Treatment For High Cholesterol
Making lifestyle changes, especially changing some of the foods you eat, and regular physical activity, are very important to help reduce high LDL cholesterol.
You may also need to take cholesterol-lowering medicines to help manage your cholesterol and reduce your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Talk to your doctor about finding the most appropriate treatment for you.
How Carbs Affect Your Cholesterol
How do carbohydrates affect your cholesterol, specifically the triglycerides?
The liver lies at the nexus of metabolism and nutrient flow, particularly carbohydrates and proteins. Situated immediately downstream from absorptive surface of the intestines, those nutrients enter the blood in the portal circulation and pass directly to the liver. The major exception is dietary fat, which is absorbed as chylomicrons directly into the lymphatic system where it empties into the bloodstream without first passing the liver.
As the major organ responsible for storing and distributing energy, it is naturally the main site of action of the hormone insulin. When carbohydrates and proteins are absorbed, insulin is released from the pancreas. It travels in the portal vein, heading expressly to the liver. Concentrations of glucose and insulin are often 10 times higher in the blood of portal system and liver compared to the rest of the body and the systemic circulation.
Insulin promotes storage of food energy for later use. This is crucial in the survival of the species, since food is not constantly available. We must be able to store enough food to survive the periods of famine inherent in human history. In the liver, glucose molecules from dietary carbohydrates are strung together in long chains to form the molecule glycogen. For a quick energy boost, glycogen can easily be broken back down into its component glucose molecules.
How Can I Increase My Fibre Intake
To increase the amount of fibre in your diet, aim for at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and veg a day.
Go for higher fibre varieties of starchy foods and eat potatoes with the skin on. Try to aim for an average intake of 30g of fibre a day.
Here are some examples of the typical fibre content in some common foods:
- 2 breakfast wheat biscuits 3.6g of fibre
- 1 slice of wholemeal bread 2.5g
- 1 slice of white bread 0.9g
- 80g of cooked wholewheat pasta 4.2g
- 1 medium baked potato 4.7g
- 80g of cooked runner beans 1.6g
- 80g of cooked carrots 2.2g
- 1 small cob of sweetcorn 2.2g
- 200g of baked beans 9.8g
- 1 medium orange 1.9g
- 1 medium banana 1.4g
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Carbohydrate And Type 1 Diabetes
In type 1 diabetes, the amount of insulin you will produce is likely to be either a small or negligible amount. As a result, people with type 1 diabetes will need to inject insulin and pay close attention to matching the dosage with the amount of carbohydrate eaten.
To match the insulin dosage with carbohydrate intake as closely as possible, people with type 1 diabetes will need to learn to estimate and count the amount of carbohydrates in each meal.
Correctly estimating carbohydrate content can be a difficult skill to pick up as a result, a number of carbohydrate counting courses, such as the DAFNE course, have been developed to assist with carbohydrate counting as well as other key aspects of insulin dosing decisions.
Balancing Simple And Complex Carbs
How people respond to specific types of carbs, or even to individual foods, can vary widely. This is one reason for why there’s no one-size-fits-all diet for treating diabetes.
That said, when planning meals and snacks, it’s best to focus on getting your carbsboth simple and complexfrom natural, unrefined, and unprocessed sources. These include fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and products made with them, low-fat dairy products, and legumes.
You’ll know that you’re getting nutrient-rich foods that are high in fiber and low in calories and saturated fat. They are more likely to help you control your blood sugar and manage your diabetes.
Not everyone who is “watching their carbs” is doing so because of diabetes. Yet everyone who chooses fresh fruits and whole grains, while avoiding processed foods, may see the overall benefits of keeping a healthy and balanced mix of carbs.
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Cholesterol And Healthy Eating
What we eat has an impact on our cholesterol levels and can help reduce our risk of disease. Try to eat a wide variety of foods from each of the five food groups. Not only does this help to maintain a healthy and interesting diet, but it provides essential nutrients to the body.
The Heart Foundation recommends:
- Plenty of vegetables, fruits and wholegrains.
- A variety of healthy protein sources , legumes , nuts and seeds. Smaller amounts of eggs and lean poultry can also be included in a heart healthy diet. If choosing red meat, make sure it is lean and limit to 1-3 times a week.
- Unflavoured milk, yoghurt and cheese. Those with high blood cholesterol should choose reduced fat varieties.
- Healthy fat choices nuts, seeds, avocados, olives and their oils for cooking
- Herbs and spices to flavour foods, instead of adding salt.
Also, be mindful on how much you are eating and whether you are filling up on unhealthy foods. Portion sizes have increased over time and many of us are eating more than we need which can lead to obesity and increase our risk of cardiovascular disease.
Ideally, a healthy plate would include servings of ¼ protein, ¼ carbohydrates and ½ vegetables.
Serving size can vary depending on age, gender and specific nutrition needs.
