Start A Healthy Plan And Make A Delicious Recipe
One of the best ways to reduce or prevent high cholesterol is to cut back on the foods that cause it. Those include trans fats, often listed as partially hydrogenated oil on cookie and cracker packages, and saturated fats, found mostly in meat, cheese and butter. To replace those foods, eat more high-fiber plant foods and heart-healthy fats the foods known to lower cholesterol. We list seven of these superfoods below. If overhauling your entire diet sounds too hard, try making just one change per week to make healthy changes that stick.
Week 1: Opt for oats for breakfastOats just might be the perfect way to start your day. They energize you, keep you regular and have more soluble fiber the kind that kicks out bad LDL cholesterol than any other grain. You dont even have to cook them see below for the easiest recipe ever. Other good grain choices are oat bran, barley and whole grains in general.
Week 2: Add an apple a dayApples are high in pectin, another type of soluble fiber that lowers LDL cholesterol. Strawberries, blueberries, grapes and oranges also pack loads of pectin and other nutrients that give them their vibrant colors, so load up.
Week 4: Have a handful of nutsSnacking on a small handful of walnuts, almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts or pistachios every day can lower bad cholesterol by about 5 percent, studies show. The unsaturated fats in nuts are good for your heart too, unlike the saturated or trans fats in salami, cheese and many crackers.
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.
What Are Early Signs Of Fh
When you have FH, early detection of high cholesterol levels is key to getting the treatment that can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. In addition to family history of early cardiovascular problems, you may also notice lumps forming under your skin.
These fatty deposits are called xanthomas, and are particularly noticeable around tendons in the hands, knees, Achilles tendons and elbows, and under the skin around your eyes. Sometimes an ophthalmologist may spot signs of cholesterol deposits in your eyes as well.
Whether or not you have obvious signs of high cholesterol, you should get checked if heart disease runs in your family. Talk to your family doctor about your concerns a simple blood test is all it takes to see if your cholesterol levels are in the healthy range. A high cholesterol level at a young age is a particular red flag that you may have FH. If your doctor suspects you have the condition, you can undergo genetic testing to confirm the diagnosis.
Also Check: How Much Cholesterol In Beer
Consider Plant Sterols And Stanols
Multiple types of supplements show promise for managing cholesterol.
Plant stanols and sterols are plant versions of cholesterol. Because they resemble cholesterol, they are absorbed from the diet like cholesterol.
However, because parts of their chemistry are different from human cholesterol, they do not contribute to clogged arteries.
Instead, they reduce cholesterol levels by competing with human cholesterol. When plant sterols are absorbed from the diet, this replaces the absorption of cholesterol.
Small amounts of plant stanols and sterols are naturally found in vegetable oils and are added to certain oils and butter substitutes.
A research review reported that clinical studies show that taking 1.53 grams of plant sterols/stanols daily can reduce LDL concentration by 7.512%. Researchers said taking it with a main meal twice per day allows for optimal cholesterol-lowering .
Although research has established the cholesterol-lowering benefit of plant stanols and sterols, it has not yet proved that they decrease the risk of heart disease. Numerous clinical trials have suggested that plant sterols supplements and enriched foods may lower heart disease risk, but hard data is still lacking .
Plant stanols and sterols in vegetable oil or margarines compete with cholesterol absorption and reduce LDL by up to 20%. They are not proven to reduce heart disease.
What Is High Cholesterol
Cholesterol is made by your liver. Its a waxy substance that your body uses to build cells, among other processes.
Eating fatty foods and oils can cause your liver to make extra cholesterol. It can also come from the meat and dairy products in your diet.
When you have a cholesterol screening, the levels of two types of cholesterol will be reported in your results: LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol.
LDL cholesterol is whats known as bad cholesterol. High LDL can also be linked to high triglycerides, a type of fat in your blood that comes from your diet.
If you have too much LDL cholesterol, it can build up into a hard, waxy substance in your arteries, called plaque. When this happens, your arteries become narrow and less flexible.
High cholesterol is one of the biggest risk factors for cardiovascular conditions such as heart disease and stroke. But while HDL cholesterol is considered good cholesterol, and
Don’t Miss: Is Corn High In Cholesterol
Eat A Variety Of Healthy Proteins
The best choices of protein are fish and seafood, legumes , nuts and seeds. You can eat smaller amounts of eggs and lean poultry but limit red meat to 1-3 times a week.
Flavour foods with herbs and spices rather than salt, and avoid processed foods as these contain a lot of salt too. Salt can lead to high blood pressure, which can increase your risk of heart disease.
