How To Lower Cholesterol And Triglycerides
Triglycerides are a type of lipid, or fat, your body produces to store extra calories and provide energy. Cholesterol is another lipid that circulates in your blood. Your body uses cholesterol to build cells and produce hormones.
Both triglycerides and cholesterol are essential for your health but having levels that are too high puts your health at risk. Living a healthy lifestyle helps to keep your cholesterol and triglyceride levels within a normal range.
The Link Between Dietary And Blood Cholesterol
The liver produces as much cholesterol as your body needs. It packages cholesterol with fat in whats called very low-density lipoproteins .
As VLDL delivers fat to cells throughout the body, it changes into the more dense LDL, which carries cholesterol wherever it is needed.
The liver also releases HDL, which then carries unused cholesterol back to the liver. This process is called reverse cholesterol transport, and it protects against clogged arteries and other types of heart disease.
Some lipoproteins, especially LDL and VLDL, are prone to damage by free radicals in a process called oxidation. Oxidized LDL and VLDL are even more harmful to heart health .
Although food companies often advertise products as being low in cholesterol, recent research has shown that dietary cholesterol actually has only a small influence on the amount of cholesterol in the body .
This is because the liver changes the amount of cholesterol it makes depending on how much you eat. When your body absorbs more cholesterol from your diet, it makes less in the liver.
Current guidelines by leading U.S. health organizations for lowering risk of heart disease no longer contain specific recommended levels for dietary cholesterol, including the:
- American Heart Association (
- 7 )
The guidelines do recommend moderating cholesterol consumption, but this is more to limit the saturated fat that often accompanies cholesterol in foods than to limit intake of cholesterol itself .
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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/8here Is How To Lower Bad Cholesterol Level
High level of LDL cholesterol, also referred to as bad cholesterol is a common health concern. It is linked with serious health ailments like heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure and diabetes, which at times can turn fatal. This makes it vital to keep a track of the cholesterol level to evade life-threatening health issues.
Is Metamucil The Best Natural Prescription
No. Dont ever think that Metamucil is a one-shot deal something that in and of itself can miraculously clear up cholesterol problems, points out Kimberly Gomer, Director of Nutrition and Educator at the Pritikin Longevity Center.
Whats most effective in terms of improving LDL blood cholesterol and heart health is comprehensive lifestyle changes, particularly dietary changes, that involve eating a lot more fiber-rich, whole foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes , and whole grains, and a lot less saturated fat and trans fat.
Foods with saturated fat include butter, fatty flesh like red meat, full-fat and low-fat dairy products, palm oil, and coconut oil.
Trans fats are found in some margarines and many snack foods like fries, donuts, cookies, and crackers. If you see partially hydrogenated fat or oil in the Ingredient List of a food label, that food has trans fats.
Other lifestyle changes that help reduce total and LDL cholesterol include:
- Losing excess weight
- Eating fewer refined sugars
- Eating fewer refined grains
- Exercising regularly
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I Do Not Get The Necessary Result But Im Only Interested In A Non
There are a number of excellent herbal or natural cholesterol busters on the market. Herbal varieties usually contain either red yeast rice or guggul gum extract, both of which have been used for centuries and are effective in regulating blood lipids. The non-herbal natural busters usually contain ingredients that either absorb cholesterol themselves or inhibit the absorption of cholesterol from foods. Read our article on natural cholesterol-lowering foods, herbs, vitamins and supplements. They are safe and are a good alternative to prescription drugs, especially when combined with a proper diet and exercise.
In conclusion, how long to reduce cholesterol will depend on your commitment and discipline to working actively towards your goal. Finally, we must say that all these current polemics and the surrounding hysteria around cholesterol do not really help to approach the subject objectively enough. But at least we know that we have bet on the right cards when we take care to eat and live healthily.
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.
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How Quickly Can I Lower My Cholesterol
Your cholesterol levels may lower as quickly as a few weeks to a few months, depending on your treatment plan.
If your levels are very high, your healthcare provider may recommend taking medications at the start of your treatment plan. This may help lower your cholesterol levels more quickly. The sooner you can lower your bad cholesterol levels, the sooner you can lower your risk for plaques to form.
