Tactics To Reduce Cholesterol Quickly
For most of us, there’s really no need to pack our medicine cabinets with pills to reduce cholesterol levels. Natural, lifestyle-based strategies have proven extraordinarily effective in reducing cholesterol quickly and permanently.
Get the top 5 food and fitness tips recommended by the doctors, dietitians, exercise experts, and other faculty at the Pritikin Longevity Center. Pritikin has been helping people lower cholesterol levels since 1975.
Did you know that for every 10% drop in your cholesterol level, your heart attack risk drops by 20% to 30%? Theres more good news: Most of us can reduce cholesterol quickly, and without the need for medications. Simple lifestyle strategies can be very powerful.
Thats what several studies on thousands following the Pritikin Program of diet and exercise have found. Within three weeks, people were able to lower their cholesterol levels on average 23%, which translates into a 46% to 69% drop in heart attack risk.1
Answering Your Questions About How The Keto Diet Impacts Cholesterol
Before diving into more details about the keto diet and cholesterol, lets start by looking at some basic facts about how cholesterol works.
For decades cholesterol has gotten as a bad rap, but in reality cholesterol plays many important roles in the body. For example, cholesterol has functions including:
- Helping with sex hormone production
- Forming structures of the brain
- Supporting cognitive/mental function, including in children and older adults
- Facilitating absorption of fat-soluble nutrients
- Ushering nutrients, triglycerides and other compounds into cells to be used for energy
Cholesterol in our body is present in the form of fatty acids that travel through the bloodstream. Whats important to understand about cholesterol is that the balance between LDL and HDL cholesterol is very important. If you have higher LDL, you also want to have higher HDL in order to help clear LDL from the bloodstream.
There are two different types of LDL cholesterol, the type that is often referred to as bad cholesterol: large particle LDL and small particle LDL . Whats the difference, and which one is more dangerous for heart health?
Pattern A carries more fat-soluble nutrients and antioxidants and can actually protect against oxidative stress, while pattern B is more likely to be oxidized and to form plaque buildup in the endothelial lining of the arteries, raising the risk for heart-related problems.
How does the keto diet affect cholesterol levels?
How Is High Cholesterol Diagnosed
There are usually no signs or symptoms that you have high cholesterol. There is a blood test to measure your cholesterol level. When and how often you should get this test depends on your age, risk factors, and family history. The general recommendations are:
For people who are age 19 or younger:
- The first test should be between ages 9 to 11
- Children should have the test again every 5 years
- Some children may have this test starting at age 2 if there is a family history of high blood cholesterol, heart attack, or stroke
For people who are age 20 or older:
- Younger adults should have the test every 5 years
- Men ages 45 to 65 and women ages 55 to 65 should have it every 1 to 2 years
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How To Lower Cholesterol Naturally
Here are 6 drug-free alternatives for lowering LDL cholesterol.
To avoid a heart attack, research has found that a key strategy is getting LDL cholesterol way down. Striving for LDL levels of 100 and below is good, but dropping to 80 and lower may be even better. Learn how to lower cholesterol naturally.
Go ahead, binge on beans! Enjoy all kinds! Black beans. White beans. Red beans. Pinto beans. Adzuki beans. TheyÃ¢re all champions at actively lowering LDL cholesterol.
Eat To Lower Your Cholesterol
Cholesterol isnt all bad news. Follow these tips to lower your cholesterol, the natural way.
Chances are, youve heard a thing or two about cholesterol. Having high blood cholesterol is a risk factor for developing heart disease.
But did you know that you can reduce your cholesterol level by making smart food choices? Its true!
Before we get to the details, lets be clear on what were talking about. For years, cholesterol has had a bad rep that it doesnt really deserve. The truth is, we need cholesterol to function. Your body makes most of the cholesterol it needs. The rest comes from foods you eat.
Heres the important thing: Dietary cholesterol found in meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products has less impact on increasing your blood cholesterol level. Foods that contain lots of saturated fat are the true culprits.
Now heres how to make nutritious choices to lower your blood cholesterol.
Keep eating simple
In the last 20 years, the rules on healthy eating have shifted. Super restrictive diets arent sustainable or the healthiest choice. Rather than zeroing in on a single nutrient, nutrition research shows the quality of your diet matters more. A diet filled with the right portions of whole, unprocessed foods can help decrease heart disease and stroke. What does that look like? For a healthy, balanced eating plan:
Cook at home
Choose more fibre
Each of these options will provide you with two grams:
- ½ ripe avocado
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Eat More Plant Sources Of Protein
Excellent plant proteins include beans all beans, like lentils, red beans, pinto beans, and soybeans. Rather than raising blood cholesterol levels, as animal sources of protein do, beans actually help lower cholesterol.
Beans also help reduce blood sugar and insulin levels, and may even lower cancer risk.
