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.
Simple Ways To Naturally Lower Cholesterol Levels
What is cholesterol and how do you lower cholesterol without taking drugs prescribed from your doctor?
Cholesterol, a waxy substance that the body uses to make hormones and other important substances. Its also found in some foods such as eggs, meat, poultry, and whole-milk dairy products.
The level of cholesterol in your blood is called blood cholesterol. If its too high over time, you may develop heart disease or stroke.
We have all heard that having a high cholesterol level can lead to many life-threatening conditions, but did you know that there is good and bad cholesterol?
The good cholesterol is called HDL Cholesterol, while the bad is called LDL Cholesterol.
Careclinic A Health App To Document Your Cholesterol Levels
If you are interested in regularly documenting your cholesterol levels, you can trust CareClinics health app for such purposes. You can enter your cholesterol values on a regular basis, getting monthly reports that you can share with the doctor. These reports will offer a clear perspective on your health status, allowing the doctor to recommend potential lifestyle changes and medication to bring down cholesterol levels.
The health app can be used to record additional health measurements and various symptoms associated with hypercholesterolemia or co-existing conditions. It is free and simple to use, allowing you to set up medication reminders and also to record your weight loss progress, levels of physical activity and so on. You can rely on it to record the treatment plan recommended for various conditions as well.
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Fenugreek Seeds For Bad Cholesterol
If you are interested in knowing, how to reduce cholesterol without medication then fenugreek seeds are right choice. Fenugreek seeds come with some components that reduce the absorption of cholesterol by the body, which comes from the rich in fats.
Fenugreek seeds are rich in minerals like calcium, selenium, and zinc. Also, fenugreek seeds are loaded with vitamins A, B, and C.taking fenugreek seeds daily can also reduce the risk of heart attack by 25%.
Limit Your Alcohol Intake
Alcohol can increase your levels of triglycerides. Along with LDL cholesterol, high levels of triglycerides raise your risk of heart disease.
Excess alcohol consumption also increases blood pressure and can lead to obesity both additional risk factors for heart disease.
To reduce the risk of heart disease and other risks from alcohol, limit your intake to no more than 10 standard drinks per week and no more than 4 drinks per day.
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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 creates concerns.
Like fat, cholesterol does not dissolve in water. Instead, to move around the body, it depends on molecules called lipoproteins. These carry cholesterol, fat, and fat-soluble vitamins in your blood.
Different kinds of lipoproteins have different effects on health. For example, high levels of low-density lipoprotein results in cholesterol deposits in blood vessel walls, which can lead to (
- heart attack
- kidney failure
In contrast, high-density lipoprotein helps carry cholesterol away from vessel walls and helps prevent these conditions (
How Often Should I Have My Cholesterol Tested
Adults should have their blood lipids measured every 5 years, starting at 45 years. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should start lipid blood tests at 35, because on average heart and blood vessel disease such as heart attacks and stroke happen 10 to 20 years earlier in Indigenous people.
All Australians in these age groups are eligible for a regular 20-minute heart health check with their doctor. This checks your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Your doctor can then assess your risk of having a heart attack or stroke in the next 5 years.
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What Is Ldl Cholesterol
Where does your blood cholesterol come from? It’s produced by the body’s liver.
Although you can also get cholesterol from animal-based foods, like eggs and meat, dietary cholesterol doesn’t play as big a role in your heart health as once thought. Other food components, like saturated fat, are more likely to cause the liver to produce cholesterol .
Because cholesterol is a “waxy” fat and our blood is mostly water, they don’t mix. So our body shuttles it around with cholesterol-carrying molecules called lipoproteins.
The lipoprotein’s density helps determine the type of cholesterol. Considering fat is less dense than protein, the particles with a lot of fat are considered low-density lipoprotein, or “bad” cholesterol. On the flip side, high-density lipoprotein has more protein than fat and is considered “good” cholesterol.
Once our body extracts what it needs from these moleculeslike energy from triglycerides, another type of fatwhat remains is leftover cholesterol floating around in our blood.
“They’re supposed to be cleared by our liver,” says cardiologist Donald Lloyd-Jones, MD, chair of preventive medicine at Northwestern University and the president of the American Heart Association.
But some of us are less efficient at clearing those particles from the bloodstream, and at higher levels, the LDL particles carrying cholesterol can start getting into our artery walls.
