How Can I Lower My Cholesterol Level
The first step in reducing your cholesterol is to maintain a healthy, balanced diet. It’s important to keep your diet low in fatty food.
You can swap food containing saturated fat for fruit, vegetables and wholegrain cereals. This will also help prevent high cholesterol returning.
If these measures don’t reduce your cholesterol and you continue to have a high risk of developing heart disease, your GP may prescribe a cholesterol-lowering medication, such as statins.
Your GP will take into account the risk of any side effects from statins. The benefit of lowering your cholesterol must outweigh any risks.
Read more about how high cholesterol is treated
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.
Plant Sterols Can Lower Cholesterol Levels
Plant sterols are found naturally in plant foods including sunflower and canola seeds, vegetable oils and in nuts, legumes, cereals, fruit and vegetables. Some margarine and milks have concentrated plant sterols added to them. Margarines enriched with plant sterolslower LDL cholesterol in most people if the correct amount is eaten .
Also Check: Pork Cholesterol Amount
Foods That Lower Ldl Cholesterol
If you have high cholesterol, your doctor may prescribe medication to lower those levels. However, they will also likely recommend lifestyle and dietary changes, including cutting out foods that raise LDL.
There are a number of ways that foods can lower your levels of LDL cholesterol. According to Harvard Health Publishing, some foods contain soluble fiber which “binds cholesterol and its precursors in the digestive system and drags them out of the body before they get into circulation.”
Read more:7-Day Low-Cholesterol Diet Menu
Some plants contain sterols and stanols compounds that occur naturally in plant cell membranes. Phytosterols have a similar structure to cholesterol, meaning they “compete” for absorption in the digestive system and thus lower the amount of cholesterol absorbed into the blood. Other cholesterol-lowering foods contain polyunsaturated fats.
Improving Health With Current Research
Learn about the following ways the NHLBI continues to translate current research into improved health for people who have high blood cholesterol. Research on this topic is part of the NHLBIs broader commitment to advancing heart and vascular disease scientific discovery.
Learn about some of the pioneering research contributions we have made over the years that have improved clinical care.
Read Also: Is Shrimp Bad For Cholesterol
Potential Health Benefits Of Scallops
Scallops offer a range of vitamins and minerals that can benefit your health. They contain high levels of zinc, which can help balance hormones and improve memory. A serving of scallops also meets the daily requirement for Vitamin B12, an antioxidant associated with healthy cognitive function.
Other research-backed health benefits of scallops include:
The high magnesium content in scallops can contribute to heart health as well. This mineral helps relax blood vessels, which can lower your blood pressure and improve circulation. One study found that those with low magnesium levels had up to a 54% greater risk of dying from heart disease.
May Prevent Stroke
Research shows the fatty acids in scallops can improve blood flow and reduce clots that lead to stroke. One study found that people who eat fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids between two and four times a week lowered their stroke risk by up to 48%.
Scallops are an excellent source of lean protein. Research shows that high-protein diets can help with weight loss, as you feel fuller for longer. Protein may also boost your metabolism.
Myth: All Cholesterol Is Bad For You
Fact: Some types of cholesterol are essential for good health. Your body needs cholesterol to perform important jobs, such as making hormones and building cells. Cholesterol travels through the blood on proteins called lipoproteins. Two types of lipoproteins carry cholesterol throughout the body:
- LDL , sometimes called bad cholesterol, makes up most of your bodys cholesterol. High levels of LDL cholesterol raise your risk for heart disease and stroke.
- HDL , or good cholesterol, carries cholesterol back to the liver. The liver then flushes it from the body. High levels of HDL cholesterol can lower your risk for heart disease and stroke.
When your body has too much LDL cholesterol, it can build up in the walls of your blood vessels. This buildup is called plaque. As your blood vessels build up plaque over time, the insides of the vessels narrow. This narrowing can restrict and eventually block blood flow to and from your heart and other organs. When blood flow to the heart is blocked, it can cause angina or a heart attack.
