How Can I Lower My Cholesterol By Making Lifestyle Changes
You can lower your cholesterol levels by making lifestyle changes, and through taking medicines if that’s what your doctor advises. Some people will only need to improve their lifestyle and diet to get their cholesterol to a safe level. Others may need to take cholesterol-lowering medicines, as well.
Healthy Fats Can Help Lower Cholesterol
Replace unhealthy fats, such as saturated and trans fats, with monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. To eat more omega-3 fats, include fatty fish, flaxseed or ground flax, and walnuts in your eating plan. The oils that contain omega-3 fats are olive and canola oils. The ADA recommends eating two servings of omega-3-rich fish per week as part of a heart-healthy diet. The oils high in omega-6 fats are corn, soybean, and sunflower oils.
Eat less of these unhealthful fats:
— Saturated fat: The biggest food contributor to elevated LDL cholesterol is saturated fat. To remedy the cause-and-effect relationship between saturated fat and LDL, the ADA recommends limiting saturated-fat intake to less than 7 percent of your daily calories. So if you’re trying to eat no more than 2,000 calories a day, that would mean eating no more than 140 calories from saturated fat daily, or 15 grams of saturated fat.
— Trans fat: The ADA also recommends avoiding foods that contain trans fat. Although many restaurants and manufacturers advertise products as having zero trans fat, if the ingredients include shortening, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, or hydrogenated vegetable oil, the food likely contains trans fat. Labels are not required to list trans fat if the total is less than 0.5 grams per serving. Eating multiple servings of such foods means trans-fat intake can add up.
Most Of The Time Choose Plant Proteins Such As Beans And Tofu Over Meat
We all know that eating lean meat like skinless chicken breast is better for our hearts than fatty meats like prime rib. And certainly, lean meats like white poultry and game meat are part of the Pritikin Eating Plan.
If plant-based, protein-rich foods like tofu have turned you off in the past, youre in for many delicious surprises at Pritikin.
But is your goal ratcheting down your blood cholesterol as much as you can? Are you trying to not only halt but reverse the build-up of plaque in your arteries?
If so, its a good idea to choose plant proteins over meat most of the time. Thats because leaner cuts of meat, including skinless white poultry, still contain some saturated fat and dietary cholesterol. For optimal cholesterol lowering, limit lean meat to no more than once weekly, and to a 3.5-ounce serving or less.
Plant proteins like beans and tofu are not only free of artery-clogging saturated fat and dietary cholesterol, theyre also high in soluble fiber, which lowers blood cholesterol.
Another excellent choice is fish, particularly fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, and trout. Choose at least 2 times weekly. If youre using canned fish, such as canned sardines, select very-low-sodium or no-salt-added varieties.
Other types of fish do not contain as many omega 3s, but theyre still good choices, preferable to land animal meat.
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What Foods To Avoid If Your Triglycerides Are High
Knowing what not to eat to keep triglyceride levels under control is just as important as knowing what food you should eat instead. The following are some foods you should try to avoid when keeping triglycerides and cholesterol low, as they are not foods that reduce triglycerides in the body.
Achieving ideal triglyceride and cholesterol levels may seem like an uphill battle, but with the tips and recommendations listed here, you will be on the right track for success. It is important to stay vigilant and not become discouraged during the tough days, as your health is something that should take top priority. Speaking to your doctor about other diet and lifestyle changes that may work best for you is also advised.
Choose Fish In Water Not Oil
Fish is a heart healthy food, but read the label carefully when you buy canned fish. Doctors recommend that you watch your intake of fat when you have high triglycerides, especially saturated and trans fats. It is a better idea to buy canned fish that is packed in water. You will get all the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids in fish without the downside of additional fats that may contribute to high triglyceride levels. The American Heart Association recommends that people eat at least 2 servings of fatty fish per week. Fatty fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, herring, trout, mackerel, sardines, and albacore tuna.
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How Quickly Can I Lower My Cholesterol
Your cholesterol levels may lower as quickly as a few weeks to a few months, depending on your treatment plan.
If your levels are very high, your healthcare provider may recommend taking medications at the start of your treatment plan. This may help lower your cholesterol levels more quickly. The sooner you can lower your bad cholesterol levels, the sooner you can lower your risk for plaques to form.
You can also lower your cholesterol through lifestyle and diet changes alone, but it may take three to six months to see results. Talk with your healthcare provider to figure out the best treatment plan for you.
Will A Keto Diet Lower Triglycerides And Cholesterol
No, keto diets have been shown to increase cholesterol levels. The Mediterranean diet, however, has been shown to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of cardiac events.
The Mediterranean diet promotes eating vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats daily eating fish, poultry, beans, and eggs weekly reducing portions of dairy and limiting red meat.