You can also lower your cholesterol through lifestyle and diet changes alone, but it may take three to six months to see results. Talk with your healthcare provider to figure out the best treatment plan for you.
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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 To Lower Triglycerides And Cholesterol Naturally
Your genes, diet, and lifestyle all affect your triglyceride and cholesterol levels. Some people naturally produce more triglycerides and cholesterol than others. This is based on their genetics and family history. Still, these levels are just part of your overall lipid levels, and lifestyle changes are one of the best ways to keep your numbers within a healthy range.
Switch To A Mediterranean Diet
There are actually many dietary guidelines that you can follow to improve your cholesterol , but if youre looking for the easiest way to do it, you cant beat the Mediterranean diet. High in fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts, fish, and olive oil, but low in red meat, this diet encapsulates many of the common dietary suggestions youll encounter.
Not only that, but Mediterranean diet recipes are easy and can use produce from your garden. Take advantage of our extended summer and use up some of the excess produce thats still on the vine.
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Does Lowering Your Cholesterol Protect You From Ever Having A Heart Attack
Not necessarily. Since their arrival in the 1990s in Americans medicine cabinets nationwide, statin drugs have indeed proven very effective for reducing high LDL levels, and they do slow the progression of cholesterol-filled plaques. But sadly, the #1 cause of death in Americans taking statins to lower their elevated LDL levels is still heart attacks, states Kimberly Gomer, MS, RD, LDN, one of the many faculty who teach wellness education and nutrition workshops at the Pritikin Longevity Center.
Is Metamucil Available In Tablet Form
Metamucil is available in powder form, capsule form, and single serving packet form. Metamucil Fiber Thins are a great fiber snack option.
Ive been taking Metamucil for at least a year, and Ive noticed that I get really bloated in the mornings. Instead of taking Metamucil in the morning Id much rather take it in the evening. So I was wondering is it better to take Metamucil in the morning or at night?. Read more about why should you not take metamucil before bed and let us know what you think.
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What Is The Ideal Level Of Cholesterol
The ideal or healthy amount of total cholesterol is about 199 mg/dL or lower than that. If the level of your cholesterol is 240 mg/dL or more, then you should be careful because it is higher than the recommended amount and may cause adverse effect to your health. If the range is between 200 to 239 mg/dL, it is within the borderline.
For the LDL, it is recommended to maintain 100 mg/dL or lower than that and the higher level is 160 mg/dL or beyond. 130 to 159 mg/dL is within the borderline level that is tolerable.
It is recommended to have regular checkup of your cholesterol every 4 to 6 years when you reach the age of 20.
Myth: I Dont Need Statins Or Other Medicines For My Cholesterol I Can Manage My Cholesterol With Diet And Exercise
Fact: Although many people can achieve good cholesterol levels by making healthy food choices and getting enough physical activity, some people may also need medicines called statins to lower their cholesterol levels. Guidelinesexternal icon also suggest that other medicines in addition to statins may be needed to help control cholesterol.2
People who may need statins or other medicines to manage cholesterol levels include the following:
- People with familial hypercholesterolemia or people with very high levels of bad cholesterol. FH is a genetic condition that causes very high LDL cholesterol levels beginning at a young age. If left untreated, cholesterol levels will continue to get worse. This greatly raises the risk for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke at a young age.
- People with cardiovascular disease . People with CVD may already have narrowed arteries because of too much plaque. Medicines that lower cholesterol may help reduce the risk for heart attack or stroke.
- People with diabetes.Type 2 diabetes lowers HDL or good cholesterol levels and raises bad cholesterol levels. This combination raises your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Other groups of people may also need medicines to manage their cholesterol, including people who have a high risk for CVD. Always talk to your health care provider about the best ways to manage your cholesterol.
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If You Take Cyclosporine
Cyclosporine is used to treat a number of conditions, including psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis. Its also used to prevent organ rejection after transplants. The AAFP recommends avoiding pitavastatin and pravastatin if you are taking cyclosporine. Other statins including atorvastatin, lovastatin, rosuvastatin, and fluvastatin may require dose adjustments.
Only about 3 to 4 percent of people who take statins dont do well on them, Harvard Health Publications report. For some of these individuals, statins arent effective in lowering cholesterol. Other people experience side effects.