Recommended Reading: Is Shrimp Bad For Your Cholesterol
One Food You Should Eat Twice A Week To Help You Avoid High Cholesterol
High cholesterol is an important problem in the UK with its connection to coronary heart disease and here are some foods and other tips to keep it under control
Brits are being warned of the dangers from high cholesterol with statistics showing a worrying number of over 50s in this position and here are some foods and tips to reduce it.
Statistics from the British Heart Foundation show that every eight minutes somebody dies from coronary heart disease and the importance to take steps to keep the organ healthy.
High cholesterol is extremely common and it increases your risk of heart attack and disease, so it is crucial to keep it at a healthy level, reported the Irish Mirror.
For good heart health and healthy cholesterol, the BHF recommends people have a diet with fruit and vegetables, and less fatty food.
Dietary Tips To Avoid Cholesterol
The most important thing you can do to reduce your cholesterol level is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. You should try to:
- Increase the amount and variety of fresh fruit, vegetables and wholegrain foods you have each day.
- Choose low or reduced-fat milk, yoghurt and other dairy products or have added calcium soy drinks.
- Choose lean meat .
- Limit fatty meats, including sausages and salami, and choose leaner sandwich meats like turkey breast or cooked lean chicken.
- Have fish at least twice a week.
- Replace butter and dairy blends with polyunsaturated margarines.
- Include foods in your diet that are rich in soluble fibre and healthy fats, such as nuts, legumes and seeds.
- Limit cheese and ice cream to twice a week.
Other storage fats that are transported in blood lipoproteins include triglycerides. When present in high concentrations in the blood, this fat is also a risk for heart attack. Some foods will affect the cholesterol level or the triglyceride level and some will affect both.
You May Like: Are Baked Potatoes High In Cholesterol
What Causes High Cholesterol
We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Heres our process.
Cholesterol is both good and bad. At normal levels, it is an essential substance for the body. However, if concentrations in the blood get too high, it becomes a silent danger that puts people at risk of heart attack.
Cholesterol is present in every cell of the body and has important natural functions when it comes to digesting foods, producing hormones, and generating vitamin D. The body produces it, but people also consume it in food. It is waxy and fat-like in appearance.
There are two types of cholesterol:
- low-density lipoproteins , or bad cholesterol
- high-density lipoproteins , or good cholesterol
In this article, we will explain the role of cholesterol. We will also discuss the causes of high cholesterol, and its symptoms, treatment, and prevention.
Learn The Warning Signs Of Serious Complications And Have A Plan
High blood cholesterol can lead to serious cardiovascular complications, such as heart attack or stroke. If you think that you are or someone else is having the following symptoms, Every minute matters.
Heart attack symptoms include mild or severe chest pain or discomfort in the center of the chest or upper abdomen that lasts for more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back. This discomfort can feel like pressure, squeezing, fullness, heartburn, or indigestion. There also may be pain down the left arm or in the neck. Although both men and women can experience these symptoms, women are more likely to have other, less typical symptoms, such as shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, unusual tiredness, and pain in the back, shoulders, or jaw. Read more about the signs and symptoms of a heart attack.
If you think someone may be having a stroke, act F.A.S.T. and perform the following simple test.
FFace: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
AArms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
SSpeech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
TTime: If you observe any of these signs, . Early treatment is essential.
Read more about the signs and symptoms of a stroke.
Read Also: Does Tuna Lower 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.
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.
Recommended Reading: Are Mussels High In Cholesterol
Ask The Doctor: Can Hdl Cholesterol Be Too High
Q.I know I need to keep my LDL cholesterol low and my HDL cholesterol high, but can HDL ever be too high?
A. For high-density lipoprotein levels, it does appear that the higher, the betterat least to a point. But you should also think about how you achieve that level. HDL is known as the “good” cholesterol particle because it functions to clear cholesterol from the arteries and deliver it back to the liver. Higher HDL levels are associated with a lower risk of heart disease. HDL levels lower than 40 milligrams per deciliter are considered worrisome, and levels higher than 60 mg/dL are considered excellent.
