Diet Is An Important Way To Lower Your Cholesterol
High LDL levels are often the result of a diet rich in saturated fats or trans fats.
Saturated fats are found in things like:
- Whole-milk dairy products
Trans fats are frequently found in highly processed foods.
The largest impact on our cholesterol levels comes from replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats, says Kevin Klatt, PhD, RD, a nutrition researcher at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Eliminating these foods from your diet is a good first step in improving your LDL.
The second step is to add in foods that help lower your LDL. One important category is foods that contain heart-healthy fats, such as a number of fatty fish, and plant-based fats, such as those found in nuts, seeds, and plant-based oils.
Another important group of foods are those that contain soluble fiber, which can be found in certain fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Soluble fiber works by binding to bile, which contains cholesterol, and removing it from the body.
A high fiber diet has been shown to be effective in lowering cholesterol, says Julia Zumpano, RD, a dietitian at the Cleveland Clinic.
In addition to containing soluble fiber, plant-based diets have been shown to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, as reported in a study published in the August 2019 Journal of the American Heart Association.
Here are eight foods that can help lower your cholesterol.
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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.
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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.
Lowering Your High Cholesterol: 6 Exercises That Will Pay Off
When you were first diagnosed with high cholesterol, your doctor may have talked to you about exercise. Besides improving your diet, exercising is one of the most effective lifestyle changes you can make to help bring your numbers down naturally.
Your first thought may have been, I hate running. Or maybe you like running, but youve been sidelined lately because of an injury. Or maybe you dont mind jogging, but you hate the treadmill.
Running isnt the only way to turn your health around. Theres no doubt that its an effective aerobic exercise, but several other good choices are available that can help counteract the negative affects high cholesterol has on your health.
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Curb Cholesterol Not Flavor
Itâs no secret that certain foods can help you lower your LDL cholesterol, which causes a buildup of plaque in the arteries that leads to heart disease, heart attacks, and stroke. But what may surprise you is that many of these foods are delicious and easy to incorporate into your everyday meals without sacrificing flavor or fun.
Try Having One Vegetarian Meal Every Week
Dont let the word vegetarian scare you. By choosing a smartly prepared vegetarian meal, youre hitting multiple cholesterol-lowering goals at the same time, like eating healthier fats and getting more soluble fiber. Plus, many vegetarian meals are just as flavorful and filling as their meaty cousins.
Heres one idea for a low-cholesterol recipe: Try a freshly prepared salad with a sesame vinaigrette and some grilled, spiced tofu. For dessert, add some fresh blueberries, strawberries and oats to low-fat vanilla yogurt.
The key here is to build up a routine, like making every Tuesday night vegetarian night. Once that becomes the norm, try expanding to different nights, or add a weekly vegetarian lunch, too. You can also be flexitarian by just eating smaller portions of meat. Over time, these modifications can really pay off.
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Healthy Food And Snacks That Help Lower Your Cholesterol
An experienced cardiologist shared good food and snacks that lower cholesterol and strengthen our hearts health.
As we age, we tend to look for food that lower cholesterol in hopes of developing a healthy heart. In truth, excessive cholesterol can never do good to your body. Fortunately, experts discovered and shared different food and snacks that can help lower ones cholesterol.
Food is something that helps provide nutrients beneficial to the human body. Nutrients are substances that give energy for us to be capable of doing things using our physical body. Aside from that, it also helps all functions of the body, including breathing, digesting food and keeping our body warm.
While foods are the number one source of nutrients, they could also sometimes provides us with bad cholesterol. Concerning this, did you know that cholesterol can be good and bad?
Unfortunately, excessive cholesterol causes several health problems to our bodies in the long run. You might develop fatty deposits in your blood vessels if you have high cholesterol.
A persons heart can be of a disadvantage if the deposits grow fast it makes it difficult for enough blood to flow through arteries. The stakes can break suddenly and form a clot, resulting in a health attack or stroke.
Fortunately, experts found ways to prevent worse-case scenarios from happening. Recently, an experienced cardiologist shared good food and snacks that lower cholesterol and strengthen our hearts health.
What Are Saturated Fats
Saturated fats are generally solid or waxy at room temperature and are most often found in animal products and tropical oils. The following foods contain saturated fats:
- Fatty cuts of beef, pork, lamb, veal, and the skin of poultry.
- Hot dogs, bacon and high-fat luncheon meats, such as salami and bologna.
- Full fat and processed cheeses, cream cheese.
- High-fat dairy products, such as whole milk, cream, half and half, butter and sour cream.
- Lard, bacon fat, sauces and gravies made from animal fat.
- Most fried foods and fast foods.
- Tropical oils – palm, palm kernel and coconut.
- Baked goods made with lard, butter or tropical oils.
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Foods That Lower Your Cholesterol
Some foods can actively help to lower your cholesterol and they all work in different ways. Try to include these foods in your meals whenever you can:
1. Oats and barley
Eating whole grain foods reduces your risk of heart disease. Oats and barley are extra special because they are high in a type of soluble fibre called ‘beta glucan’. Beta glucan helps to lower ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol in your blood2,3.
