Treatment For High Cholesterol
Making lifestyle changes, especially changing some of the foods you eat, and regular physical activity, are very important to help reduce high LDL cholesterol.
You may also need to take cholesterol-lowering medicines to help manage your cholesterol and reduce your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Talk to your doctor about finding the most appropriate treatment for you.
Know Your Dietary Fats
Cholesterol is essential for your body to function and your body can make its own cholesterol.
Saturated fat mainly comes from animal products and can increase your LDL cholesterol levels. Trans fats, which can also increase your LDL cholesterol levels, occurs naturally in some foods in small amounts and is made from oils through food processing.
Foods that are high is saturated fat include:
- Meat pies
- Sausages and fatty cuts of meat
High Ldl Cholesterol Diagnosis
A blood test can check your LDL, HDL, and total cholesterol levels. It also measures triglycerides, a type of fat that stores extra energy from your diet. High triglyceride levels can make you more likely to have heart problems.
Lower numbers are better when it comes to LDL cholesterol test results. The general guidelines for adults in the United States are:
- Less than 100 milligrams per deciliter : Optimal
- 100-129 mg/dL: Near or above optimal
- 130-159 mg/dL: Borderline high
- 160-189 mg/dL: High
- 190 mg/dL and above: Very high
If you have a condition like heart disease or diabetes, your doctor might recommend an LDL target of 70 mg/dL or below.
Recommended Reading: How Much Cholesterol In Pork Chops
Checking Your Blood Cholesterol Level
A cholesterol screening is an overall look at the fats in your blood. Screenings help identify your risk for heart disease. It is important to have what is called a full lipid profile to show the actual levels of each type of fat in your blood: LDL, HDL, triglycerides, and others. Talk with your healthcare provider about when to have this test.
How Fat Moves From Food To The Bloodstream
Fat and cholesterol cant dissolve in water or blood. Instead, the body packages fat and cholesterol into tiny, protein-covered particles called lipoproteins. Lipoproteins can transport a lot of fat they mix easily with blood and flow with it. Some of these particles are big and fluffy, while others are small and dense. The most important ones are low-density lipoproteins , high-density lipoproteins , and triglycerides.
- Low Density lipoproteins
Low-density lipoproteins carry cholesterol from the liver to the rest of the body. Cells latch onto these particles and extract fat and cholesterol from them. When there is too much LDL cholesterol in the blood, these particles can form deposits in the walls of the coronary arteries and other arteries throughout the body. Such deposits, called plaque, can narrow arteries and limit blood flow. When plaque breaks apart, it can cause a heart attack or stroke. Because of this, LDL cholesterol is often referred to as bad, or harmful, cholesterol.
- High-density lipoproteins
High-density lipoproteins scavenge cholesterol from the bloodstream, from LDL, and from artery walls and ferry it back to the liver for disposal. Think of HDL as the garbage trucks of the bloodstream. HDL cholesterol is often referred to as good, or protective, cholesterol.
In general, the lower your LDL and the higher your HDL, the better your chances of preventing heart disease and other chronic conditions.
Read Also: Is Canned Tuna Good For Lowering Cholesterol
The Best Indicators For Heart Disease Risk
Dr. Mercola advises these are the best indicators for heart disease risk based on standard blood testing. He ads that these same indicators have also been found to be fairly accurate in predicting dementia risk.
HDL/total cholesterol ratio: HDL percentage is a very important heart disease risk factor. Just divide your HDL level by your total cholesterol. This percentage should ideally be above 24 percent. Below 10 percent, its a significant indicator of heart disease risk.
Triglyceride/HDL ratios: Divide your triglyceride number by your HDL. This ratio should ideally be below 2.
NMR lipoprofile: Possibly the most powerful test for evaluating heart disease risk, this test determines your proportion of smaller, more damaging LDL particles. Small LDL particles get stuck easily, cause more inflammation, and are tied to insulin and leptin resistance. This test is not typically ordered, so you might need to request it from your physician or order it yourself through a third-party.