Recommended Reading: Does Shrimp Have High Cholesterol
Try Taking Coenzyme Q10
Coenzyme Q10 is a naturally occurring compound that helps lower LDL cholesterol in the body.
This is because they help reduce inflammation and blood pressure which can lower your risk for heart disease over time.
Studies show that taking Coenzyme Q-CoQ pills may lower LDL cholesterol levels by up to 15%. The best part about this supplement is it does not have any side effects unless you are allergic to seafood!
This is one of many supplements created from natural sources as well, so be sure to speak with a doctor before beginning any new medication or supplementation regimen.
You May Like: Can You Have High Cholesterol And Low Blood Pressure
Weed Out Trans Fats And Saturated Fats
There is so much evidence implicating trans fats in heart disease. “The first thing we do when I’m counseling patients is to go over all the sources of trans fats in their diet and make substitutions,” McManus says.
Trans fats are created by adding hydrogen to a liquid fat to help it solidify. Food manufacturers started using trans fats because they extend the shelf life of packaged baked goods. Fast-food purveyors took to them because they can be reused again and again. Although public pressure has forced the food industry to phase out trans fats, they haven’t disappeared entirely. To avoid eating them inadvertently, scrutinize the labels on food packages before you put them in your shopping cart. If you see “partially hydrogenated” in the list of ingredients, pass that product by. If trans fats aren’t banned from restaurants in your area, ask if the cook uses partially hydrogenated oil before you order.
Saturated fats and dietary cholesterol, which are derived primarily from animal products, aren’t exactly heart-healthy, but it’s all right to eat them in small amounts. McManus says that because eggs are such a good source of nutrients, it’s okay to have as many as four yolks a week and whites as often as you like. She also gives a nod to red meat, shrimp, lobster, high-fat cheeses, butter, and organ meatsbut only to small portions of each one every couple of weeks or so.
Tips To Cut Your Cholesterol Fast
If you have high cholesterol, youâre also at higher risk for heart disease. But the good news is, itâs a risk you can control. You can lower your âbadâ LDL cholesterol and raise your âgoodâ HDL cholesterol. You just have to make some simple changes.
âI tell patients that you have to start somewhere and just keep going,â says Suzanne Steinbaum, DO, an attending cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. âAs you adopt lifestyle changes, everything starts shifting, and the improvements you see at 6 weeks often increase by 3 months.â
Lifestyle isn’t everything — your genes matter, too. You still may need to take medicine to get your cholesterol back on track. But your daily habits do help. if you make just a few simple changes, you might be able to lower your medication dose and chance of side effects.
Follow these tips to cut your cholesterol and improve your health.
Don’t Miss: Is Greek Yogurt Good For Cholesterol
Who Is Most At Risk For Fh
Familial hypercholesterolemia can affect anyone whose family carries the genetic mutation. However, its found more frequently in those who are of French Canadian, Ashkenazi Jewish, Lebanese or Afrikaner descent. The biggest problem with FH is that more than 90% of people who have it havent been diagnosed, which means you should pay careful attention to your family history,
Seth Martin, M.D., M.H.S., associate professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and director of the Advanced Lipid Disorders Center.
If people in your family have had heart attacks, needed stents or had bypass surgery earlier in life before age 55 in men and before 65 in women those are signals that theres something causing your family to be at higher risk for heart disease, he explains. It could be familial hypercholesterolemia.
Use Alcohol In Moderation
When used in moderation, the ethanol in alcoholic drinks increases HDL and reduces the risk of heart disease.
A study of 18 adult women found that drinking 24 grams of alcohol from white wine daily improved HDL by 5%, compared to drinking equal amounts of white grape juice .
Alcohol also improves reverse cholesterol transport, meaning cholesterol is removed from blood and vessel walls and taken back to the liver. This reduces the risk of clogged arteries and heart disease .
While moderate alcohol intake reduces heart disease risk, too much alcohol harms the liver and increases the risk of dependence. The recommended limit is two drinks daily for men and one for women .
12 drinks per day may improve HDL cholesterol and reduce the risk of clogged arteries. However, heavier alcohol use increases heart disease risk and harms the liver.
Also Check: Shrimp And High Cholesterol
You May Like: What Herbal Tea Is Good For Lowering Cholesterol
Good And Bad Cholesterol
Some cholesterol is necessary for proper body function. But dietary saturated fat and cholesterol both raise levels of LDL âbadâ cholesterol. High levels of LDL cholesterol can cause plaque to build up in arteries, leading to heart disease and stroke. HDL is a âgoodâ cholesterol in that it helps eliminate bad cholesterol from your blood. It is possible to lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol with your diet.