“That’s when they can cause trouble,” says Dr. Lloyd-Jones.
Why Should I Be Worried About High Cholesterol Levels
When the cholesterol level remains increased for a prolonged period of time, one is at risk of suffering from heart disease and other life-threatening complications, such as stroke. The good news is that one can lower cholesterol levels by changing the diet and increasing the current level of physical exercise. Basically, a healthy lifestyle is the key.
Cholesterol and its purpose
Cholesterol is one of the substances that contribute to the formation of cell membranes. It is also involved in the formation of various metabolic products and hormones, including bile acid.
Atherosclerosis, a risk in case of hypercholesterolemia
In the case of hypercholesterolemia, cholesterol accumulated in the walls of the blood vessels, causing them to thicken. As the diameter of the respective vessel decreases, the blood flow to vital organs especially the heart is reduced. The cholesterol deposits calcify, leading to atherosclerosis and the subsequent complications: heart attack, stroke or sudden cardiac death.
Bad and good cholesterol
The bad LDL cholesterol is responsible for the changes associated with the atherosclerosis process. LDL cholesterol accumulates in the blood vessels, leading to calcification. Adequate treatment and lifestyle changes are meant to reduce the level of LDL within the body.
What are the optimal cholesterol levels?
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Home Remedy For Lower Cholesterol #1 Increase Your Magnesium Levels
In The Magnesium Miracle, Dr. Carolyn Dean explains how magnesium acts as a natural statin, limiting cholesterol production so that it covers necessary functions but is not produced in excess.
Foods that are high in magnesium include: kelp, wheat bran, wheat germ, almonds, cashews, molasses, brewer’s yeast, buckwheat, brazil nuts, dulse, filberts, peanuts, wheat grain, millet, pecans, English walnuts, rye, tofu and dark chocolate.
Many wild plants are also high in magnesium, such as burdock root, dandelion, chickweed and nettle. It may be difficult for people to get enough magnesium through diet, so applying magnesium oil topically can also be helpful.
Foods That Lower Cholesterol
No doubt about it, nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory vegetables are one of the most high-antioxidant foodsavailable. Loaded with phytochemicals that fight free radical damage, they slow down the aging process and keep arteries flexible and healthy. Many dark leafy greens, like spinach and kale, contain very few calories but offer protection against heart attacks by helping artery walls stay clear of cholesterol buildup.
While nearly every type is a good choice, vegetables including benefit-rich beets, onions, cabbage, broccoli and artichokes are especially useful for upping your fiber intake and protecting heart health.
Nuts of all kinds make a good source of healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. They also provide a decent amount of fiber. Certain nuts, including almonds, specifically supply antioxidant flavonoids, plant-based compounds that improve artery health and reduce inflammation.
Studies show nuts can lower bad LDL levels, especially in individuals with high cholesterol and diabetes. They can help prevent damage from forming within artery walls and protect against dangerous cholesterol plaque buildup, in addition to fighting weight gain and obesity.
3. Chia Seeds and Flaxseeds
4. Olive Oil
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Develop Healthy Sleep Habits
Sleeping too little is common but detrimental to your health. In fact, loss in sleep is associated with increased cholesterol levels and related problems, such as high triglycerides and blood pressure. To improve your sleep, aim for consistent bed and waking times, sleep in a cool, dark, comfortable room, and avoid stimulating activities, such as working on a computer, before bed.
Risks And Side Effects
While adding these foods to your diet can definitely help keep your cholesterol in check, its important to combine them with a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle to really optimize heart health. Even on the best cholesterol-lowering diet, adding a few superfoods here and there is unlikely to make much of a difference if youre not making changes in other parts of your daily regimen.
Minimizing stress levels, exercising regularly, increasing your intake of whole foods, cutting out heavily processed, high cholesterol foods and giving up unhealthy habits like smoking or drinking are just a few other natural ways to keep cholesterol levels under control and support better health.
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What Are The Risks Linked To High Cholesterol
Too much LDL cholesterol in the blood can increase your risk of heart and blood vessel disease .
The excess LDL cholesterol leads to fatty deposits called plaque forming in the artery walls. Over time, the plaque causes narrowing and hardening of the arteries .