Fasting insulin: A normal fasting blood insulin level is below 5, but ideally, youll want it below 3. If your insulin level is higher than 5, the most effective way to optimize it is to reduce or eliminate all forms of dietary sugar, particularly fructose, and processed grains.
Fasting blood glucose: Studies have shown that people with a fasting blood glucose of 100-125 mg/dl had nearly three times the risk of coronary artery disease of people with a blood glucose below 79 mg/dl.
Cholesterol: The Good The Bad And The Unhealthy
Cholesterol is a type of fat in our bodies. It helps us do a lot of things: build cells, digest food, and make hormones.
While cholesterol is needed for our body to function properly, too much of it can be bad. High cholesterol can cause serious problems in our blood, like clots, plus heart and brain issues.
MedlinePlus has released new health topic pages on cholesterol, such as “How to Lower Cholesterol with Diet,” to help you better understand and control your cholesterol.
This Q and A features tips from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and MedlinePlus.
Don’t Miss: How Much Cholesterol In Shrimp
Why Is High Cholesterol A Problem
Too much cholesterol in the bloodstream can harden arteries and promote fatty deposits within these arteries, potentially leading to dangerous blockages and narrowing over time called atherosclerosis.
If the blood vessels leading to your heart become too clogged, blood supply to your heart is reduced, which can lead to symptoms such as angina . If the artery becomes completely blocked, it can lead to a heart attack and stroke, which can be life threatening.
In 2017, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported 43, 477 deaths in Australia from heart disease. This is approximately 30 per cent of all deaths in Australia, and most deaths are occurring in those aged 65 years and over.
However, heart disease takes years to develop, so you can take steps to reduce your risk.If you discover you have high cholesterol, have family members with high cholesterol, or are not sure if you’re at risk, it is advisable you seek your doctor’s advice.
Other risk factors for heart disease include increased age, ethnicity, family history, inactivity, smoking, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and obesity.If these risk factors are present in your life, it’s even more important to keep your blood cholesterol levels in check and seek your doctor’s advice.
can help you begin to assess your risk, but we strongly advise you discuss your risk with your GP as this tool does have limitations it doesn’t take your family history into account, for example.
Why Dietary Cholesterol Does Not Matter
High blood cholesterol levels are a known risk factor for heart disease.
For decades, people have been told that the dietary cholesterol in foods raises blood cholesterol levels and causes heart disease.
This idea may have been a rational conclusion based on the available science 50 years ago, but better, more recent evidence doesnt support it.
This article takes a close look at the current research on dietary cholesterol and the role it plays in blood cholesterol levels and heart disease.
Read Also: Is Bone Marrow High In Cholesterol
Why High Cholesterol Matters
High cholesterol puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke, leading causes of death in the U.S. High levels of LDL cholesterol can contribute to plaque buildup on the walls of the arteries, narrowing the arteries and restricting blood flow. If some of this plaque breaks off and gets stuck in a narrowed artery, it can block the artery and cut off blood supply to the heart or brain, resulting in heart attack or stroke.
Aim For High Hdl And Low Triglycerides
Triglyceride is the name we give to the fatty acids once they are circulating in the bloodstreams. High levels are a bad thing and are caused mainly by chronically high carbohydrate intake from grains and legumes.
- To reach a higher level of HDL, be sure to reduce your sources of omega-6 fats, mainly from industrially processed vegetable seed oils, but also from an excess of nuts.
- Taking a good quality fish oil daily is a good way to increase omega-3 fatty acids.
- Saturated fats will also raise the good HDL. Think coconut oil, lard, butter, and beef tallow.
- Cut sugars, grains, and refined carbohydrates and eat the fat, the meat and the egg yolks.
