Avoid Artificial Trans Fats
While trans fats occur naturally in red meat and dairy products, most peoples main source is artificial trans fat used in many restaurants and processed foods .
Artificial trans fats are produced by hydrogenating or adding hydrogen to unsaturated fats such as vegetable oils to change their structure and solidify them at room temperature.
Trans fats make a cheap alternative to natural saturated fats and have been widely used by restaurants and food manufacturers.
However, substantive research shows that eating artificial trans fats increases bad LDL cholesterol, lowers good HDL cholesterol and is linked to a 23% greater risk of heart disease (
Summary Artificial trans fats are linked to higher LDL cholesterol levels and an increased risk of heart disease. Recently, the US banned their use in restaurants and processed foods, making them easier to avoid.
How Do I Lower My Cholesterol Your 5 Top Questions Answered
High cholesterol could be caused by things we can control like lifestyle habits, or things we cant like age and family history. Keeping on top of the things you can control with simple changes can help to lower your risk of heart and circulatory disease. We answer your questions with simple tips to help you start making changes today.
What Makes Up A Heart
Eat lots of fruits, vegetables and plant-based foods
Vegetables, pulses , fruits, nuts, seeds and wholegrains are full of nutrients and good for your cholesterol and your heart. Go for at least five portions of fruit and veg a day to stay healthy and help you eat less high-calorie foods. Fresh, frozen, canned and dried all count.
Eat a variety of healthy sources of protein such as peas, beans, lentils, fish, nuts, chicken and lean red meat.
These foods are high in protein and nutrients but low in saturated fat. If you eat red meat, make sure it’s lean and watch the quantity. Eat less meat and more plant foods by swapping some meat-based meals for vegetarian options.
Eat some low-fat dairy products or fortified dairy alternatives
Dairy foods contain calcium which is essential for good health. Choose low fat options to avoid the saturated fat. When choosing dairy alternatives, go for unsweetened, calcium-fortified varieties.
Swap saturated fats for heart-healthy fats
Include starchy foods which are high in fibre
Choose wholegrain options such as wholemeal bread and chapatti, brown rice, wholemeal pasta or wholegrain breakfast cereals. They contain lots of nutrients, as well as fibre which helps with digestion and keeps you feeling full so you dont snack. Choose these instead of white rice, white bread and white pasta.
Cut down on sugary foods and drinks
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Use Liquid Vegetable Oils In Place Of Solid Fats
Liquid vegetable oils such as canola, safflower, sunflower, soybean and olive oil can often be used instead of solid fats, such as butter, lard or shortening. If you must use margarine, try the soft or liquid kind.
Use a little liquid oil to:
- Pan-fry fish and poultry.
- Make cream sauces and soups using low-fat or fat-free milk.
- Add to whipped or scalloped potatoes using low-fat or fat-free milk.
- Brown rice for Spanish, curried or stir-fried rice.
- Cook dehydrated potatoes and other prepared foods that call for fat to be added.
- Make pancakes or waffles.
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.
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Reduce Your Intake Of Saturated And Trans Fats
Adopt and follow a healthy diet thats low in saturated and trans fats. A diet high in these fats can raise levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood.
Saturated fat is usually solid at room temperature. Its found in animal products such as meat and dairy, but also in palm oil, coconut oil and full-cream milk. Read more about saturated fat-rich foods here.
Trans fats are found in store-bought baked goods, snack foods and deep-fried foods. There is strong evidence that trans fats increase levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood, while decreasing levels of HDL cholesterol.
Some foods contain cholesterol . Foods that contain cholesterol include liver, pate, kidneys, prawns and egg yolks. These types of food are not usually eaten in large quantities, so its OK to include them in your diet in small amounts.
Foods that contain saturated fats have a greater effect on blood cholesterol levels than foods that contain dietary cholesterol.
British Heart Foundation Blood Pressure Monitor Buying Guide
1) Ask your doctor2) Buy a monitor with an upper cuff3) Check your cuff size4) Make sure it’s UK approved: 5) Recording your results:6) Understand the features:
- AFIB Screening: Atrial fibrillation is a common abnormal heart rhythm . It causes your heart to beat abnormally, which might feel like your heart is fluttering. The AFIB screening feature can offer an early alert to detect that your heart rhythm is not beating normally. .
- Go to doctor/traffic light alerts: Some blood pressure monitors include an automated alert to warn if your blood pressure is abnormal.
- Movement Error Indicator: This feature detects if the results have been compromised due to excessive limb or body movement during the test.
- Extended warranty: A number of blood pressure monitors include an extended warranty, this can be particularly useful with frequent use.
- Detection Modes: Detection modes may offer a 7-day self-measurement program as well as a ‘Usual Mode’ for 3 consecutive measurements for an average reading.
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Increase Your Physical Activity
Physical activity increases levels of HDL cholesterol the good cholesterol that removes LDL cholesterol from the blood. Vigorous aerobic exercise is best.
