Why Try To Reduce Cholesterol Without Medication
You might not want to take medication to bring your cholesterol down for several reasons.
Statins are a type of medication used to manage high cholesterol. The side effects of statins may be seen by some as worse than the risks of having high cholesterol. These side effects can include:
, you should get your cholesterol levels checked:
- every 5 years after you turn age 20
- more often if you have a family history of high cholesterol or cardiovascular conditions
Eating Style And Habits Go Green And Do It Often
Sorry all meat loving fans, Ive got bad news for you.
If you want a really effective solution to lowering your cholesterol levels, an American study has shown that a vegetarian diet actually lowers your cholesterol numbers TWICE as much as a conventional low fat diet.
The vegetarian diet in the study was particularly rich on whole grain products, beans, salad and vegetable soups.
A good rule of thumb is the coarser the food, the better. However, do be aware that if you decide to go vegetarian or vegan, there is a risk of missing out on important nutrients. So do consult your doctor and / or a dietician before choosing vegetarian or vegan ways to lower cholesterol.
Foods To Help Lower Cholesterol
You can increase your HDLs through exercise, but when it comes to your diet, there are several foods that can help with LDL reduction The key here is to reduce, replace and improvise.
Soluble fiber is a gummy fiber that binds to bile and removes it with your bodys waste. For every 1 gram of soluble fiber you eat, you can lower your LDL by 1%. Replacing foods high in saturated fat with mono- and polyunsaturated fats can also help reduce LDL in your body. Its important to find small ways of building these foods into your diet, like swapping out cheese on a salad with avocado slices or replacing a creamy dressing with olive oil and vinegar.
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Low Cholesterol And Preterm Birth Or A Baby With Low Weight
In a study, published in the October 2007 issue of the journal Pediatrics, nearly 13% of the women with very low cholesterol gave birth prematurely.
The researchers also found that white women were more at risk and that almost 21% of white women with the very low cholesterol levels had preterm deliveries.
On an average, the preterm babies of mothers with low cholesterol weighed five ounces less than babies delivered full term to mothers with moderate cholesterol.
Becoming More Physically Active
A sedentary lifestyle lowers HDL cholesterol. Less HDL means theres less good cholesterol to remove bad cholesterol from your arteries.
Physical activity is important. At least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise a week is enough to lower both cholesterol and high blood pressure. And you have lots of options: brisk walking, swimming, bicycling or even yard work can fit the bill.
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How Can I Lower Cholesterol With Diet
Heart-healthy lifestyle changes include a diet to lower your cholesterol. The DASH eating plan is one example. Another is the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes diet, which recommends that you
Choose healthier fats.You should limit both total fat and saturated fat. No more than 25 to 35% of your daily calories should come from dietary fats, and less than 7% of your daily calories should come from saturated fat. Depending upon how many calories you eat per day, here are the maximum amounts of fats that you should eat:
|Calories per Day|
|69-97 grams||17 grams|
Saturated fat is a bad fat because it raises your LDL level more than anything else in your diet. It is found in some meats, dairy products, chocolate, baked goods, and deep-fried and processed foods.
Trans fat is another bad fat it can raise your LDL and lower you HDL . Trans fat is mostly in foods made with hydrogenated oils and fats, such as stick margarine, crackers, and french fries.
Instead of these bad fats, try healthier fats, such as lean meat, nuts, and unsaturated oils like canola, olive, and safflower oils.
Limit foods with cholesterol. If you are trying to lower your cholesterol, you should have less than 200 mg a day of cholesterol. Cholesterol is in foods of animal origin, such as liver and other organ meats, egg yolks, shrimp, and whole milk dairy products.
Eat plenty of soluble fiber. Foods high in soluble fiber help prevent your digestive tract from absorbing cholesterol. These foods include:
Tea The Closer To Nature The Better
Besides being a really cozy drink on a rainy day, tea also has quite a few health benefits.
And when it comes to lowering cholesterol, the less processed the tea, the better.
Green tea along with black tea contain strong antioxidants but green tea has a higher degree of polyphenol, which include flavonoids.
Flavonoids are also present in wine . Flavonoids are found to be efficient in lowering LDL levels and preventing the clotting up of arteries.
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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.
What Are Triglycerides And Vldl
Triglyceride is a fatty substance that is composed of three fatty acids. Like cholesterol, triglyceride in the blood comes either from the diet or the liver. In addition, like cholesterol, triglyceride cannot dissolve and circulate in the blood without combining with a lipoprotein.
The liver removes triglyceride from the blood and it synthesizes and packages triglyceride into VLDL particles and releases them back into the blood circulation.
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Ratio Of Total Cholesterol To Hdl
The ratio of total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol can help a person know if they are getting enough good cholesterol and limit sources of bad cholesterol. It can be measured by dividing total cholesterol by the HDL level. Ideally, the ratio should be less than 4. The lower the number, the healthier a persons cholesterol level. Total cholesterol fluctuates, which is why more than one blood test may be needed for an accurate assessment. Levels can change after a meal, which is why a blood test is sometimes done in the morning before breakfast. The ratio of total cholesterol to HDL is a better marker of heart disease risk than LDL cholesterol alone.