Don’t Miss: Is Bread High In Cholesterol
Hdl Cholesterol: ‘good’ Cholesterol
Not all cholesterol is bad. High-density lipoprotein cholesterol is considered “good” cholesterol because it actually works to keep the LDL, or “bad” cholesterol from building up in your arteries. The higher the HDL, the better. HDL levels of 60 mg/dL and higher can help reduce your risk for heart disease. Conversely, HDL levels of 40 mg/dL and lower are considered a high risk-factor for developing heart disease.
Myth: I Dont Need Statins Or Other Medicines For My Cholesterol I Can Manage My Cholesterol With Diet And Exercise
Fact: Although many people can achieve good cholesterol levels by making healthy food choices and getting enough physical activity, some people may also need medicines called statins to lower their cholesterol levels. Guidelinesexternal icon also suggest that other medicines in addition to statins may be needed to help control cholesterol.2
People who may need statins or other medicines to manage cholesterol levels include the following:
- People with familial hypercholesterolemia or people with very high levels of bad cholesterol. FH is a genetic condition that causes very high LDL cholesterol levels beginning at a young age. If left untreated, cholesterol levels will continue to get worse. This greatly raises the risk for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke at a young age.
- People with cardiovascular disease . People with CVD may already have narrowed arteries because of too much plaque. Medicines that lower cholesterol may help reduce the risk for heart attack or stroke.
- People with diabetes.Type 2 diabetes lowers HDL or good cholesterol levels and raises bad cholesterol levels. This combination raises your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Other groups of people may also need medicines to manage their cholesterol, including people who have a high risk for CVD. Always talk to your health care provider about the best ways to manage your cholesterol.
Recommended Reading: Is Bone Marrow High In Cholesterol
Cholesterol Myths And Facts
Cholesterol can be confusing! Learn answers to common questions about blood cholesterol.
What do your cholesterol numbers mean? Can the foods you eat change your cholesterol levels?
Learn the difference between cholesterol myth and fact. Then commit to getting your cholesterol checked this year so you know your numbers and your risk for heart disease and stroke.
Commit to getting your cholesterol checked this year so you know your numbers and your risk for heart disease and stroke.
Make Sure Your Muffins Are Low Fat
Sure, you can get an English muffin with no saturated fat and no cholesterol, but many other muffins especially those tempting treats loaded with extra ingredients that you can buy or bake at home could have up to 8 g of fat in a single serving and may even have more than one serving in a single muffin. A low-fat bran muffin made with whole-wheat flour that gives you some fiber and a lot less fat is a much better choice. Look for one that is made with plant oils for the healthiest fat profile.
Also Check: Is Shrimp Bad For Your Cholesterol
Misconception: With Medications No Lifestyle Changes Are Needed
Medications can help control cholesterol levels, but making diet and lifestyle changes are the best way to reduce heart disease and stroke risk. To lower your cholesterol, eat a heart-healthy diet and get at least 150 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise a week.
Its also important to take your medication exactly as your doctor has instructed.
What Is Cholesterol And Why Is It Good For You
Cholesterol can be a confusing topic, especially when the phrases good cholesterol and bad cholesterol are thrown around. What many people dont realize is that there are multiple kinds of cholesterol and that a healthy balance of cholesterol is necessary to keep our bodys cells healthy. But how do you distinguish the good type from the bad type? Weve gathered some information that can help you better understand cholesterol and manage yours better.
Don’t Miss: Does Ketogenic Diet Cause High Cholesterol
According To A New Study There Is No Evidence To Support The Claims That A Diet High In Saturated Fats Lead To High Levels Of Bad Cholesterol
Written by Jahnavi Sarma | Updated : July 17, 2020 9:08 AM IST
Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is present in your blood. This is an essential substance for your body to build healthy cells. But high levels of this can put you at risk of heart disease. It can lead to fatty deposits in your blood vessels which restricts the flow of blood through your arteries. If these deposits break off and form a clot, it can cause a heart attack or stroke. High cholesterol may be inherited. But more often than not, it is the result of an unhealthy lifestyle.