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You Can Begin Lowering Cholesterol Naturally Today
Sound like a lot to take on? Dont be intimidated. Bringing down your high cholesterol doesnt have to mean changing your life completely. Rather, start with changing your mindset. Instead of thinking of it as moving away from things, youre moving toward new habits that will help you create a healthier and more enjoyable future.
Now is always the right time to start taking care of your heart health. If you need a little support, lean on friends and family. And dont forget that your doctor is always there for you with advice, motivation and encouragement so you can reach your goals and live healthier.
Dont delay getting the heart care and answers you need
Diets Proven To Help Lower Cholesterol
The following diets are not diets in the sense of restricting your food intake or being hungry all the time, but eating plans that emphasize certain healthy food groups over less-healthy options. Scientific research has also proven that theyre helpful when it comes to lowering cholesterol.
If youre looking to manage high cholesterol, consider following one of these eating plans.
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You Can Begin To Reduce Your Bad Ldl Cholesterol Naturally By Making A Few Simple Changes In Your Diet
If your cholesterol is creeping upward, your doctor has probably told you that diet and exercisethe traditional cornerstones of heart healthcould help to bring it down. And if you’d prefer to make just one change at a time to lower your cholesterol naturally, you might want to begin with your diet. A major analysis of several controlled trials involving hundreds of men and women found that dietary changes reduced LDL and total cholesterol while exercise alone had no effect on either.
The people in the studies followed a variety of diets, from Mediterranean to low-fat to low-calorie. However, the most effective diets substituted foods with the power to lower cholesterol for those that boost cholesterol. According to Kathy McManus, director of the Department of Nutrition at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, eating with your LDL in mind doesn’t have to be an exercise in self-deprivation. While you may have to say goodbye to a few snacks and fast foods, you can replace them with others that are equally satisfying. “You don’t have to follow an all-or-nothing approach. It’s really a matter of common sense,” she says. She suggests a few ways to start getting your cholesterol under control and keep it normal.
The Effects Of Alcohol On Triglycerides And Ldl
Moderate alcohol intake can increase HDL cholesterol, and that’s a plus. It also might increase insulin sensitivity and cause other positive health responses. The recommendation for alcohol use is mild or moderate consumption. Using alcohol in moderation is considered one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men.
Note: The beneficial effects of alcohol are not great enough to endorse the use of alcohol if you do not already drink. Talk with your health care provider about the pluses and minuses of alcohol for you and your health.
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What Are The Risks Linked To High Cholesterol
Too much LDL cholesterol in the blood can increase your risk of heart and blood vessel disease .
The excess LDL cholesterol leads to fatty deposits called plaque forming in the artery walls. Over time, the plaque causes narrowing and hardening of the arteries .
This can lead to:
- Angina when plaque builds up in the major arteries that supply your heart, known as the coronary arteries, they become narrower and are partially blocked, reducing blood flow and oxygen supply to the heart. This may cause shortness of breath and chest pain.
- Heart attack if a plaque in a coronary artery bursts , a clot may form and block the supply of blood to the heart, starving it of oxygen.
- Stroke if the blood vessels that supply the brain become narrower or blocked by plaque, blood supply to the brain can be severely reduced or cut off, causing a stroke. Strokes can also be caused when a clot from another part of the body travels through the blood and lodges in an artery in the brain.
- Peripheral vascular disease this usually affects the arteries that supply the legs and feet, causing leg pain when walking , and even pain when resting, when the circulation is more badly affected
A high level of HDL cholesterol is good because HDL cholesterol helps remove other forms of cholesterol from the blood, taking them back to the liver where they’re removed from the blood and passed out of the body.
How Can Foods Help Lower Cholesterol
People can often reduce their cholesterol levels dramatically by changing the foods they eat. Diets high in saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterolfound in meat, dairy products, and eggsraise cholesterol levels, which increases heart attack risk. Foods high in saturated fat are especially dangerous because they can trigger the body to produce extra cholesterol.
Plants do the opposite. They are very low in saturated fat and free of cholesterol. Plants are also rich in soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol. Soluble fiber slows the absorption of cholesterol and reduces the amount of cholesterol the liver produces. Oatmeal, barley, beans, and some fruits and vegetables are all good sources of soluble fiber.
It is important to continue to work closely with your health care provider to monitor your health and manage medications, even as you make dietary changes.
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Dangers Of High Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a naturally occurring substance made by the liver and required by the body for the proper function of cells, nerves and hormones.
Although your body needs cholesterol, excess cholesterol can build up and form a fatty plaque on the walls of the arteries, decreasing the flow of blood to vital areas of the body. If plaque continues to build long-term, it can significantly increase the risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
So what causes high cholesterol? Believe it or not, the answer goes way beyond a high cholesterol diet.
