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These Are The Six Most Frequent Myths About Cholesterol
What, in the constellation of myths of surrounding cholesterol, is true? Here are six tips to clarify some of the confusion about the role it plays in our bodies.
1. There is good and bad cholesterol
Cholesterol is a single lipid molecule found in the bloodstream that travels to different cells or flows in the intestinal systems direction to be expelled from the body. It is thought that it is imperative to strike a balance between the cholesterol entering the body and that being excreted, such that the levels in the blood do not exceed 200 mg per 100 milliliters of blood .
Ideally, the cholesterol entering the body does not exceed 150 mg/dl and that it does not leave at a rate higher than 40 mg/dl. If this balance is maintained, good health is maintained, while if there is an imbalance, people are considered to have bad cholesterol.
2. Eating meats and sausages increase the danger of cholesterol
3. Dairy products and eggs have an impact on cholesterol
The same is true of fats from dairy or egg products as, even though they are high in calories, they do not directly influence the amount of cholesterol in the blood, according to the journal Cholesterol. It is possible to be overweight without showing an alarming amount of bad cholesterol due to genetic factors or fatty foods ingestion.
4. Drinking Danacoles and Benecoles Lower Cholesterol
5. Cholesterol is a toxin that must be avoided
So Why People Are Using Benecol
Recall that, in this case, the serious knowledge about cholesterol was forged in the interest of a specific industry. The work of hundreds, or thousands, of advertising strategies, has worked perfectly to convince the consumer that buying these functional foods will positively impact their cardiovascular health. However, there is not much that has been fully proven.
At present, there is a special sensitivity in the world to research concerning subjects like cholesterol, cardiovascular health, sterols, and stanols. There is plenty of information about these things in editorials of the Cardiovascular Safety of Plant Sterol and Stanol Consumption journal which summarize, in an obvious way, the impacts of these compounds on cardiovascular health:
Although links have been made between cardiovascular health and the levels of plant sterols and stanols present in functional foods, there has been no conclusive evidence to support this.
There has also been no evidence. However, including these has no negative impact either.
As mentioned above, cholesterol in a persons diet has minimal impact on a persons cholesterol levels. This raises the question of why one would add a unique milk-cabbage product to an already healthy diet?
Besides Danacol and Benecol products, there is also the possibility of drinking yogurt enriched with plant sterols. These products adorn themselves with various health claims, and the European Food Safety Authority has found some of these to be effective.
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Can Benecol Improve Health
The truth is that all this sounds very nice, and, based on the fact that the brands have been hammering these facts in over fifteen years, the average consumer likely believes it. If I have high blood cholesterol levels, and I take some milk-cabbage type product that helps to block cholesterol absorption from food then my cholesterol will fall, and my cardiovascular risk will decrease.
Sounds good, very good, right? But unfortunately, it is not proven. If one day someone analyses the impact of these products on global health the result will be quite murky. There are two key burning issues:
Leaving aside the presumed benefits, it is not clear that incorporating sterols and stanols into a diet by eating functional foods enriched in these elements is risk-free. It may yet be revealed that they are doing more harm than good.
The fact that including these products in your diet helps reduce your cholesterol is more or less clear. It is far less clear that that has a clinically observable effect on cardiovascular health, and further study is necessary.
Talk With Your Doctor
The most important factor to consider when comparing statins to sterols is what your doctor prescribes for you. If your doctor prescribes a statin for you, be sure to follow their instructions. If you would prefer a more natural option than medication, tell your doctor. Discuss what the best options may be for you and what risks you face based on your cholesterol levels.
Your doctor can also answer any questions you may have, such as:
- Are plant sterols strong enough to lower my cholesterol to a safe level?
- Can I try using statins and plant sterols together?
- Am I taking any medications that might interact with a statin?
- Can you refer me to a dietitian for guidance on a cholesterol-lowering diet?
- When should I have my cholesterol levels retested to find out if my treatment is working?
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The First Of Its Kind
The dynamic opportunities for including Benecol in products were highlighted by Benecols dairy partner in Switzerland, Emmi. Together, they launched the worlds first cholesterol-lowering milk yogurt. This was a particular coup as it extended Benecol into the range of probiotic foods, a key market. Since the launch of the first liquid yogurt, Benecol has gained popularity throughout Europe, attracting consumers who want convenient and tasty dietary means to help them reduce their cholesterol.
Lifestyle Changes Arent Always Enough To Control Cholesterol
Its never too late to begin managing your bad cholesterol levels, assuming your heart is still beating and youre breathing while reading this article! Many people can control their cholesterol levels effectively with just a few lifestyle changes that include a little extra exercise, a better nutritional profile, or just a little less stress. Fruits, vegetables, and lean meats can all lower bad cholesterol levels but it isnt always enough.
