Use Polyunsaturated Fats Especially Omega
Polyunsaturated fats have multiple double bonds that make them behave differently in the body than saturated fats. Research shows that polyunsaturated fats reduce LDL cholesterol and decrease the risk of heart disease.
For example, one study replaced saturated fats in 115 adults diets with polyunsaturated fats for 8 weeks. By the end of the study, total and LDL cholesterol levels were reduced by about 10% .
Polyunsaturated fats also may reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
Another study changed the diets of 4,220 adults, replacing 5% of their calories from carbohydrates with polyunsaturated fats. Their blood glucose and fasting insulin levels decreased, indicating a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes .
Omega-3 fatty acids are an especially heart-healthy type of polyunsaturated fat. Theyre found in seafood and fish oil supplements. Especially high amounts occur in fatty fish like:
- deep sea tuna like bluefin or albacore
- shellfish , including shrimp
Other sources of omega-3s include seeds and tree nuts, but not peanuts.
All polyunsaturated fats are heart-healthy and may reduce the risk of diabetes. Omega-3 fats are a type of polyunsaturated fat with extra heart benefits.
Trans fats are unsaturated fats that have been modified by a process called hydrogenation. This is done to make the unsaturated fats in vegetable oils more stable.
The resulting trans fats are not fully saturated and are called partially hydrogenated oils .
The Holistic Way To Manage High Cholesterol
As important as what you eat may be, other lifestyle measures, such as exercising, reducing stress, getting plenty of sleep, and taking medication, if necessary, all play a role in your heart health.
Collings notes that even though Ader wasnt able to prevent his heart attack by exercising, it likely helped him survive it. The data says theres up to a 60 percent reduction in cardiovascular mortality in folks that are regularly active, says Collings. Being sedentary is a risk factor.
The AHA recommends at least 150 minutes of moderately intense exercise, such as brisk walking, jogging, or cycling, or 75 minutes of vigorous activity or a combination of both spread throughout the week. They also suggest at least two days per week of moderate- to high-intensity muscle-strength training with weights or resistance bands.
That said, Collings emphasizes that exercise itself has a very modest effect on reducing total cholesterol and LDL. We cant exercise away from high cholesterol, she notes. So its all the more reason that we really need a multi-pillar approach to lifestyle and cardiovascular disease stress, eating, exercise, sleep, healthy relationships, and avoiding substance misuse.
If youre on a statin and your LDL or triglyceride levels are still not at goal, sometimes we do have to turn to pharmacological treatment if the lifestyle changes dont come to fruition, says Canto.*
A Guide To Healthy Eating: Strategies Tips And Recipes To Help You Make Better Food Choices
Eat real food. Thats the essence of todays nutrition message. Our knowledge of nutrition has come full circle, back to eating food that is as close as possible to the way nature made it. Based on a solid foundation of current nutrition science, Harvards Special Health Report A Guide to Healthy Eating: Strategies, tips, and recipes to help you make better food choices describes how to eat for optimum health.
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Exceptional Pharmacy Care To Strengthen Your Health
At Alto, were committed to making it as simple as possible to stay on top of your cholesterol-lowering medications. We offer same-day delivery and medication management tools like reminders and auto refills in our app. And our team of pharmacists are always here to answer your questions by phone or through our app, and will even remind you when your medications are due for a refill.
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What Is The Difference Between Good Cholesterol And Bad Cholesterol
Good cholesterol is known as high-density lipoprotein . It removes cholesterol from the bloodstream. Low-density lipoprotein is the bad cholesterol.
If your total cholesterol level is high because of a high LDL level, you may be at higher risk of heart disease or stroke. But, if your total cholesterol level is high only because of a high HDL level, youre probably not at higher risk.
Triglycerides are another type of fat in your blood. When you eat more calories than your body can use, it turns the extra calories into triglycerides.
Changing your lifestyle can improve your cholesterol levels, lower LDL and triglycerides, and raise HDL.
Your ideal cholesterol level will depend on your risk for heart disease.
- Total cholesterol level less than 200 is best, but it depends on your HDL and LDL levels.
- LDL cholesterol levels less than 130 is best, but this depends on your risk for heart disease.
- HDL cholesterol levels 60 or higher reduces your risk for heart disease.
- Triglycerides less than 150 milligrams per deciliter is best.
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Psck9 Inhibitors Can Lower Your Ldl Cholesterol: A Lot
PSCK9 inhibitors may be a good choice for people with an inherited form of high cholesterol. These new drugs can lower dangerous LDL levels by half or more. The drugs costs are high, but the health care industry is working with manufacturers and pharmacists to bring the price down and make PSCK9 inhibitors available to more people.
The Role Of Diet In Managing Your Cholesterol
The doctors on the panel agree that a healthy eating plan, rather than a particular fad diet, can help reduce cardiovascular disease risk. Whether its the Mediterranean diet a whole-food, plant-based diet or the DASH diet we know that diet makes an enormous difference, says Collings. And, she notes, decreasing processed food is also key. She points to a study published in March 2021 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, which found that study participants the offspring of the people in the Framingham Heart Study who consumed as many as 7.5 servings a day of ultra-processed foods had an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Many people seem to be getting the message about heart-healthy eating. A recent Everyday Health Twitter quick poll asked people what they do to keep their heart healthy and lower their cholesterol. They found that:
- 35.5 percent said that their top tactic was to decrease processed foods
- 29 percent said their number-one move was to increase their intake of whole, plant-based food
How powerful are dietary changes? At Silicon Valley Medical Development, Collings found that diet changes alone can reduce total cholesterol by as much as 20 percent and LDL cholesterol and harmful triglycerides by nearly 35 to 40 percent in as little as 30 days in the highest risk group .