Many people have a family history of high cholesterol in the blood. This is called familial hypercholesterolemia. Expert always recommend that such people must reduce their intake of saturated fats to control their cholesterol levels and bring down their risks of heart disease. Even reputed agencies and organisations like the American Heart Association suggest that such people avoid eating food like fatty meat, eggs and cheese. According to such guidelines, even coconut oil is not safe for people at risk of hypercholesterolemia.
Foods Labeled ‘low Cholesterol’
When you’re shopping and you see an item that says it’s low in cholesterol, you still need to check the nutrition label. If it’s high in saturated fat, it can raise your LDL cholesterol. Also check the serving size. It might be smaller than you think, and if you eat too much, you’ll get more cholesterol than you realized.
Also Check: How Much Cholesterol In A Baked Potato
Why Is High Cholesterol Bad For You
If you have high cholesterol, you can develop fatty deposits in your blood vessels. This makes it difficult for blood to flow through the arteries. If these deposits break apart, they can form a clot that leads to a heart attack or stroke. Total cholesterol is a measure that includes good and bad cholesterol. Its not always the best measure of your risk of heart disease on its own. The best way to understand these levels and your risk for heart disease is to see your GP for a Heart Health Check.
How To Lower Cholesterol: Low
Low-carbohydrate diets may help improve HDL cholesterol levels. The National Institutes of Health conducted a study that found while both low-fat and low-carb dieters lost weight over the two-year study period, low-carb dieters also improved their HDL cholesterol levels. The problem with low-carb diets is that they may be difficult to adhere to. Consult your doctor about the best healthy eating plan to manage your cholesterol.
You May Like: Does Feta Cheese Have Cholesterol
Reconsider That Cheeseburger With High Saturated Fat
Speaking of cheeseburgers, if you’re like many Americans, you occasionally eat lunch from a fast food restaurant. But before you order that double cheeseburger, consider this: A McDonalds Big Mac has 10 g of saturated fat and a Wendy’s Classic Double With Everything has a whopping 20 g of saturated fat . You might want to hold the fries and the shake, or better yet, order a plain burger instead.
Dangers Of Statin Drugs: What You Havent Been Told About Popular Cholesterol
Hypercholesterolemia is the health issue of the 21st century. It is actually an invented disease, a problem that emerged when health professionals learned how to measure cholesterol levels in the blood. High cholesterol exhibits no outward signsunlike other conditions of the blood, such as diabetes or anemia, diseases that manifest telltale symptoms like thirst or weaknesshypercholesterolemia requires the services of a physician to detect its presence. Many people who feel perfectly healthy suffer from high cholesterolin fact, feeling good is actually a symptom of high cholesterol!
Doctors who treat this new disease must first convince their patients that they are sick and need to take one or more expensive drugs for the rest of their lives, drugs that require regular checkups and blood tests. But such doctors do not work in a vacuumtheir efforts to convert healthy people into patients are bolstered by the full weight of the US government, the media and the medical establishment, agencies that have worked in concert to disseminate the cholesterol dogma and convince the population that high cholesterol is the forerunner of heart disease and possibly other diseases as well.
The drugs that doctors use to treat the new disease are called statinssold under a variety of names including Lipitor , Zocor , Mevacor and Pravachol .
Read Also: Does Shrimp Have High Cholesterol
Cholesterol And The Brain
Cholesterol has received a bad reputation in the past 50-60 years. Could it be that the studies done on cholesterol are misleading, even to the scientists who performed them? The latest studies and some of the leading experts in brain plasticity and health show us that cholesterol is not bad its actually something the human brain needs.
25% of the cholesterol in our body is found in the brain. It works to facilitate membrane function and is the raw material for making progesterone, estrogen, cortisol, testosterone and vitamin D. When we think of antioxidants, we think of colorful berries and green leafy vegetables, but cholesterol also acts as an antioxidant.
- One study showed that memory function was best in test subjects with the highest overall levels of cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol in particular.
- Some studies found a correlation between dementia and low levels of cholesterol.