How Can I Improve My Cholesterol Levels
Cholesterol levels are generally a reflection of lifestyle. The first step to improve your cholesterol levels is through lifestyle modifications, which refers to dietary modification, weight reduction, regular physical activity/exercise, smoking cessation and alcohol restriction.13 Healthy lifestyle can lower your low-density lipoprotein cholesterol by 2030%.4
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How Long Does It Take To Reduce Cholesterol
Cholesterol drops over time, not suddenly, after a few days of healthier living. There is no set period in which cholesterol is guaranteed to drop.
Cholesterol-lowering drugs usually produce a change in LDL within 6 to 8 weeks. It is possible for lifestyle changes to change cholesterol levels within weeks. However, it may take longer,
- Total cholesterol: less than 200 milligrams per deciliter
- LDL bad cholesterol: less than 100 mg/dL
- HDL good cholesterol: higher than 60 mg/dL
- Triglycerides: less than 150 mg/dL
According to an article in the journal , the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association recommend using statins to lower cholesterol in people with cholesterol higher outside of these levels.
However, they also recommend doctors consider a persons cholesterol levels and overall risk of cardiovascular disease before prescribing a cholesterol-lowering medication.
The AHA recommends that people with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease get high-intensity statin therapy maximally tolerated statin therapy to lower LDL by at least 50%.
The AHA also recommends high-intensity statin therapy for individuals with severe primary hypercholesterolemia .
There are a number of habit changes a person can incorporate into their daily routines in order to gradually and consistently lower their LDL levels over time. Including:
How I Lowered My Cholesterol 44 Points Without Medication
NOTE: This post was written in 2013 but has been revised and updated several times since.
6 months ago I opened the letter from my clinic and saw the results of my blood test. My cholesterol was 243. Thats high. Medication is often recommended for a cholesterol level above 240. So now I knew I had to do something.
I had just been in for a routine physical exam. I knew my cholesterol could be a little high. 2 years ago it was 203 which is borderline high.
With my level now at 243 my doctor recommended I try to lower my cholesterol naturally with diet and exercise. Then, after trying that, if my cholesterol was still high I would be advised to go on cholesterol lowering medication. I did not want that. So I started researching about how to lower my cholesterol without medication.
Lowering My Cholesterol Getting StartedThe most common advice is to eat less fatty foods and less junk food. Eat more fruits and vegetables. And of course get more exercise.
Most people already know these things. But there were a few new things I learned.
I had no idea that sugar could cause heart disease. I thought it was just fatty foods and lack of exercise. More about this in a minute.
I hadnt really thought about processed food being bad. The more I learned the more I discovered it to be true.
White bread should be avoided. Im even getting to the point of avoiding wheat bread because there is apparently evidence that wheat is bad for you.
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Plant Sterols Can Lower Cholesterol Levels
Plant sterols are found naturally in plant foods including sunflower and canola seeds, vegetable oils and in nuts, legumes, cereals, fruit and vegetables. Some margarine and milks have concentrated plant sterols added to them. Margarines enriched with plant sterolslower LDL cholesterol in most people if the correct amount is eaten .
Dangers Of High Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a naturally occurring substance made by the liver and required by the body for the proper function of cells, nerves and hormones.
Although your body needs cholesterol, excess cholesterol can build up and form a fatty plaque on the walls of the arteries, decreasing the flow of blood to vital areas of the body. If plaque continues to build long-term, it can significantly increase the risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
So what causes high cholesterol? Believe it or not, the answer goes way beyond a high cholesterol diet.
While cholesterol is normally kept in balance, an unhealthy diet high in hydrogenated fats and refined carbohydrates can disrupt this delicate balance, leading to increased cholesterol levels. This imbalance is manifested in elevated LDL and low HDL , which increases the risk of heart attack or stroke. Other causes can include physical inactivity, diabetes, stress and hypothyroidism.
But keep in mind that not all cholesterol is created equally. LDL cholesterol, also known as bad cholesterol, is the form that can build up on the artery walls and increase your risk of heart disease. HDL cholesterol, on the other hand, is often dubbed good cholesterol because it travels through the bloodstream, removing harmful cholesterol from the arteries to help enhance heart health.
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