Quick Tips For Getting Started
1. Keep a food diary. Write down what you eat for a few days to get to know what your diet really looks like and where you can make changes.
2. Start small. Start with some simple swaps rather than trying to change everything all at once.
3. Try a diet plan. If you’re looking for a more detailed plan, try the Ultimate Cholesterol Lowering Plan.
Your Diet Plays A Vital Role In Building Up The Plaque Which Blocks The Blood Circulation Further Raising Cholesterol Levels In Order To Keep Your Cholesterol Levels Down And In The Recommended Range You Need To Pick The Right Food And Avoid Some
- Sarika Rana
- Not just diet, but obesity and stress may up the chances of cholesterol
- Your diet plays a vital role in building up the plaque
- You need to pick the right food and avoid some to maintain cholesterol
Our stressful lifestyle and increasing dependency on convenient processed and packaged food has made high cholesterol a common problem these days. Not just our diet, but obesity and stress may also up the chances of high cholesterol. Cholesterol is found in every cell of the body and has important natural functions in stimulating various activities in the body that include digesting foods, producing hormones and others. Out of the two types of cholesterol, good and bad , high levels of bad cholesterol can take a toll on your body and cause various health hazards that may include the risk of cardiovascular diseases, stroke and even heart attack. Your diet plays a vital role in building up the plaque which blocks the blood circulation further raising cholesterol levels. In order to keep your cholesterol levels down and in the recommended range, you need to pick the right food and avoid some. Here’s a quick guide to an ideal cholesterol diet that you may follow.
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 add up and pay off.
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Should I Stop Drinking If I Have High Cholesterol
Cutting down on alcohol will help your liver to work better at removing bad cholesterol. It may also improve your heart health in other ways by helping you lose weight and lower your blood pressure.
Our top tips for drinking alcohol are to:
- drink less than 14 units of alcohol a week
- have a few days each week where you dont drink at all
- avoid binge drinking by drinking half what you usually would
- order a small glass of wine or half a pint of beer.
Read more of our advice on alcohol.By making some of these small changes you should see your cholesterol levels go down.
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Eat Foods Rich In Soluble Fiber
Soluble fiber is found in large quantities in beans, legumes, whole grains, flax, apples and citrus .
Humans lack the proper enzymes to break down soluble fiber, so it moves through your digestive tract, absorbing water and forming a thick paste.
As it travels, soluble fiber absorbs bile, a substance produced by your liver to help digest fats. Eventually, both the fiber and attached bile are excreted in your stool.
Bile is made from cholesterol, so when your liver needs to make more bile it pulls cholesterol out of your bloodstream, which lowers cholesterol levels naturally.
Regular soluble fiber consumption is associated with a 510% reduction in both total cholesterol and bad LDL cholesterol in as little as four weeks .
Its recommended to eat at least 510 grams of soluble fiber each day for the maximum cholesterol-lowering effects, but benefits have been seen at even lower intakes of 3 grams per day .
Summary Soluble fiber lowers cholesterol by preventing reabsorption of bile in your gut, which leads to the excretion of bile in the feces. Your body pulls cholesterol from the bloodstream to make more bile, therefore reducing levels.
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No Apparent Danger Of Very Low Ldl Cholesterol
LDL is a key component of many hormones and all cell membranes, which allow cells to communicate with each other. Earlier studies had raised concerns that lowering LDL too far might interfere with normal cellular functions, especially in organs that have higher lipid concentrations, such as the brain and reproductive organs. And there have been reports of a slightly increased risk of osteoporosis and brain bleeding in patients treated with high doses of statin medications.
Well-known side effects in people who use statin medications include muscle aches and a slightly increased risk of diabetes, especially when high doses of medication are used. Whether these risks are due to the statin medications themselves or the lowering of LDL is not entirely clear.
However, people with rare inherited disorders in which LDL levels are extremely low from birth appear to have normal fertility and no major organ dysfunction. Therefore, an extremely low LDL by itself does not appear to be dangerous in these unusual cases.
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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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.
Diets Proven To Help Lower Cholesterol
The following diets are not diets in the sense of restricting your food intake or being hungry all the time, but eating plans that emphasize certain healthy food groups over less-healthy options. Scientific research has also proven that theyre helpful when it comes to lowering cholesterol.
If youre looking to manage high cholesterol, consider following one of these eating plans.