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Cut Down On Your Alcohol Intake
When you drink alcohol, your liver breaks it down into triglycerides and cholesterol in your body. Alcohol consumption can also raise your blood pressure and make it harder to keep your weight in a healthy range.
Cutting down on beer, wine, and liquor can be a simple first step to lowering your cholesterol.
Break Up With Saturated Fats
Eating foods with saturated fats, like fatty meats, full-fat dairy, fried foods, and some cooking oils, raises the level of cholesterol in your blood. Avoid or limit red meat and pork to a deck-of-cards-sized portion once a week. Avoid cod liver oil or coconut oil. Make sure dairy foods are skim or have just small amounts of fat .
— Donald Lloyd-Jones, MD, ScM, FAHA, chair of the department of preventive medicine at Northwestern University and American Heart Association volunteer
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Preventing And Managing High Cholesterol
Making healthy choices, such as eating healthy, can help prevent high cholesterol.
No matter your age, you can take steps each day to keep your cholesterol levels in a healthy range.
You can help prevent and manage high cholesterol by making healthy choices and by managing any health conditions you may have.
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How To Lower Cholesterol Naturally In 28 Simple Steps
There are tons of natural remedies out there for how to lower cholesterol levels, often promising quick results with next to no effort required on your part. But while its true that there are tons of options to keep cholesterol levels in check, it can actually be as simple as swapping out a few foods in your diet for healthier options, switching up your workout routine or adding a supplement or two into the mix.
Ready to get started? Lets take a look at 28 simple methods for how to lower cholesterol and how it can impact your health.
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How Can I Lower My Cholesterol By Making Lifestyle Changes
You can lower your cholesterol levels by making lifestyle changes, and through taking medicines if that’s what your doctor advises. Some people will only need to improve their lifestyle and diet to get their cholesterol to a safe level. Others may need to take cholesterol-lowering medicines, as well.
Can High Cholesterol Be Prevented Or Avoided
Making healthy food choices and exercising are two ways to reduce your risk of developing high cholesterol.
Eat fewer foods with saturated fats . Choose healthier fats. This includes lean meats, avocados, nuts, and low-fat dairy items. Avoid foods that contain trans fat . Look for foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These foods include salmon, herring, walnuts, and almonds. Some egg brands contain omega-3.
Exercise can be simple. Go for a walk. Take a yoga class. Ride your bike to work. You could even participate in a team sport. Aim to get 30 minutes of activity every day.
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Replace Saturated Fats With Healthier Fats
Replacing foods that contain mainly saturated fats with foods that contain unsaturated fats such as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats will help reduce your cholesterol level.
For example, instead of butter and cream in cooking, use olive oil, nut butters or avocado.
Healthy unsaturated fats are found in:
- oily fish
- fruits and vegetables
How Is Cholesterol Measured
Most people with high cholesterol feel perfectly well and often have no symptoms. The best way to find out if your cholesterol is high is to have a blood test .
Visit your GP to determine whether you need to lower your cholesterol level and what action to take.
GPs can also do a heart health check, that calculates your heart disease and stroke risk.
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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.
Consider Some Lifestyle Changes
Quitting smoking can lower your cholesterol. Putting out that cigarette can also reduce your blood pressure and heart rate to decrease your risk for heart disease. Drink alcohol in moderation. While the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet includes small amounts of red wine, the benefits may not be strong enough to justify the associated risk for high blood pressure, heart failure, stroke and other serious health problems.
These five steps may seem like small changes but they add up to very big health benefits.
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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.
Getting Accurate Test Results
Getting a cholesterol test is easy. It involves having a tubes worth of blood drawn from your arm during a routine visit to your physician. The preparation, however, takes a little effort to ensure the most accurate reading. Food and drink can affect your triglyceride level, so you should fast for 12 hours beforehand. You should also avoid drinking alcohol for at least 24 hours before the test. You can drink water and take most medications you normally use, as these should not affect the test results. If you are not sure about your medications, check with your doctor before getting the test done.
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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.
How To Lower Cholesterol
If you have high cholesterol, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes, medications or both.
Here are some ways to manage your cholesterol.
Eat heart-healthy food
What you eat can make a big difference to your cholesterol levels.
Cut back on foods high in saturated fats like:
- oily fish.
Drink less alcohol
Drinking too much alcohol can increase your LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. So drinking less is a good way to lower your cholesterol.
The Ministry of Health recommends no more than 10 standard drinks per week for women and no more than 15 for men. One standard drink is equal to:
- a standard can of 4% beer
- a small glass of wine
- a small single shot of spirits
If you have high cholesterol or you’ve been diagnosed with a heart condition, you may need to drink less than this.
Smoking makes your LDL cholesterol stickier and reduces the amount of HDL cholesterol in your blood. It also damages the artery walls. This increases the build-up of plaque in your arteries and can cause risk of heart attack and stroke.
Quitting smoking is a great way to lower your cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of heart disease.
Sitting less and being more active are great ways to reduce high cholesterol.
This doesnt mean you have to join a gym or take up running it just means you need to move your body more throughout the day. Ideally you should do 30 minutes of activity a day.
You could try:
Read more about the benefits of exercise.
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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.