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.
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 .
Donât Miss: Does Tuna Have High Cholesterol
You May Like: Which Is The Bad Cholesterol Hdl Or Ldl
What About Using Red Rice Yeast Or Plant Stanols Instead Of Prescription Drugs To Lower Cholesterol
Many people say they prefer to take natural medicines over prescription drugs. However, just because something is natural doesnt mean that its safe. The United States doesnt regulate supplements as closely as medicines. Supplements can also interfere in dangerous ways with medications that you already take.
However, red rice yeast extract does contain the same chemical thats in certain prescription statins like lovastatin. In some cases, you and your healthcare provider might agree that you should try the supplement with monitoring.
Plant stanols are another nonprescription choice for lowering cholesterol. Plant stanols stop your body from absorbing cholesterol in your intestines. You can buy capsules or get plant stanols in some margarine substitutes.
Eat Foods High In Soluble Fibre
Soluble fibre is a type of fibre found in plant food. Because it is not absorbed in the intestine, soluble fibre can bind cholesterol in the intestine and remove it from the body. Its found in fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes.
As you eat more fibrous foods, be sure to also drink plenty of water to prevent constipation.
Don’t Miss: Is Cottage Cheese Good For Cholesterol
Foods Rich In Unsaturated Fats
Cutting down on saturated fat and replace some of it with unsaturated fats is great way to lower your cholesterol. Foods which contain unsaturated fats include:
- vegetable oils such as olive, sunflower, corn, rapeseed, nut and seed oils
- avocado, nuts and seeds
- fat spreads made from vegetable oils, such as sunflower and olive oil
Oily fish are a good source of healthy unsaturated fats, specifically a type called omega-3 fats. Aim to eat two portions of fish per week, at least one of which should be oily. A portion is 140g, but you could have two or three smaller portions throughout the week. Tinned, frozen or fresh all count e.g. salmon, sardines, pilchards, trout, herring and mackerel.
Avoid coconut and palm oil as, unlike other vegetable oils, they are high in saturated fat.
Eliminate Vices Such As Nicotine And Alcohol
Read Also: Do You Need To Fast Before A Cholesterol Test
What Causes High Cholesterol
Some causes of high cholesterol include:
- High intake of foods containing unhealthy fats such as fatty meats and deli-style meats, butter, cream, ice cream, coconut oil, palm oil and most deep-fried takeaway foods and commercially baked products .
- Low intake of foods containing healthy fats healthy fats tend to increase the good cholesterol. Foods containing healthy fats include avocado, nuts, seeds, olives, cooking oils made from plants or seeds, and fish.
- Low intake of foods containing fibre foods that are high in dietary fibre, particularly soluble fibre, can reduce the amount of bad cholesterol in your blood. Include fibre-containing foods in your diet by choosing vegetables, fruits, wholegrains, legumes, nuts and seeds every day.
- Low levels of physical activity and exercise.
- Being overweight or obese and having too much body fat around your middle.
- Smoking can lead to high cholesterol levels.
- Genetics your family history may affect your cholesterol level. In some families, several people might be diagnosed with high cholesterol or heart disease at a relatively young age . This type of pattern can be caused by genetics, including a genetic condition called familial hypercholesterolaemia. Its best to speak to your doctor as soon as possible if you think you might be affected.
Focus On Monounsaturated Fats
As opposed to saturated fats, unsaturated fats have at least one double chemical bond that changes the way your body uses them. Monounsaturated fats have only one double bond.
Some recommend a low fat diet for weight loss, but research is mixed on its effectiveness in controlling blood cholesterol.
One research report acknowledged that lower fat intake is an effective way to reduce blood cholesterol levels. However, researchers were concerned over potential negative effects of low fat diets, such as lowering HDL and increasing triglycerides .
In contrast, research has shown that a diet high in monounsaturated fats, such as the Mediterranean diet, helps reduce levels of harmful LDL and increase levels of healthy HDL .
Monounsaturated fats may also reduce the oxidation of cholesterol, according to research. Oxidized cholesterol can react with free radicals and contribute to clogged arteries. This can lead to atherosclerosis or heart disease .
Overall, monounsaturated fats are healthy because they decrease harmful LDL cholesterol, increase good HDL cholesterol and reduce harmful oxidation (
Monounsaturated fats like those in olive oil, canola oil, tree nuts, and avocados reduce LDL cholesterol, increase HDL cholesterol, and reduce the oxidation that contributes to clogged arteries.
Read Also: Is High Ldl Cholesterol Dangerous
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.