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Add Plant Stanols Or Sterols
Include 2 grams of plant stanols or sterols per day. This may help lower your LDL cholesterol. Stanols and sterols are found in fortified foods or supplements. To add these in your diet you can:
Add foods fortified with stanols and sterols. Ask your dietitian for more information.
Include daily supplements such as CardioSterols or Cholestoff capsules and Benecol chews.
Ldl Cholesterol Is Not The Same As Total Cholesterol
Total cholesterol is still used by some physicians as a crucial indication. We dont know whether the rise in total cholesterol is due to an increase in LDL, HDL, or both since total cholesterol is made up of LDL and HDL cholesterol.
Low-carb diets are known to boost HDL levels, which in turn raise total cholesterol, in addition to possibly raising LDL levels. High HDL levels, on the other hand, are not associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. So, before you respond to an increase in total cholesterol, be sure you know your LDL/HDL ratio.
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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.
Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- Am I at risk for heart disease?
- How often should I get my cholesterol tested?
- What are my cholesterol levels? What do they mean?
- What lifestyle changes do I need to make to help improve my cholesterol levels and heart health?
- Is there a chance that Ill need cholesterol-lowering medicine?
- What are the risks and benefits of taking this medicine?
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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:
Work With Your Doctor On A Lower Cholesterol Plan
Lowering your cholesterol doesnt mean going it alone. Your primary care doctor is a helpful partner along your journey.
Your doctor can work with you to create an action plan just for you one that combines diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes to help you lower and manage your cholesterol.
For example, losing weight and quitting smoking can be big helpers for lowering cholesterol. Quitting smoking can raise your good HDL cholesterol levels, and losing weight can lower your bad LDL cholesterol levels significantly.
But these two tasks arent easy. Fortunately, your primary care doctor can be a great resource to help you get started and find practical ways to stick with it. Plus, help with quitting smoking and losing weight may already be covered if you have health insurance.
Whether you want to quit smoking, lose weight or just learn more about how your personal health would benefit from lower cholesterol levels, regular check-ins with your doctor are key. They can also perform cholesterol tests the only way to actually measure cholesterol to check your progress and help you make adjustments based on the results.
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Focus Your Diet On Unsaturated Fats
Unsaturated fats, such as omega 3 fatty acids, have a double chemical bond that may protect the lipoprotein from being oxidized, preventing clog formation within the arteries. This increases the level of HDL cholesterol and reduces the level of LDLK cholesterol. Food rich in unsaturated fats include olives oils, sea fatty fish, avocado, and nuts.
Eat Fewer Added Sugars
Its not just saturated and trans fats that can raise cholesterol levels. Eating too many added sugars can do the same thing .
One study found that adults who consumed 25% of their calories from drinks made with high-fructose corn syrup experienced a 17% increase in LDL cholesterol in just two weeks .
Even more troubling, fructose increases the number of small, dense oxidized LDL cholesterol particles which contribute to heart disease .
Between 2005 and 2010, an estimated 10% of Americans consumed over 25% of their daily calories from added sugars .
According to a 14-year study, these people were almost three times more likely to die from heart disease than those getting less than 10% of their calories from added sugars .
The American Heart Association recommends eating no more than 100 calories of added sugar per day for women and children, and no more than 150 calories per day for men .
You can meet these goals by reading labels carefully and choosing products without added sugars whenever possible.
Summary Getting more than 25% of your daily calories from added sugars can raise cholesterol levels and more than double your risk of dying from heart disease. Cut back by choosing foods without added sugars as much as possible.
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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!
Eat A Variety Of Healthy Proteins
The best choices of protein are fish and seafood, legumes , nuts and seeds. You can eat smaller amounts of eggs and lean poultry but limit red meat to 1-3 times a week.
Flavour foods with herbs and spices rather than salt, and avoid processed foods as these contain a lot of salt too. Salt can lead to high blood pressure, which can increase your risk of heart disease.
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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.
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 or cholesterol in the wrong places creates problems.
Like fat, cholesterol does not dissolve in water. Instead, its transport in the body depends on molecules called lipoproteins, which carry cholesterol, fat and fat-soluble vitamins in the blood.
Different kinds of lipoproteins have different effects on health. For example, high levels of low-density lipoprotein result in cholesterol deposits in blood vessel walls, which can lead to clogged arteries, strokes, heart attacks and kidney failure .
In contrast, high-density lipoprotein helps carry cholesterol away from vessel walls and helps prevent these diseases .
This article will review 10 natural ways to increase the good HDL cholesterol and lower the bad LDL cholesterol.
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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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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.
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