Energy Density Of Dietary Fat
Dietary fat has more than double the number of kilojoules per gram than carbohydrate or protein , making it very energy dense.
Foods high in fat are usually high in kilojoules which means they are more likely to increase body fat. Therefore, it is recommended to choose low-fat food options if the choice is available.
Carrying too much body fat is a risk factor for many diseases, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and many cancers.
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Reasons You Might Have High Cholesterol
If youve ever had a blood test, its highly likely your doctor has checked your cholesterol level. Although I believe cholesterol is over rated, it is useful to know your blood level of this fat.
Cholesterol is a very important substance in your body. In fact, every cell of your body requires cholesterol to survive. Elevated cholesterol can be a risk factor for heart disease, but it is only one of many risk factors. Rather than rushing to take a drug or natural substance that lowers cholesterol, why not consider why your cholesterol is elevated in the first place?
What Diet Is Best For Lowering Cholesterol
Studies have found that plant-based diets lower cholesterol levels more effectively than other diets. In 2017, researchers reviewed 49 studies that compared plant-based diets with omnivorous diets to test their effects on cholesterol. Plant-based diets lowered total cholesterol, LDL, and HDL levels when compared to omnivorous diets. Low-fat, plant-based regimens typically reduce LDL levels by about 15 to 30 percent.
Some recommendations for lowering cholesterol still include consuming chicken and fish. However, a number of studies have shown that heart disease patients who continue to eat these foods still tend to get worse over time. Those who adopt a low-fat, plant-based diet, get daily exercise, avoid tobacco, and manage stress have the best chance of reversing heart disease.
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How Is Cholesterol Measured
Most people with high cholesterol feel perfectly well and often have no symptoms. The best way to find out if your cholesterol is high is to have a blood test .
Visit your GP to determine whether you need to lower your cholesterol level and what action to take.
GPs can also do a heart health check, that calculates your heart disease and stroke risk.
Is Eating White Meat Like Chicken Bad For Cholesterol Levels
A 2019 study that made media headlines found that lean white meat had the same effect on cholesterol levels as lean red meat. Because of how the study was designed, it was difficult to know if the results were caused by the meat or the other food items in the sample menu fed to study participants that contained high amounts of saturated fats.
The study also had a small sample size and was done over a brief period so the results might not be the same with more people studied over a longer period.
Researchers in the study measured blood cholesterol levels, not actual incidents of heart issues or the development of heart disease. Blood cholesterol levels are markers of potential risk, but not evidence of cause-and-effect. The results of this study also do not hold up when looking at the larger body of evidence on white meat that assessed health associations of poultry versus associations with health markers.
- No link found between white meat consumption or overall meat consumption and higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
- White meat was associated with a 13% decrease in risk of stroke.
- Poultry intake is not associated with total stroke risk.
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Swap Out Ice Cream For Fresh Fruit
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture , the United States produced 49.9 million gallons of full-fat ice cream in 2019, up nearly 14 percent from the year before. The cold, sweet stuff is a staple in many American households. But did you know that a single cup of ice cream has more fat than a hamburger and almost double the saturated fat of a glazed doughnut? Skip the scoop and try a cup of fresh fruit for dessert instead. Fruit is low in calories and high in the fiber, vitamins, and nutrients you really need making it one of the best things you can eat to reduce the amount of cholesterol youre consuming.
Cut Down On Fat When Cooking Meat
Cut off any visible fat and skin before cooking crackling and poultry skin are much higher in fat than the meat itself.
Here are some other ways to reduce fat when cooking meat:
- grill meat, rather than frying
- avoid adding extra fat or oil when cooking meat
- roast meat on a metal rack above a roasting tin so the fat can run off
- try using smaller quantities of meat and replacing some of the meat with vegetables, pulses and starchy foods in dishes such as stews, curries and casseroles
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Healthy Eating Tips To Lower Cholesterol
As well as sticking to a varied and healthy diet, try these tips to help you manage your cholesterol:
- Limit takeaway foods to once a week .
- Limit salty, fatty and sugary snack foods to once a week .
- Eat plenty of vegetables aim for 5 serves of vegetables every day. .
- Choose wholegrain breads, cereal, pasta, rice and noodles.
- Snack on plain, unsalted nuts and fresh fruit .
- Include legumes such as chickpeas, lentils, split peas), beans into at least two meals a week. Check food labels and choose the lowest sodium products.
- Use spreads and margarines made from healthy unsaturated fats instead of those made with saturated fat .
- Use healthy oils for cooking some include canola, sunflower, soybean, olive , sesame and peanut oils.
- Use salad dressings and mayonnaise made from oils such as canola, sunflower, soybean, olive , sesame and peanut oils.
- Include 2 or 3 serves of plant-sterol-enriched foods every day .
- Have 2 to 3 portions of oily fish every week. Fish may be fresh, frozen or canned.
- Include up to 7 eggs every week.