If you havent been exercising much lately, gradually build up to the recommended amount of physical activity:
- People aged 18-64 years should do 30 to 60 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most days of the week.
- People aged 65 years and over should aim for a total of 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days .
Moderate-intensity exercise is a level that increases your heart rate and breathing but allows you to keep talking. Vigorous intensity exercise makes your heart rate higher and makes you breathe more heavily.
Resistance training and muscle-toning exercises can increase HDL cholesterol. Aim to do this twice a week.
Low Cholesterol Diet Plan For Beginners
Learn how to lower your high cholesterol and improve your heart health by following this simple 7-day low cholesterol meal plan for beginners.
In this 7-day plan for beginners, we map out a week of healthy meals and snacks that will help lower your cholesterol. To keep it simple, we meal-prep breakfast and lunch so you can grab-and-go plus we focus on simple recipes without lengthy ingredient lists. Bonusyou’ll see several one-pot and sheet-pan dinners which means less time spent on cleanup. To help lower cholesterol, we include plenty of fiberan important nutrient for both gut and heart healthby focusing on fruits and vegetables, whole grains and legumes while limiting cholesterol-raising saturated fat and simple carbohydrates.
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Tips To Lower Cholesterol With Your Diet
Cholesterol is a waxy substance produced by your liver and obtained by eating animal products such as meat, dairy and eggs.
Your liver will produce less cholesterol if you consume a lot of this substance from food, so dietary cholesterol rarely has a great impact on total cholesterol levels.
However, eating large amounts of saturated fat, trans fat and sugars can raise cholesterol levels.
Bear in mind that there are different types of cholesterol.
While good HDL cholesterol may be beneficial for your health, high levels of bad LDL cholesterol, particularly when oxidized, have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke .
Thats because oxidized LDL cholesterol is more likely to stick to the walls of your arteries and form plaques, which clog these blood vessels.
Here are 10 tips to lower cholesterol with your diet and help reduce your risk of heart disease.
Enjoy A Tipple But In Moderation
Many of us who enjoy a glass of wine may think its a good way to look after our heart. But the truth is, eating healthily, stopping smoking and being more active are far more beneficial to heart health than drinking alcohol. In fact, alcohol is more likely to damage, rather than protect, our heart, especially when we drink more than is recommended.
Drinking too much increases the chances of having raised triglycerides and high blood pressure and can cause abnormal heart rhythms . Plus, alcohol is high in calories, an excess of which can lead to unwanted weight gain and being overweight increases the risk of high blood cholesterol. It can also hinder our good intentions to eat more healthily. In short, too much booze in the long term means were more likely to have a heart attack or stroke and it increases our risk of developing other conditions including some cancers and liver disease .
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If Lifestyle Changes Arent Enough
Take medications, if you need to, to lower your cholesterol into healthy ranges. Drugs like statins can be very effective, says Dr. Danine Fruge, MD, ABFP – Medical Director at the Pritikin Longevity Center, but do continue in your efforts to eat well and exercise because a healthy lifestyle can give you far, far more than drugs alone.
With a healthy living program like Pritikin, youre not only reducing cholesterol quickly, youre also creating changes throughout your body that can profoundly improve your overall well-being. Youre reducing blood sugar levels and blood pressure. Other heart disease risk factors like triglyceride fats are also dropping dramatically. Youre also reducing inflammatory factors that sicken arteries. Youre shedding excess weight. And, quite simply, youre feeling better, much better. Many of our guests at Pritikin tell us, I had no idea I could feel this good again.
Can any pill or combination of pills do all of the above? I highly doubt it. But a healthy lifestyle like Pritikin can.
How To Keep Fat Intake Under Control
- Grill, bake, steam, microwave, boil or poach most of the time rather than frying or roasting.
- If you use oil in cooking or drizzle it over salads, measure it out with a spoon rather than pouring it straight from the bottle. The same goes for dressings.
- Remove the skin from chicken and the fat from meat before you cook it.
- Swap fatty meats and processed meats such as sausages, burgers and salami for lean meat, poultry, fish, tofu, beans, lentils or chickpeas. Use smaller amounts of meat, too.
- Stick with recommended amounts of spreads made with unsaturated oils like rapeseed oil. Benecol spreads are a great choice as they have plant stanols added to them, ingredients that are shown to lower cholesterol.
- Eat fewer high-fat snack foods such as crisps, chocolates, doughnuts, cakes, pastries and biscuits.
- Limit the amount of pastry products you eat such as pies, pasties, tarts and flans.
- Use semi-skimmed, 1% fat or skimmed milk instead of full-fat milk.
- Choose low-fat or reduced-fat varieties of dairy products such as reduced-fat cheese and low-fat yogurts. Benecol Yogurts are low in fat and also have cholesterol-lowering plant stanols added to them.
- Dont add cream to puddings, sauces or coffee.
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Oats And Oat Bran: Just A Little Every Day
Oats and oat bran contain beta-glucan, a water-soluble fiber that helps reduce the amount of LDL cholesterol circulating in the blood. A meta-analysis published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in December 2014 found that a daily intake of at least 3 grams of oat beta-glucan reduces total cholesterol and cuts LDL cholesterol levels. That’s the amount in ¼ cup of uncooked oat bran or 1½ cups of cooked steel-cut oatmeal.
