Dont Forget Vitamin K2
When people think of Vitamin K, most people go to Vitamin K1, which helps with blood clotting. Its forgotten sibling, Vitamin K2, helps remove calcium buildup from the arteries . While this vitamin may not directly lower cholesterol, calcium buildup is a key component of the artery-clogging plaque. Good sources of Vitamin K2 include hard cheeses with whole milk, egg yolk, chicken breast, ground beef, butter, and liver. Grass-fed animals contain higher levels of Vitamin K2 compared to grain-fed.
You may notice that the best sources of Vitamin K2 also contain saturated fat, which has been accused of causing heart disease since the 1970s. This recommendation is quite controversial in the medical community. A large review of nearly 350,000 people followed for over 20 years showed a lack of evidence connecting saturated fat to the development of heart disease .
While saturated fat should not be the primary source of fat in your diet, do not be afraid to add these Vitamin K2 powerhouses because of the saturated fat content. Most importantly, ensure your K2 sources are high-quality, grass-fed, and pasture-raised animal sources. But, as always, plants should still be the predominant part of our meals.
Weight Gain Isnt Just From Food
High triglyceride levels can be caused by excessive alcohol consumption as well. So if your levels are higher than normal, it might be a good idea to eliminate alcohol completely.
Weight has a profound impact on triglycerides, says Dr.Nissen. If you lose as little as 5 to 10% of body weight, your triglyceridescan drop as much as 20%.
This article was adapted from Cleveland Clinic HeartAdvisor.
Excess Bad Cholesterol Can Lead To Heart Disease Or Stroke So Take Into Account A Few Steps To Manage Your Cholesterol Levels
Written by Editorial Team | Updated : April 16, 2014 4:02 PM IST
Excess bad cholesterol can lead to heart disease or stroke, so take into account a few steps to manage your cholesterol levels. Here are five foods that can bring down cholesterol levels:
Superfruits: Following recent nutritional studies, several fruits have been labeled ‘superfoods’ due to their ability to combat harmful fats and reduce bad cholesterol. For instance, it was recently revealed that strawberries have the ability to reduce LDL, the harmful form of cholesterol, by nearly 14 percent, according to research carried out by Universit Politecnica Delle Marche in Italy. Read fruit juices VS fruits – which is healthier?
Unsaturated fats: Consuming omega-3 essential fatty acids, found in unsaturated fats, will help to lower the levels of bad cholesterol in the blood. Unsaturated fats include oily fish, nuts and seeds, ground flax seeds, olive oil and certain vegetables and fruits such as avocado.
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Home Remedy For Lower Cholesterol #14 Ditch Transfats Don’t Smoke And Eat Less Processed Food
What you shouldn’t eat is as important as what you should eat. The FDA has *finally* admitted that transfats are bad, after allowing them to dominate the market for years.
Of course, manufacturers are likely to come up with some other modified goobledegook that is equally as nasty.
When choosing fats , look for less processed options. As the saying goes, I trust cows more than chemists, which is why I eat butter.
Shop around the edges of the grocery store, and look for minimally processed items.
Getting Accurate Test Results
Getting a cholesterol test is easy. It involves having a tubes worth of blood drawn from your arm during a routine visit to your physician. The preparation, however, takes a little effort to ensure the most accurate reading. Food and drink can affect your triglyceride level, so you should fast for 12 hours beforehand. You should also avoid drinking alcohol for at least 24 hours before the test. You can drink water and take most medications you normally use, as these should not affect the test results. If you are not sure about your medications, check with your doctor before getting the test done.
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Home Remedy For Lower Cholesterol #11 Enjoy Some Garlic
A study published in 2013 analyzed 26 clinical trials and found that garlic was more effective than a placebo in reducing cholesterol levels, specifically total cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Garlic did not appear to have a significant effect on HDL and LDL. Garlic is also anti-viral, antibacterial and anti-fungal, and may help lower blood pressure and improve liver function.
Fresh garlic packs more punch than cooked. Learn how to grow garlic.
Lower Ldl Levels Are Better
In a JAMA editorial accompanying the study, Christopher P. Cannon, MD, of Brigham and Womens Hospital and Harvard Medical School wrote that aggressive LDL lowering is the ideal lower is better.
The JAMA studys findings echo those of another large 4,162-patient study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine. It concluded that LDL cholesterol levels of 62 were even better than levels of 95 at preventing death, heart attacks, and other cardiovascular-related problems in people with heart disease.
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How Long Does It Take Cholesterol To Go Down
People who need to use medications such as statins to lower their cholesterol should see their cholesterol levels fall quickly.
These medications may work in a matter of weeks, and they generally work to a larger degree than lifestyle changes.
However, because diet affects the levels of cholesterol in the body, doctors commonly recommend that people make changes to their diet and lifestyle in addition to taking medications.
Making simple changes to the diet and lifestyle can help reduce cholesterol.