- Select lean meat and limit unprocessed red meat to less than 350g per week.
- Choose reduced fat, no added sugar milk, yoghurt, or calcium-added non-dairy food and drinks.
- Limit or avoid processed meats including sausages and deli meats .
If you are having trouble with your cholesterol levels, a dietitian can help you to eat healthily for your specific needs.
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Keto Diet And Cholesterol: Does It Help Or Hurt
Given the fact that the ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet one which emphasizes foods like coconut oil, butter and meat this leaves many people wondering: Is the keto diet bad for your heart? Despite what you might think, the keto diet has actually been associated with improvements in cardiovascular health.
Is the keto diet safe for someone with high cholesterol? Because keto is rich in fats, including saturated fat and cholesterol found naturally in animal-derived foods like eggs and meat, many people will experience an increase in cholesterol after beginning the keto diet. However, studies suggest the connection between the keto diet and cholesterol is actually positive.
Recently, weve come to understand that higher cholesterol isnt always a bad thing, and rather that experiencing chronic inflammation as well as elevated triglycerides, due to causes like an overall poor diet, insulin resistance and unhealthy lifestyle, is likely a much bigger threat.
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What Is Insoluble Fibre
This slowing down effect of the digestive system is usually overridden by insoluble fibre. It does not absorb water and speeds up the time that food passes through the gut.
Insoluble fibre includes cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin, which make up the structural parts of plant cell walls.
A major role of insoluble fibre is to add bulk to faeces and to prevent constipation and associated problems .
Good sources of insoluble fibre include:
- bran wheat bran, corn bran, rice bran
- the skins of fruits and vegetables
Red Meat White Meat Or Non
The study examined whether cholesterol levels differed after consuming diets high in red meat compared with diets with similar amounts of protein from white meat or non-meat sources . It also studied whether the results were affected by the amount of saturated fat in each of the diets.
One hundred and thirteen healthy men and women, ages 21 to 65, participated in the study. Each study participant was randomly assigned to either a high- or low-saturated fat diet. Then, for four weeks each, and in varying orders, they consumed protein from either red meat, white meat, or non-meat sources.
All of the foods consumed during the study were provided by the researchers . To reduce the chances that other factors that would affect cholesterol levels, participants were asked to maintain their baseline activity level and abstain from alcohol. They were also advised to maintain their weight during the study period, and their calories were adjusted if their weight shifted.
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Food Should You Avoid If You Have High Cholesterol
Cholesterol You must have heard this term. This substance is among the most feared when it comes to adapting to a healthy life. Consuming foods rich in high cholesterol does massive damage to ones body. Still, there is good cholesterol, which is given by healthy foods.
Sometimes its challenging to differentiate between the good and the bad cholesterol. But weve got you. This article will explain what food you should not eat if you have high cholesterol.
Opt For Skinless Chicken
Although chicken is usually considered to be a good low-fat meat choice, how you cook it and serve it makes all the difference. For example, one chicken leg with the skin still on has more fat and saturated fat than a hamburger. Remember that removing the skin will help reduce the overall fat content, King says. Indulge in a fried chicken leg once in a while and stick to the grilled or baked chicken.
If you leave the skin on poultry or bread and deep-fry it, you turn it into an unhealthy, cholesterol-spiking food. Also, remember that dark poultry meat has more fat than white meat. When making chicken choices, opt for skinless and skip the dark meat.
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Ways To Get Organised
Planning ahead can make changing your dietary habits a whole lot easier:
- Make a shopping list before you shop and plan what meals youre going to eat and when.
- Keep a filled fruit bowl at home for fast, low-kilojoule snacks.
- Vary your meals. You may get bored and lose motivation if you dont try different ingredients and recipes.
- Search the internet to find interesting and easy recipes and cooking tips have a read of these tasty recipes.
- Cook in bulk to save time for example, soups, stews, casseroles and bolognese sauce are all easy to cook a lot of, and then freeze in portions for later use.
- Eat breakfast every day so youre less likely to snack on occasional foods at morning tea. A wholemeal or wholegrain breakfast cereal that is low in sugar, served with low-fat milk, can provide plenty of vitamins, mineral and fibre. Other fast and healthy options include yoghurt or wholemeal toast.
Aim For Cholesterol Balance When Eating Eggs For Breakfast
Once banned from the breakfast table, eggs are now generally considered a relatively healthy choice within limits.
A study published in May 2018 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating up to 12 eggs per week did not increase the risk of heart disease for people with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. However, the whole diet must be considered.
So if you have an egg for breakfast, don’t have a cheeseburger for lunch.
Aim for balance, says Kristi King, RDN, a clinical instructor at the Baylor College of Medicine and the senior dietitian at Texas Childrens Hospital in Houston. If you are going to consume fried chicken, add a salad instead of fries. If you want fries, get the grilled chicken to go with it.
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