While cholesterol is normally kept in balance, an unhealthy diet high in hydrogenated fats and refined carbohydrates can disrupt this delicate balance, leading to increased cholesterol levels. This imbalance is manifested in elevated LDL and low HDL , which increases the risk of heart attack or stroke. Other causes can include physical inactivity, diabetes, stress and hypothyroidism.
But keep in mind that not all cholesterol is created equally. LDL cholesterol, also known as bad cholesterol, is the form that can build up on the artery walls and increase your risk of heart disease. HDL cholesterol, on the other hand, is often dubbed good cholesterol because it travels through the bloodstream, removing harmful cholesterol from the arteries to help enhance heart health.
Foods To Help Lower Cholesterol
You can increase your HDLs through exercise, but when it comes to your diet, there are several foods that can help with LDL reduction The key here is to reduce, replace and improvise.
Soluble fiber is a gummy fiber that binds to bile and removes it with your bodys waste. For every 1 gram of soluble fiber you eat, you can lower your LDL by 1%. Replacing foods high in saturated fat with mono- and polyunsaturated fats can also help reduce LDL in your body. Its important to find small ways of building these foods into your diet, like swapping out cheese on a salad with avocado slices or replacing a creamy dressing with olive oil and vinegar.
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Diet Plan For Lowering Cholesterol And Triglycerides
Diet plan for lowering cholesterol and triglycerides is a healthy diet that is made up of foods that are lower in saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol. Your diet plays a critical role in lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. But it is hard to find out which diet is good for reducing cholesterol and triglycerides. In this article, you will find a complete diet plan for lowering cholesterol and triglycerides.
Foods That Lower Triglycerides
Your diet is the main contributor to your overall triglyceride levels, with high calorie, high-fat foods being the main culprits. Eating in excess amounts contributes to this problem as well, as when you take in more calories than you need, the body changes those calories into triglycerides, getting stored as fat. Following some of these tips can help you choose calories wiser and help lower your triglyceride levels:
- Reduce saturated fats and trans fats. These are commonly found in animal products, fast food, baked goods, and other prepackaged and processed foods
- Use healthy mono- and poly-unsaturated fats. Found in olive or canola cooking oil
- Eat more fruits and vegetables. Getting the majority of your calories from these sources make it satisfies hunger and keeps you away from unhealthy alternatives
- Alcohol in moderation. May be full of empty calories
- Avoid refined sugars. Typically found in processed foods
- Eat fish protein once or twice a week. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish can help lower triglyceride levels
- Eat plenty of fiber. Fiber increases satiety, and also aid in decreases cholesterol absorption in the gut
- Limit total dietary cholesterol to 200mg per day
The following is a list of well-known natural foods that lower triglycerides:
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Establish A Regular Meal Pattern
Insulin resistance is another factor that can contribute to high blood triglycerides.
After you eat a meal, the cells in your pancreas send a signal to release insulin into the bloodstream. Insulin is then responsible for transporting sugar to your cells to be used for energy.
If you have too much insulin in your blood, your body can become resistant to it, making it difficult for your body to use insulin effectively. This can lead to a buildup of both sugar and triglycerides in the blood.
Fortunately, setting a regular eating pattern can help prevent insulin resistance and high triglycerides. For instance, research shows that not eating breakfast can lead to decreased insulin sensitivity .
An American Heart Association statement suggested that irregular eating patterns seemed less likely to achieve healthy cardiometabolic levels. They recommended intentional eating at regular times .
However, the evidence is mixed when it comes to meal frequency.
A 2013 study demonstrated that eating three meals per day significantly decreased triglycerides compared with eating six meals per day (
Regardless of how many meals youre eating daily, eating regular meals can improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood triglyceride levels.
While studies are mixed on how meal frequency affects blood triglyceride levels, research suggests that sticking to a regular meal pattern can decrease many heart disease risk factors and prevent insulin resistance.
How Does The Mediterranean Diet Help Lower Cholesterol
This diet emphasizes plant-based sources are beans, lentils, nuts, whole grains, fruits, vegetables and fish.
Additionally, this diet is high in fibre, thus lowering your cholesterol levels. It also keeps your digestive system functioning well.
Since the Mediterranean diet plan keeps you stomach full, you will feel less hungry. What makes the diet perfect is its low content of saturated fat and refined sugars.
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Eat The Right Foods For You
As weve seen, there are some broad dietary guidelines you can follow to help lower your triglyceride levels.
But our research shows that everyones blood fat responses to the foods they eat are personal, with more than 10 times the difference between some people.
ZOE runs the largest nutritional study of its kind, with over 15,000 participants so far. Based on our studies, weve developed a personalized nutrition program that takes your unique biology into account to help you improve your metabolic health.
Using the latest scientific techniques, the ZOE at-home test analyzes your triglyceride and blood sugar levels after eating, as well as the microbes in your gut.
Based on your results, the ZOE program then gives you advice on the best foods and food combinations for your body and your long-term health goals.