Tip: Flavoured oat products like ‘Quick Oats’ often contain added salt and/or sugar. Choose products that contain 100% oats as they’re closest to how theyre found in nature.
2. Vegetables and fruit
Eating a variety of colourful vegetables and fruit everyday can help protect you against heart disease, stroke and some cancers4,5. Many vegetables and fruit are high in soluble fibre which helps to reduce the absorption of cholesterol and lower ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol in your blood.
Tip: Leave the skins on vegetables like pumpkin, kmara and carrot to maximise your intake of fibre. Use orange and lemon peel in dressings and sauces.
3. Foods rich in heart-healthy fats
Eating plenty of foods that contain heart-healthy mono and poly-unsaturated fats increases the levels of ‘good’ HDL cholesterol in your blood.
These foods contain heart-healthy fats.
- Vegetable oils and spreads
Eating these foods instead of foods high in saturated fat improves your cholesterol. Itll reduce your risk of heart disease too6.
4. Legumes and beans
6. Soy products
7. Plant sterols
Eat More Polyunsaturated Fats
Polyunsaturated fats include omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Both omega-3 and omega-6 are known as essential fatty acids. Essential refers to the fact that the body cannot produce these oils, and a person can only get them directly from food sources.
Evidence notes that consuming these fats instead of saturated fat can have a beneficial effect on blood cholesterol levels by reducing LDL cholesterol without affecting HDL cholesterol.
Dietary sources of polyunsaturated fats
According to the United States Food and Drug Administration , most Americans do not consume the recommended amount of dietary fiber. The recommended amount is around 28 grams a day based on a 2,000-calorie daily diet.
However, it is worth noting that consuming too much soluble fiber may lead to constipation, bloating, and stomach pain. People should try to increase their soluble fiber intake gradually over time.
Regular exercise benefits a persons health in many ways. This includes helping to lower bad cholesterol levels and raising good cholesterol levels.
For example, the results of a involving 425 older adults demonstrated that moderate and vigorous physical activity lowered blood pressure and blood sugar levels and increased HDL cholesterol levels.
People new to exercise may want to start with lower-intensity activities and gradually build the intensity of their workouts. Additionally, individuals with chronic conditions or disabilities
- bile acids, which help the body digest fats
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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 Fruits Vegetables Whole Grains And Beans
Our typical American diet is now abbreviated as SAD by scientists nationwide because its full of foods that do sad things to both hearts and waistlines. Hyperprocessed foods like potato chips and French fries. Sugar-saturated drinks. And fatty, artery-clogging meats and full-fat dairy foods like cheese.
We dont have to become complete vegetarians to get our cholesterol levels into healthy ranges, studies on the Pritikin Program have found, but clearly, the more vegetables, fruits, potatoes, and other naturally-fiber-rich plant foods we eat, the healthier well be.
Plant foods high in soluble fiber are especially beneficial in lowering total and LDL bad cholesterol levels. Good sources include beans , yams, oats , barley, and berries.
For simple tips on bringing more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans into your life, here is a 5-day sample healthy meal plan from the doctors and dietitians at Pritikin Longevity Center.
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Know Your Numbers And What To Do About Them
When it comes to cholesterol, it’s important to know your numbers. Hyperlipidemia means your blood has too many lipids , such as cholesterol and triglycerides. One type of hyperlipidemia, hypercholesterolemia, means you have too much non-HDL cholesterol and LDL cholesterol in your blood. This condition increases fatty deposits in arteries and the risk of blockages.
Another way your cholesterol numbers can be out of balance is when your HDL cholesterol level is too low. With less HDL to remove cholesterol from your arteries, your risk of atherosclerotic plaque and blockages increases.
If youre diagnosed with hyperlipidemia, your overall health and other risks such as smoking or high blood pressure will help guide treatment. These factors can combine with high LDL cholesterol or low HDL cholesterol levels to affect your cardiovascular health. Your doctor may use the ASCVD Risk Calculator to assess your risk of a coronary event in the next 10 years.
The good news is, high cholesterol can be lowered, reducing risk of heart disease and stroke. If youre 20 years or older, have your cholesterol tested and work with your doctor to adjust your cholesterol levels as needed.
Often, changing behaviors can help bring your numbers into line. If lifestyle changes alone dont improve your cholesterol levels, medication may be prescribed. Lifestyle changes include:
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How To Lower Your Cholesterol Naturally
Maybe youve been told to avoid eggs because of it.Or maybe youve tried to cut back on it because you heard it causes heart disease.Or maybe youve wondered what the difference is between HDL and LDL cholesterol.
There has been a good deal of controversy and confusion surrounding cholesterol but science is sure about one thing: high cholesterol can have negative health effects.
If you are curious about natural ways to lower your cholesterol, research points to several lifestyle factors that may help. Here, well detail several natural ways to lower cholesterol so you can keep working toward your wellness goals.
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