Thats why Benecol is such an effective product to add to your lifestyle. Not only is it proven to work, but if you eat just one smart chew at meal time, for example, youll get a full months supply of Benecol products for less than the cost of eating out with the family. The one issue people may face in this product, however, is with an allergy they may have. Benecol contains both dairy and soy ingredients.
If you want to manage your cholesterol levels without the help of medication, then Benecol is the only over-the-counter solution that can do just that. Its affordable and effective and can begin working right away to control the bad cholesterol numbers that could be putting your health at risk. Why not try it for yourself today?
“Healthy Cholesterol Levels”
I think we can all agree that healthy cholesterol levels is very important for your health, fitness & longevity .
Unfortunately, most of us don’t have the time, money or devotion to make big lifestyle changes Plus, AGING is another major factor …
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How Do They Work
Plant stanol esters reduce the absorption of cholesterol from the digestive tract, resulting in lower levels of total and LDL-cholesterol that travel into the bloodstream.
Voila! Your cholesterol levels start falling faster than an apple from a tree.
And Benecol® Spreads and Chews are the only products supplemented with plant stanols.
Supermarket Products With Plant Sterols Or Stanols
There are many products you can buy that contain plant sterols or stanols. They can be expensive, but supermarket own-brands may be cheaper. If you choose to buy them, check how much you need per day for them to be effective. Here are some examples of whats available:
This contains plant stanols that help to lower cholesterol when consumed daily. This is equal to one serving of Benecol yogurt drink or dairy-free drink per day or two to three servings of Benecol yogurt or spread.
This contains beta-glucan, a soluble oat fibre. It works by forming a gel that binds cholesterol-containing bile acid in the stomach and transports it out of the body. One serving provides 3g beta-glucan, which can help maintain normal blood cholesterol levels. Beta-glucan also slows down how your body absorbs carbohydrate. This will help you manage your blood glucose levels, offering an extra benefit to people with diabetes.
This contains plant sterols that help to lower cholesterol when consumed daily, for example one serving of milk and/or three servings of spread, or just one mini drink.
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Products That Contain Plant Stanols
Benecol®, Benecol Light® and Take Control® are margarine substitutes that contain plant stanols. It is not recommended to cook with Take Control because cooking causes the stanols to break down. Benecol can be heated.
CholestOff is a capsule form of plant stanols. You can buy it over the counter at many stores. Many patients find this the easiest way to take plant stanols. The recommended dose is 2 g with each major meal .
Wide Range Of Benecol Products
One of the main advantages of phytostanol is its ability to incorporate virtually any food product, including most labeled as low-fat or fat-free, such as yogurt, liquid yogurt, milk, etc. The dose of Benecol depends on the typical daily consumption of the product in question. It has no odor or taste and has most of the physical and chemical properties of fat. Its shelf life is equivalent to that of most edible oils and fats.
Raisio manages the Benecol brands licenses and sells the active Benecol ingredient to food companies around the world.
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Using Red Yeast Rice Extract Instead Of Prescription Statins
Dr. Hazen states, When I have a patient who is adamant about not wishing to take an FDA-cleared drug, but is agreeable to taking a “natural” intervention to lower LDL cholesterol, I have, on these rare occasions, used red yeast rice extract and monitored the patient for side effects and ordered liver function tests. In general, when a patient takes a large amount of supplements, I also recommend getting a complete blood cell count with differential to check for eosinophilia higher than the normal level of a type of white blood cells called eosinophils or other abnormalities. If there is a significant jump in eosinophils, I recommend that the patient stops taking the supplements.”
Your Risk Of High Cholesterol And How It Is Treated
Many people who have type 1 diabetes should be prescribed statin treatment for the primary prevention of heart disease. This means you may not have high cholesterol levels, but statins help to keep them in a healthy range and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Those people with type 1 diabetes who should be offered statins, regardless of their cholesterol levels, include:
- People older than 40 years
- Those who have had diabetes for more than 10 years
- Those with established kidney damage or other CVD risk factors
For people with type 2 diabetes, your overall CVD risk might be calculated using something called a QRISK calculator. Your healthcare team should explain what your risk of CVD is and how best to manage your blood fat levels. For primary prevention of CVD, people with type 2 diabetes who have a 10% or greater 10-year risk of developing CVD should be offered statins.
If you have high cholesterol levels, you should have a blood test to measure total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and non-HDL cholesterol three months after starting statin treatment, with an aim of 40% reduction in non-HDL cholesterol. Ask your healthcare team what your individual targets are for your cholesterol levels.
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What Counts As An Oily Fish
Myth buster: Taking omega-3 supplements will help prevent a heart attack
There is insufficient evidence that supplements of omega-3 fats will help to prevent cardiovascular disease or heart attacks .