Carbohydrates That Lower Cholesterol
While some carbs raise your cholesterol, other carbs might lower your numbers. Most of these carbs also have a low-glycemic index. The positive effect on cholesterol might be partly due to the soluble fiber found in these foods. Healthy carbohydrates that lower cholesterol include oatmeal, beans, oranges, pears, strawberries, barley and grape nuts. While certain carbs might be more effective at lowering your cholesterol, including more high-quality, less-processed carbs such as whole-grain bread, brown rice and whole-wheat pasta in your diet helps too.
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How Fat Moves From Food To The Bloodstream
Fat and cholesterol cant dissolve in water or blood. Instead, the body packages fat and cholesterol into tiny, protein-covered particles called lipoproteins. Lipoproteins can transport a lot of fat they mix easily with blood and flow with it. Some of these particles are big and fluffy, while others are small and dense. The most important ones are low-density lipoproteins , high-density lipoproteins , and triglycerides.
- Low Density lipoproteins
Low-density lipoproteins carry cholesterol from the liver to the rest of the body. Cells latch onto these particles and extract fat and cholesterol from them. When there is too much LDL cholesterol in the blood, these particles can form deposits in the walls of the coronary arteries and other arteries throughout the body. Such deposits, called plaque, can narrow arteries and limit blood flow. When plaque breaks apart, it can cause a heart attack or stroke. Because of this, LDL cholesterol is often referred to as bad, or harmful, cholesterol.
- High-density lipoproteins
High-density lipoproteins scavenge cholesterol from the bloodstream, from LDL, and from artery walls and ferry it back to the liver for disposal. Think of HDL as the garbage trucks of the bloodstream. HDL cholesterol is often referred to as good, or protective, cholesterol.
In general, the lower your LDL and the higher your HDL, the better your chances of preventing heart disease and other chronic conditions.
Alzheimers Diet: 16 Foods To Fight Dementia + What To Avoid
The best Alzheimers diet is Dr. Dale Bredesens KetoFLEX 12/3 diet. This slightly-flexible ketogenic diet can lower your risk of developing Alzheimers disease or dementia, especially in the earliest stages of cognitive decline.
This revolutionary diet also encourages 12-hour fasting periods so the body has more time to repair cell damage. Make sure to not eat within 3 hours of going to bed either.
By eating foods such as green leafy vegetables, fish, nuts, and even an occasional glass of red wine, you can reduce your chances of developing Alzheimers.
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Good And Bad Cholesterol
You will often hear doctors and dietitians talk about two different types of cholesterol low-density lipoprotein cholesterol , and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol . This way of talking about cholesterol is a convenient shorthand, but strictly speaking, it is not really correct.
Strictly speaking, as any good chemist will tell you, cholesterol is just cholesterol. One molecule of cholesterol is pretty much the same as another. So why do doctors talk about good and bad cholesterol?
The answer has to do with lipoproteins.
Lipoproteins. Cholesterol are lipids, and therefore do not dissolve in a water medium like blood. In order for lipids to be transported in the bloodstream without clumping together, they need to be packaged into small particles called lipoproteins. Lipoproteins are soluble in blood, and allow cholesterol and triglycerides to be moved with ease through the bloodstream.
The behavior of the various lipoproteins is determined by the specific kinds of proteins that appear on their surface. Lipoprotein metabolism is quite complex, and scientists are still working out all the details. However, most doctors concern themselves with two major types of lipoproteins: LDL and HDL.
LDL Cholesterol Bad Cholesterol. In most people, the majority of the cholesterol in the blood is packaged in LDL particles. LDL cholesterol is often called bad cholesterol.
Be Careful With Pancake Toppings
Table sugar is not the only kind of sugar you need to be wary of when you have high triglycerides. Honey and maple syrup can increase your triglyceride levels, too. One tablespoon of honey has 64 calories and approximately 17 grams of sugar. One tablespoon of maple syrup contains 50 calories and approximately 13 grams of sugar. If you want to indulge in these sweeteners, use less of them or look for low-calorie or sugar-free maple syrup. Sugar comes in many forms. Read the labels and watch for brown sugar, corn syrup, corn sweetener, fruit juice concentrate, fructose sweetener, glucose, invert sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, maltose, lactose, malt syrup, molasses, sucrose, turbinado sugar, and trehalose. They are also bad for your blood sugar.
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Triglycerides In Your Blood
In addition to cholesterol, your blood also contains a type of fat called triglycerides, which are stored in your bodys fat deposits. Hormones release triglycerides to make energy between meals.
When you eat, your body converts any extra energy it doesnt need right away into triglycerides.
Like cholesterol, your body needs triglycerides to work properly. However, there is evidence to suggest that some people with high triglycerides are at increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
If you regularly eat more energy than you need, you may have high triglycerides .
Why Sugar Can Wreak Havoc On Your Cholesterol Levels
It is a well-known fact that the war is on against sugar. Many people dont realize that sugar and other carbohydrate consumption can also contribute to cholesterol problems. In fact, sugar in the form of table sugar or high-fructose corn syrup can be a greater contributor to heart disease than the consumption of saturated fat, long regarded as the main contributor to this condition.