These changes vary depending on how strictly a person adheres to their diet, as well as other factors, such as exercise and weight loss.
Some dietary changes may cause minor reductions in cholesterol in as little as
Dietary and lifestyle changes and medications can all help lower blood cholesterol levels.
Eat Less To Lose Weight
High triglycerides come from regularly eating more calories than your body burns, so eating less overall is one of the best ways to start reining them in.
How much less, exactly? You may want to cut back by 500 to 1,000 calories a day, depending on how many calories youre consuming. Thats enough to help you lose weight, which is key.
Dropping 5 to 10 percent of your body weight is enough to reduce your triglycerides significantly. But definitely get the OK from your doctor before making any major changes to your diet.
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Home Remedy For Lower Cholesterol #3 Drink Some Green Tea
Catechin, a major constituent of green tea, has been shown to reduce oxidized low-density lipoprotein.
In a 2007 study, volunteers consumed the equivalent of 6 to 7 cups of green tea daily and experienced a significant change in plasma LDL concentration.
These Jasmine Green Tea Dragon Pearls make tea time a little more special.
Modify Your Risk Factors
High cholesterol is usually treated based on total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and HDL cholesterol levels, plus the presence of additional risk factors for heart disease. While some cannot be changed, some can:
- Previous heart attack
- Family history of early heart disease
- Age over 45 in men and greater than 55 in women
- 10-year risk of a heart attack greater than 20%
Of these, not smoking is something you take action on. You can also treat your high blood pressure and diabetes to keep them under control.
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My Doctor Put Me On A Statin So Im Fine Right
A statin is a type of drug that works to lower your cholesterol by restricting the enzyme involved in your own bodys cholesterol production.
As with any medication, statins do come with some side effects. The most common symptom, is muscle aches/pain, occurring in about 5 percent of people on a statin . Other less common side effects include increased blood sugar, inflammation in the liver, and confusion . Unfortunately, statins are also known for decreasing the levels of coenzyme q10 in the body, which is involved in many nerve and muscle pathways .
Statins can improve some cholesterol numbers and may reduce the risk of a heart attack . Doctors may recommend a statin to you for reasons like family history/risk, for example. For most of us, though, statins do not address the most common root causean unhealthy lifestyle! Improving diet, exercise, and stress may reduce your risk of heart attack by up to 80 percent !
My point in saying this isnt for you to go willy nilly and nix your statins. Instead, it is SO IMPORTANT to understand that we cannot take a drug and call it good. We have to make lifestyle modifications our primary focus in order to make REAL change in our health!
The most powerful medication you can take is at the end of your fork.
Disclaimer: Please talk to your doctor before starting or stopping any medication.
Add High Magnesium Foods
Only 50% of Americans eat enough magnesium . This powerhouse mineral has tons of benefits in the body. Specifically, magnesium is shown to lower CRP, a protein that increases when your body is inflamed . Since high cholesterol and heart health is highly related to inflammation this is only going to help you.
Foods high in magnesium:
Dark leafy greens, organic dark chocolate, almonds, sesame seeds roasted, sunflower seeds, broccoli, pumpkin seeds, black beans, avocado, banana.
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Foods That Help Lower Your Cholesterol
From chocolate and red wine to beans and legumes, food and drink can help you get your cholesterol levels down.
My patients often ask me if there are any foods that can help with reducing high levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. This is the so-called “bad” cholesterol that can cause plaque to form in your coronary artery walls, increasing your risk of heart attack and stroke. My answer is a qualified “yes,” since high LDL can be the result of many factors, including poor genes, obesity, and lack of exercise. For this reason, not everyone will react to dietary changes the same way, and optimal LDL levels are different for every individual.
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that your body uses to make hormones, vitamin D, and substances that help you digest food. At normal levels, its essential for health, but if the concentration in the blood becomes too high, LDL, the so-called “bad” cholesterol can build up in your arteries forming plaques that put you at risk for cardiovascular disease, including chest pain , heart attack, and stroke.
Frequently, too much LDL is the result of a diet rich in saturated fats and trans fats . Eliminating these foods from your diet is a good first step in improving your LDL. Then try adding some or all of the following LDL-lowering foods every day. If you’re already on a statin, dietary changes may help you reduce your dosage, but never reduce or stop taking a statin drug without first consulting your doctor.
And Limit Unhealthy Ones
Namely, trans fats or partially hydrogenated oils, which sometimes show up in baked goods, snack foods, fried foods, refrigerated dough , nondairy creamers, and margarines.
Eating these harmful fats can send your triglycerides up in just a few short weeks, not to mention raise your LDL cholesterol and lower your HDL cholesterol.
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No Apparent Danger Of Very Low Ldl Cholesterol
LDL is a key component of many hormones and all cell membranes, which allow cells to communicate with each other. Earlier studies had raised concerns that lowering LDL too far might interfere with normal cellular functions, especially in organs that have higher lipid concentrations, such as the brain and reproductive organs. And there have been reports of a slightly increased risk of osteoporosis and brain bleeding in patients treated with high doses of statin medications.
