formation of vitamin D and for other important bodily compounds.

Although cholesterol has many important benefits that are necessary for good health, too much cholesterol can have a negative impact in the body.

Cholesterol occurs in the bloodstream in three forms – very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDL), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL), and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL).

Health problems can start when the body has too much of the two low-density varieties and not enough of the high-density variety.

  • LDL and VLDL, the “bad” cholesterols, can cause damaging plaque buildup and potential blockage in the walls of the arteries.
  • HDL, on the other hand, is the “good” cholesterol because it can prevent plaque buildup in the arteries.

In addition to cholesterol, triglycerides are another type of lipid that is an important factor in heart health. The body stores triglycerides in fat cells and uses them for energy.

However, just like LDL, too high of a triglyceride level can contribute to plaque buildup and hardening of artery walls.

Together, VLDL, LDL, HDL, and triglycerides make up our body’s lipid profile. Maintaining a balanced lipid profile is important for cardiovascular health. A healthy lipid level means having higher levels of HDL, because its primary function is to carry cholesterol back to the liver where it can be removed from the body by the liver.

Conversely, an unhealthy lipid profile (higher levels of LDL, VLDL, and triglycerides) increases the risk of plaque buildup, which can lead to atherosclerosis, which, in turn, puts strain on the heart and can lead to various adverse cardiovascular conditions. That is why maintaining a healthy lipid level is so important to heart health.

When it comes to maintaining a healthy lipid level, below are three approaches that can help.

Lifestyle changes

Healthy lifestyle choices are a key aspect to managing your lipid level. This includes:

  • Increasing physical activity – Regular exercise is the most important factor in raising HDL levels, and it can also lower LDL levels.
  • Managing stress – Stress can negatively affect cholesterol levels. A high level of stress is often linked to unhealthy dietary habits – and diet influences cholesterol levels.
  • Practicing weight management – Maintaining a healthy weight is a key factor in keeping your LDL levels down and your HDL level up.

Heart healthy diet

What you eat influences your body’s lipid profile. When it comes to a heart-healthy diet, consider the following:

  • Avoid sugars
  • Avoid foods with refined carbohydrates
  • Eliminate trans fats
  • Increase healthy fats, such as olive oil and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids
  • Add more soluble fiber to your diet
  • If you drink alcohol, choose red wine in moderation

Supplementation helps maintain healthy lipid levels 

In addition to a healthy diet and exercise, nutritional supplements can help maintain healthy lipid levels. Thorne’s Healthy Lipids Bundle contains three supplements – Choleast-900, Berberine-500, and Meriva 500-SF – that do just that.*

Thorne’s Choleast-900 is a red yeast rice formula that provides naturally occurring monacolins, phytosterols, and isoflavones that support cardiovascular health.*

Numerous studies conducted in China and the United States support the use of red yeast rice for helping to maintain healthy cholesterol levels.* Red yeast rice also promotes healthy lipid particle size and number.*

Berberine, the primary constituent of Thorne’s Berberine-500, is found in several plants, including Berberis aristata(Indian barberry).

Recent studies show this impressive alkaloid exerts many beneficial actions on metabolic activities, including maintaining healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels.* In addition, berberine has been shown in numerous clinical studies to support healthy blood sugar levels.*

Thorne’s Meriva 500-SF contains a patented curcumin complex that helps maintain a normal inflammatory responsein the body’s blood vessels.*

This is important because not having a normal inflammatory response in the blood vessels has been shown to have an adverse impact on cardiovascular health.* Meriva 500-SF also provides antioxidant support that helps offset LDL oxidation.* As the most clinically studied form of curcumin.  on the market, Meriva is 29-times better absorbed than ordinary curcumin*