Most Americans consume far too much sugar on a daily basis. Why? There are a multitude of reasons. For example, many of us are unaware that processed foods are loaded with hidden sugars to enhance flavor. In addition to all the fructose added, Americans consume an average of 22 teaspoons of sugar a day and even more from carbohydrates from pasta, rice, bread, corn and potatoes.
For the last 30 years, our dietary focus has been to reduce fats in our diets. As a result, there has been an increase in carbohydrate consumption resulting in an epidemic of pre-diabetes and diabetes along with a new type of cholesterol problem.
Cholesterol reduction requires a one-on-one treatment regime
Sugar consumption negatively affects good and bad cholesterol
Reducing sugar intake offers big rewards
CentraState Medical Center in Freehold offers an extensive roster of board-certified physicians and medical specialists throughout the region. To find a family or internal medicine physician near you, call 866-CENTRA7 , or visit the Physician Finder at centrastate.com/physicians.
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Dont Confuse Total Cholesterol With Ldl
Some doctors still focus on total cholesterol as an important number. However, since total cholesterol is made up of LDL and HDL cholesterol, we dont know if increased total cholesterol is due to an increase in LDL, HDL, or both.
In addition to the possible effect of increasing LDL, low-carb diets are also well known for consistently raising HDL, which will in turn increase total cholesterol.2 However, elevated HDL is not a concern when it comes to cardiovascular risk. Therefore, before reacting to a higher total cholesterol level, make sure you know your breakdown between LDL and HDL.
Should I Cut Out Carbohydrates
While we can survive without sugar, it would be difficult to eliminate carbohydrates entirely from your diet.
Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy. In their absence, your body will use protein and fat for energy.
It may also be hard to get enough fibre, which is important for long-term health.
Healthy sources of carbohydrates, such as higher fibre starchy foods, vegetables, fruit and legumes, are also an important source of nutrients, such as calcium, iron and B vitamins.
Significantly reducing carbohydrates from your diet in the long term could mean you do not get enough nutrients, potentially leading to health problems.
Replacing carbohydrates with fats and higher fat sources of protein could increase your intake of saturated fat, which can raise the amount of cholesterol in your blood a risk factor for heart disease.
When you’re low on glucose, the body breaks down stored fat to convert it into energy. This process causes a build-up of ketones in the blood, resulting in ketosis.
This can cause headaches, weakness, feeling sick, dehydration, dizziness and irritability.
Try to limit the amount of sugary foods you eat and instead include healthier sources of carbohydrate in your diet, such as wholegrains, potatoes, vegetables, fruit, and legumes.
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What Does Cholesterol Do In Our Body
Why Is Cholesterol So Vital For Our Health
There are many points raised in the books below which are imperative to understand, I’ve written some important take-home messages. But please, read for yourself as I cannot do the above books justice in a few bullet points.
“We must be our own health advocate. Take control of your health. Find what works for you”
The first is The Great Cholesterol Myth: “Why Lowering Your Cholesterol Won’t Prevent Heart Disease-and the Statin-Free Plan That Will.”
Jimmy Moore has also written a fabulous book called Cholesterol Clarity: “Don’t you wish someone could just spell it out in simple, easy-to-understand language and tell you what, if anything, you need to do about your cholesterol? Good news! That’s precisely what Cholesterol Clarity is designed to do.”
Nina Teicholz, an Investigative Journalist for The New Yorker, The Economist and The New York Times, has spent years researching the unthinkable: that everything we knew about dietary fat is wrong. The Big Fat Surprise– Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong In A Healthy Diet. “Nina documents how the low-fat nutrition advice of the past sixty years has amounted to a vast uncontrolled experiment on the entire population, with disastrous consequences for our health.”
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Cut Excess Saturated Fat
Sometimes a small change can make a significant difference. Although this is based mostly on clinical experience, simply eliminating extra liquid saturated fat may normalize LDL levels.7 That means eliminating MCT oil and butter in coffee, fat bombs, or other keto treats.
Some people may find that limiting their saturated fat intake to whole foods is all it takes to improve LDL levels.
Carbohydrate And Type 2 Diabetes
People with type 2 diabetes are able to produce their own insulin but are not able to respond to insulin as effectively as people without the condition. This is called insulin resistance The bodys natural response is to produce more insulin to help get glucose from the blood into the cells that need it.
Generally, the higher the amount of carbohydrate eaten, the more likely it is that the body will struggle to produce enough insulin. As a result, people with type 2 diabetes on a relatively high carbohydrate diet are more likely either to have too high blood glucose levels or to need larger doses of stronger diabetes medication.
There are two main ways to combat and cope with insulin resistance. The primary way is to reduce your bodys need to produce insulin by lowering your calorie intake, including the amount of carbohydrate eaten, and by exercising.
Some people will also require the additional measure of taking diabetes medication to ensure sugar levels stay at healthy levels.
Note that the greater your dependence on medication, the greater the extent of medication side effects therefore its important to make sure youre working hard in meeting the first option.
As noted above, the NHS does not generally advise people with type 2 diabetes to go onto a low carb diet, however, many patients have opted to go for this approach of their own accord.