Lecithin Great For Both Hdl And Ldl
If youre a fan of turmeric, I have good news for you. Turmeric contains curcumin . When lecithin is added the absorption of curcumin is even more efficient.
In Germany they are quite fond of lecithin as they have proved that people with too high cholesterol levels benefit greatly from lecithin. Not only does lecithin raise HDL cholesterol, it also lowers LDL cholesterol.
Therefore the Germans have formally introduced and approved of lecithin as a cholesterol lowering supplement.
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What Are The Main Roles Of Hdl Cholesterol
HDL cholesterol has a protective role against diseases of the heart and blood vessels such as heart attacks and strokes. The cholesterol itself is a fat, so its not the cholesterol that is protective, but the HDL lipoprotein as a whole.
HDL has three main effects
Advantages Of Lowering Hdl Cholesterol
High-density lipoprotein cholesterol is a good cholesterol. Its important to keep your levels high because lower levels have negative consequences for your health. HDL cholesterol is known to play a role in protecting against heart disease and stroke.
There are many ways to lower HDL cholesterol without drugs, including diet and lifestyle changes. By reducing your risk of heart disease, youre also reducing the amount of medical expenses you will incur in the future! So, make sure to keep your HDL cholesterol high by following a healthy lifestyle and incorporating HDL-boosting foods and drinks into your diet.
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Add Coconut Oil To The Diet
Studies have shown that coconut oil may reduce appetite, increase metabolic rate, and help protect brain health, among other benefits.
Some people may be concerned about coconut oils effects on heart health due to its high saturated fat content. However, it appears that coconut oil is actually quite heart-healthy.
Some studies have shown that coconut oil tends to raise HDL cholesterol more than many other types of fat.
In addition, some studies have shown that coconut oil may improve the ratio of low-density lipoprotein , or bad, cholesterol to HDL cholesterol. Improving this ratio reduces heart disease risk .
One study examined the health effects of coconut oil consumption in 40 females with excess abdominal fat. The researchers found that those who took coconut oil daily had increased HDL cholesterol and a lower LDL-to-HDL ratio.
In contrast, the group who took soybean oil daily had a decrease in HDL cholesterol and an increase in the LDL-to-HDL ratio .
However, more recent reviews suggest that the research into coconut oil and cholesterol is of poor quality, is not conclusive, and often reports that coconut oil can raise the levels of LDL cholesterol. Therefore, more research is needed .
Most studies have found that these health benefits occur at a dosage of about 2 tbsp of coconut oil per day. It is best to incorporate this into cooking rather than eating spoonfuls of coconut oil on their own.
Are You Serious About Reducing Cholesterol
If making healthy changes on your own has been a challenge, it may be time to bring in the professionals! Our team of physicians, nutritionists, exercise experts, psychologists, and chefs – specialize in helping people just like you reduce medication and take contol of their health. A vacation at Pritikin will change your life!
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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.
Plant Sterols And Stanols
Plant sterols and stanols are naturally occurring substances in plants. A person can get them by eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. However, some manufacturers sell PSS supplements, too.
A states that PSS supplements are effective and that they offer the most benefits when a person takes them twice daily with food.
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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:
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.
Balancing Hdl Cholesterol And Ldl Cholesterol
You see, there are two types of cholesterol HDL cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. And what youll be striving for is a healthy balance between the two.
If your doctor says that your cholesterol is too high, what he means is that youve got problems with too low a level of HDL and too high a level of LDL.
So what were looking for are methods that will raise your HDL levels and / or lower your LDL levels.
Lifestyle Changes To Lower Cholesterol
Heart-healthy lifestyle changes that can help you lower or control your cholesterol include:
- Heart-healthy eating. A heart-healthy eating plan limits the amount of saturated and trans fats that you eat. It recommends that you eat and drink only enough calories to stay at a healthy weight and avoid weight gain. It encourages you to choose a variety of nutritious foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats. Examples of eating plans that can lower your cholesterol include the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes diet and the DASH eating plan.
- Weight Management. If you are overweight, losing weight can help lower your LDL cholesterol. This is especially important for people with metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors that includes high triglyceride levels, low HDL cholesterol levels, and being overweight with a large waist measurement .
- Physical Activity. Everyone should get regular physical activity .
- Managing stress. Research has shown that chronic stress can sometimes raise your LDL cholesterol and lower your HDL cholesterol.
- Quitting smoking.Quitting smoking can raise your HDL cholesterol. Since HDL helps to remove LDL cholesterol from your arteries, having more HDL can help to lower your LDL cholesterol.
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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.
You Can Begin Lowering Cholesterol Naturally Today
Sound like a lot to take on? Dont be intimidated. Bringing down your high cholesterol doesnt have to mean changing your life completely. Rather, start with changing your mindset. Instead of moving away from things, youre moving toward new habits that will help you create a healthier and more enjoyable future.
Now is always the right time to start taking care of your heart health. If you need a little support, lean on friends and family. And dont forget: Your doctor is always there for you with advice, motivation and encouragement so you can reach your goals and live healthier.
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