More Protection Is On The Way
One other very important risk marker is lipoprotein, a unique type of cholesterol that is linked to early heart disease and aortic valve stenosis a condition in which a valve in the heart can’t open fully. Identifying this risk factor is key in patients with early disease or when multiple family members suffer from heart disease, especially as new therapies are in development targeting this specific cholesterol and may significantly lower their heart disease risk.
Finding the right therapy will require a discussion with a cardiologist, Dr. Gianos says. Sometimes cost, side effects and the ease of taking a medication may have an impact on a patients treatment.
For some patients, we may be able to connect them with something new in a clinical trial, she says. For others, we may need to take a larger perspective and conduct genetic tests and find out what role their family history may play in their treatment. Its key for patients to understand how these factors, along with cholesterol levels, affect their cardiovascular health.
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Cut Back On Animal Fats
Forgo fatty, processed meats such as bologna, salami, pepperoni and hot dogs, as well as fatty red meats like ribs and prime cuts of beef, pork, veal or lamb. Also, skip skin-on chicken or turkey. Avoid full-fat dairy products such as whole milk, cheese, cream, sour cream, cream cheese and butter. These foods contain saturated fat as well as cholesterol, which are both associated with higher blood cholesterol and plaque buildup.
Battling High Cholesterol There Are New Treatments That Can Help Manage Your Levels And Protect Your Heart
A staggering 28 million adults in the United States have high cholesterol they have too many lipids in their blood.
That number, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , doesnt even tell us the entire story. Though high cholesterol is a leading cause of heart attacks and strokes, the condition has no symptoms. Many people have no clue their cholesterol is too high.
A simple blood test can measure cholesterol levels, and the CDC recommends that most healthy adults have cholesterol levels checked every four to six years. The test measures LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.
Youve probably heard that lifestyle changes are your first line of defense against high cholesterol. And for good reason: Adopting a healthy lifestyle can drop high cholesterol by as much as 10%.
The American Heart Association recommends following a diet featuring whole grains and plenty of produce while reducing your intake of meat and sugar. Nutritional meals plus regular exercise, avoiding tobacco and maintaining a healthy weight, will go a long way to protecting your heart and arteries.
However, some patients will need additional help to manage their cholesterol levels, and their doctor may recommend additional medical intervention.
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Cholesterol And Healthy Eating
What we eat has an impact on our cholesterol levels and can help reduce our risk of disease. Try to eat a wide variety of foods from each of the five food groups. Not only does this help to maintain a healthy and interesting diet, but it provides essential nutrients to the body.
The Heart Foundation recommends:
- Plenty of vegetables, fruits and wholegrains.
- A variety of healthy protein sources , legumes , nuts and seeds. Smaller amounts of eggs and lean poultry can also be included in a heart healthy diet. If choosing red meat, make sure it is lean and limit to 1-3 times a week.
- Unflavoured milk, yoghurt and cheese. Those with high blood cholesterol should choose reduced fat varieties.
- Healthy fat choices nuts, seeds, avocados, olives and their oils for cooking
- Herbs and spices to flavour foods, instead of adding salt.
Also, be mindful on how much you are eating and whether you are filling up on unhealthy foods. Portion sizes have increased over time and many of us are eating more than we need which can lead to obesity and increase our risk of cardiovascular disease.
Ideally, a healthy plate would include servings of ¼ protein, ¼ carbohydrates and ½ vegetables.
Serving size can vary depending on age, gender and specific nutrition needs.
Cholesterol: Stay In Control To Help Prevent Heart Disease Heart Attack And Stroke
Adults age 20 and older should have their cholesterol and other traditional risk factors checked every four to six years as long as their risk remains low. After age 40, your health care professional will use an equation to calculate your 10-year risk of heart attack or stroke.
To help lower both cholesterol and high blood pressure, experts recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise a week, such as walking, biking or swimming.
Understanding and improving cholesterol is important for people of all ages, including children and teens. Maintaining healthy cholesterol levels can help keep your heart healthy and lower your chances of getting heart disease or having a stroke.
High cholesterol usually has no symptoms. In fact, about 38% of adults in the United States are diagnosed with high cholesterol, according to the American Heart Association. Understanding what cholesterol is, the role it plays, when to get screened and how to manage it are important aspects of protecting your overall health and prevent a heart attack or stroke.
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Apples: Rich In Fiber And Beneficial Antioxidants
As with beans, apples are an excellent source of LDL-lowering soluble fiber, primarily pectin. Research published in December 2014 in the European Journal of Nutrition also shows that eating an apple a day can slow the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. This health benefit comes thanks to antioxidant polyphenols found primarily in apple skin . Antioxidants are important because inflammation and plaque buildup in the arteries are more likely to occur when LDL cholesterol interacts with free radicals and becomes oxidized.