This can lead to:
- Angina when plaque builds up in the major arteries that supply your heart, known as the coronary arteries, they become narrower and are partially blocked, reducing blood flow and oxygen supply to the heart. This may cause shortness of breath and chest pain.
- Heart attack if a plaque in a coronary artery bursts , a clot may form and block the supply of blood to the heart, starving it of oxygen.
- Stroke if the blood vessels that supply the brain become narrower or blocked by plaque, blood supply to the brain can be severely reduced or cut off, causing a stroke. Strokes can also be caused when a clot from another part of the body travels through the blood and lodges in an artery in the brain.
- Peripheral vascular disease this usually affects the arteries that supply the legs and feet, causing leg pain when walking , and even pain when resting, when the circulation is more badly affected
A high level of HDL cholesterol is good because HDL cholesterol helps remove other forms of cholesterol from the blood, taking them back to the liver where they’re removed from the blood and passed out of the body.
Try The Mediterranean Diet
One of the best ways to decrease levels of LDL cholesterol is through your diet! A common diet that is recommended when trying to lower LDL cholesterol is the Mediterranean diet.
The Mediterranean diet is a diet that is high in fat due to the lower consumption of sugar and meat.
Foods like nuts, olive oil, fruits, and vegetables are at their highest levels when eating a Mediterranean diet which means youre less likely to have an increased cholesterol level.
People who eat this way also tend to lose weight over time because they are not consuming as many calories from sugars or fats since they get most of those essential nutrients through foods rich in protein and fiber.
Eating more healthy fats by including avocados with every meal will lower your risk for heart disease along with lowering LDL cholesterol levels! Avocado lovers can rejoice knowing that guacamole isnt just tasty, but its good for them too!
Mediterranean diets are commonly consumed in some of the healthiest places in the world called the Blue Zones.
Here is the typical Mediterranean diet pyramid:
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Increase Your Consumption Of Dietary Fiber
Ideally, you should be getting 25 to 35 grams of fiber a day, says Dr. Cho. Fiber binds to cholesterol and eliminates it from your body.
To increase your fiber intake, eat more whole grains, legumes like beans and lentils, vegetables and fruits. You should be getting a good mix of both soluble fibers, which are more beneficial for cholesterol, and insoluble fibers, which are better for your gut health.
Lower cholesterol isnt the only benefit of getting enough fiber. Other benefits include reducing your risk of diseases, preventing constipation and keeping you full longer.
Lower Cholesterol With Lifestyle Changes
Don’t rely on diet alone to bring your LDL cholesterol down to a healthy level. Think of eating as just one aspect of your cholesterol-lowering plan. Then target necessary lifestyle changes.
One of the most important strategies for managing your cholesterol is to maintain a healthy weight.
A study published in Translational Behavioral Medicine found that overweight and obese adults who shed just 5 percent of their body weight reduced risk factors for cholesterol-related heart problems. And greater weight loss led to bigger improvements.
“If you’re actively gaining weight, the liver is often already packed with fat or cholesterol,” Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains.
That means it can’t clear much more cholesterol from the bloodstream, so there will be more LDL particles hanging out and causing trouble.
Quitting smoking can also influence your cholesterol management. While smoking doesn’t have a strong link to LDL cholesterol, it does tend to suppress HDL cholesterol levels.
Smoking also worsens the damage LDL cholesterol can cause our arteries, further increasing someone’s risk of heart disease.
Create an exercise routine
If you’re overweight or obese, exercise may help you lose pounds, which will help improve your cholesterol levels. But keeping a regular fitness routine is a good idea even if you don’t need to lose weight.
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Who Can Take Supplements
Researchers are still seeking to confirm the benefits of supplements in treating high cholesterol. For this reason, it remains unclear who can or cannot take them. In general, they are considered safer to use in younger people with no history of serious heart-related illness or risk.
However, all people should speak to a healthcare provider before taking supplements.
One reason for this is because your own medical history may include other health conditions that may be affected by taking an herb or nutritional supplement.
Another concern may be the potential for interaction with any drugs you already take.
Medicines To Lower Cholesterol
For some people, making lifestyle changes alone does not their lower cholesterol enough. They may also need to take medicines. There are several types of cholesterol-lowering drugs available. They work in different ways and can have different side effects. Talk to your health care provider about which medicine is right for you.
Even if you take medicines to lower your cholesterol, you still need to continue with lifestyle changes.
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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.
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
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