Getting the omega-3 fats we need from food, such as oily fish, means we also benefit from the wide range of nutrients that oily fish supply such as protein, phosphorus, selenium, and vitamins B3, B6, B12 and D. And of course, fish is a tasty addition to our diet.
Is It Safe To Use Them With Cholesterol
Studies have shown that products containing plant stanols and sterols are safe to use in conjunction with and as an addition to cholesterol-lowering medications, but they should not replace what is prescribed by a doctor.
Adding stanol and sterol fortified foods to the diet may be more effective than doubling a statin dose. However sterols and stanols are not usually recommended when taking eztemibe, a cholesterol lowering medicine usually prescribed by a specialist. This is because they both work in a similar way, and plant sterols and stanols are unlikely to have any extra effect.
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Why Are Stanols And Sterols Added To Foods
It is not possible to get enough plant stanols and sterols to help lower cholesterol from the foods we eat. However there is a range of dairy foods which have been fortified with plant stanols and sterols which can help you reach the amount needed to help lower your cholesterol. These include fortified milk, spreads, yoghurts and yoghurt drinks. These products are more expensive compared to ordinary spreads, milk and yoghurts and recent research suggests it is more important to buy healthy foods rather than stanols and sterols if money is tight. Both branded and own-label products are available.
Plant sterols and stanols may be also added to other foods as well as being present in supplements. However, because of a lack of research, it is not known if these products are as effective at lowering cholesterol as fortified dairy foods.
Plant Sterols And Stanols
According to cholesterol charity Heart UK, plant sterols and stanols used in brands such as Flora ProActiv and Benecol can lower cholesterol . Stenols and stanols are found naturally in plants and absorb bad LDL cholesterol. This reduces LDL levels by up to 10% when you eat 2g a day regularly as part of a healthy balanced diet.
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Functional Foods That Lower Cholesterol
Functional foods is a term used to describe foods or food ingredients with components that provide a specific health benefit beyond the basic nutritional value of normal foods. Many branded products claim to have health benefits, and some are scientifically proven to work.
Probiotics, for example, promote growth of healthy gut bacteria, while adding plant sterols and stanols in larger amounts than you find in natural foods can help reduce cholesterol.
What Are Plant Stanols
We talk a lot about plant stanols at Benecol. Because its these little wonders that reduce cholesterol and help to keep a healthier diet on track.
They can be found in some edible plants, but only in tiny amounts. When there are plenty of them though as we make sure there are in Benecol foods they work together to reduce LDL-cholesterol .
The unique plant stanols of Benecol partially block cholesterol from getting into your bloodstream. Whether its cholesterol produced by your body naturally, or the cholesterol found in your food, plant stanols can help prevent it from getting through the intestine wall.
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How Does Benecol Reduce Cholesterol
How bad is the typical American diet? The American Medical Association recently recommended that virtually everyone begin taking statins as a proactive measure to reduce the risks of heart disease development because of the foods that people are eating. With cholesterol levels going out of control in the US and around the world, finding ways to lower those levels in an affordable way becomes a priority.
Thats why many people are turning to Benecol. Through a series of products that include smart chews and butter substitutes, heart health is becoming a priority for many once again. How can this one product help to lower cholesterol levels?
S You Can Take To Help Manage Your Blood Fats
- You should have your blood fat levels checked normally once per year. Things might be a bit different at the moment though. Read our information on what care to expect during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Ask for support to lose weight if you are living with obesity or overweight
- Eat a healthy diet based on more fruit and vegetables, nuts, oily fish and wholegrains. See our 10 tips for healthy eating with diabetes.
- Keep a check on how much alcohol you drink . Read more about alcohol and diabetes.
- If you smoke, get support to quit smoking
- Keep active and sit less. We have lots of advice on this in our article on exercise and diabetes.
Your GP can also refer you to a dietitian who can help. They will advise you to cut down on saturated fat and increase your intake of fibre.
There are natural foods you can eat to help protect your heart and products on the market that claim to lower your cholesterol but do they work?
We looked into the best foods to eat and looked at the products you can buy.
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How Can I Get This Amount
Even though plant stanols occur naturally in a variety of plant foods, theyre only found in small amounts, so even a healthy diet that includes plenty of these foods wont provide enough plant stanols to lower cholesterol a normal diet has been shown to contain just 20-30mg plant stanols each day . The only way to get enough plant stanols to actively reduce cholesterol is to enjoy foods that have plant stanols added to them in large enough doses. Benecol products include yogurts, yogurt and soya drinks, spreads and fruit and nut/oat bars, all of which have plant stanol ester added to them to help you achieve the 1.5-3g of plant stanols each day the amount needed to see a reduction in cholesterol. Plus, they taste delicious!