Well-known side effects in people who use statin medications include muscle aches and a slightly increased risk of diabetes, especially when high doses of medication are used. Whether these risks are due to the statin medications themselves or the lowering of LDL is not entirely clear.
However, people with rare inherited disorders in which LDL levels are extremely low from birth appear to have normal fertility and no major organ dysfunction. Therefore, an extremely low LDL by itself does not appear to be dangerous in these unusual cases.
Natural Ways To Lower Your Cholesterol Levels
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Cholesterol is made in your liver and has many important functions. For example, it helps keep the walls of your cells flexible and is needed to make several hormones.
However, like anything in the body, too much cholesterol or cholesterol in the wrong places creates problems.
Like fat, cholesterol does not dissolve in water. Instead, its transport in the body depends on molecules called lipoproteins, which carry cholesterol, fat and fat-soluble vitamins in the blood.
Different kinds of lipoproteins have different effects on health. For example, high levels of low-density lipoprotein result in cholesterol deposits in blood vessel walls, which can lead to clogged arteries, strokes, heart attacks and kidney failure .
In contrast, high-density lipoprotein helps carry cholesterol away from vessel walls and helps prevent these diseases .
This article will review 10 natural ways to increase the good HDL cholesterol and lower the bad LDL cholesterol.
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Follow A Lower Carb Diet
Much like added sugar, extra calories from carbs in your diet are converted into triglycerides and stored in fat cells.
Not surprisingly, low carb diets have been linked to lower blood triglyceride levels.
One 2006 study looked at how various carb intakes affected triglycerides. Those who were given a low carb diet providing about 26% of calories from carbs had greater reductions in triglyceride levels than those given higher carb diets providing up to 54% of calories from carbs .
Another review reported that low carb diets were more effective at decreasing triglyceride levels than low fat diets with the same amount of calories .
Finally, a 2003 study compared low fat and low carb diets. After 6 months, researchers found that those on the low carb diet had greater decreases in triglyceride levels than those on a low fat diet .
Following a low carb diet can lead to a significant reduction in blood triglyceride levels, at least short term, when compared to a low fat diet.
Guide For Lowering Cholesterol Naturally
The complete Pritikin Program for lowering cholesterol with little or no medication. Includes recipes and 5-day meal plan. The Ultimate Guide for Lowering LDL Cholesterol Naturally
If your LDL levels are still too high after trying these 6 nutrition-based approaches, talk to your doctor about cholesterol-lowering medications like statins, but give these 6 tips your best shot, encourages Dr. Danine Fruge, MD, ABFP, Medical Director at the Pritikin Longevity Center. The right eating plan, like Pritikin, can be powerfully beneficial and there are no adverse side effects.
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Increase Plant Protein Sources
Introducing variety into the diet may help people manage some risk factors for heart disease.
Many people get their protein mainly from animal sources. However, it may help for them to include plant protein sources in their diet too.
A number of vegetable foods that contain substantial amounts of protein include:
- beans and legumes, such as chickpeas, lentils, and peas
- grains, such as rice, quinoa, and amaranth
- tree nuts, such as almonds and cashews
- seeds, including pumpkin, sunflower, and hemp seeds
Adding plant-based proteins to the diet can help the body meet its protein needs without adding cholesterol.
Alcohol And Ldl Levels
Although moderate consumption of alcohol can significantly raise HDL levels, it can also lower LDL, according to studies. Moderate consumption means one serving a day for women and one to two servings per day for men.
However, drinking more alcohol doesnt necessarily equal better results in terms of improving your heart health. Studies have also indicated that drinking more than three alcoholic drinks a day could actually increase your chances of heart disease.
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Putting Together A Low Cholesterol Diet
When it comes to investing money, experts recommend creating a portfolio of diverse investments instead of putting all your eggs in one basket. The same holds true for eating your way to lower cholesterol. Adding several foods to lower cholesterol in different ways should work better than focusing on one or two.
A largely vegetarian “dietary portfolio of cholesterol-lowering foods” substantially lowers LDL, triglycerides, and blood pressure. The key dietary components are plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains instead of highly refined ones, and protein mostly from plants. Add margarine enriched with plant sterols oats, barley, psyllium, okra, and eggplant, all rich in soluble fiber soy protein and whole almonds.
Of course, shifting to a cholesterol-lowering diet takes more attention than popping a daily statin. It means expanding the variety of foods you usually put in your shopping cart and getting used to new textures and flavors. But it’s a “natural” way to lower cholesterol, and it avoids the risk of muscle problems and other side effects that plague some people who take statins.
Just as important, a diet that is heavy on fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts is good for the body in ways beyond lowering cholesterol. It keeps blood pressure in check. It helps arteries stay flexible and responsive. It’s good for bones and digestive health, for vision and mental health.