One recent study that examined high levels of HDL reported the benefits extended until 90 mg/dL in men, but then leveled off, which suggests no further benefit even with higher levels. A man’s HDL level is predominantly determined by genetics, or inherited factors. Moderate-intensity exercise, three to four times a week, is an important mechanism to raise HDL with the bonus of other health benefits. Other methods to raise HDL are not so healthy. For instance, medications or supplements, like niacin, have shown disappointing results in controlled studies. Alcohol intake is known to increase HDL, but consuming more than two standard drinks a day can raise your risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.
–William Kormos, MD
Yellow Rashes On The Eyelids
These yellow rashes are similar to the yellow cholesterol bubbles on your body, but smaller and on this time on your eyelids. The condition is known as xanthelasma. Luckily, it doesnt have any negative effects on your eyesight. Laser and acid treatments are available to get rid of these rash bubbles, but the more effective and permanent solution is just to lower your cholesterol levels altogether.
Please this with your friends and family.
Recommended Reading: High Cholesterol Foods Shrimp
Cholesterol Levels In Dialysis Patients
In a study of dialysis patients, those with higher cholesterol levels had lower mortality than those with low cholesterol.51 Yet the authors claimed that the inverse association of total cholesterol level with mortality in dialysis patients is likely due to the cholesterol-lowering effect of systemic inflammation and malnutrition, not to a protective effect of high cholesterol concentrations. Keeping an eye on further funding opportunities, the authors concluded: These findings support treatment of hypercholesterolemia in this population.
Coconut Milk Beverage: No Cholesterol High In Saturated Fat
This option adds natural sweetness to your coffee, oatmeal, or cereal, and has only 45 calories in an 8-oz glass and no cholesterol. One cup of unsweetened coconut milk beverage contains 4 g of saturated fat, but most of it is made up of medium-chain fatty acids, which may have some health advantages. Some populations eat a lot of coconut and dont get heart disease, Day says.
But there’s not enough research to conclude that coconuts and coconut milk are a heart-healthy choice when you have high cholesterol.
The final verdict is still out, says Lavinia Butuza, RD, a nutritionist in Sacramento, California. Heart patients need to be careful with anything coconut, and treat all saturated fats as the same, for now.
Recommended Reading: Cholesterol Lowering Foods Mayo Clinic
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.
How Does Dietary Cholesterol Affect Blood Cholesterol
The amount of cholesterol in your diet and the amount of cholesterol in your blood are very different things.
Although it may seem logical that eating cholesterol would raise blood cholesterol levels, it usually doesnt work that way.
The body tightly regulates the amount of cholesterol in the blood by controlling its production of cholesterol.
When your dietary intake of cholesterol goes down, your body makes more. When you eat greater amounts of cholesterol, your body makes less. Because of this, foods high in dietary cholesterol have very little impact on blood cholesterol levels in most people (
This is because the general increase in LDL particles typically reflects an increase in large LDL particles not small, dense LDL. In fact, people who have mainly large LDL particles have a lower risk of heart disease .
Hyperresponders also experience an increase in HDL particles, which offsets the increase in LDL by transporting excess cholesterol back to the liver for elimination from the body .
As such, while hyperresponders experience raised cholesterol levels when they increase their dietary cholesterol, the ratio of LDL to HDL cholesterol in these individuals stays the same and their risk of heart disease doesnt seem to go up.
Of course, there are always exceptions in nutrition, and some individuals may see adverse effects from eating more cholesterol-rich foods.
Contrary to popular belief, heart disease is not only caused by cholesterol.
Don’t Miss: Does Shrimp Have High Cholesterol
What Should My Cholesterol Levels Be
Blood cholesterol is measured in units called millimoles per litre of blood, often shortened to mmol/L.
As a general guide, total cholesterol levels should be:
- 5mmol/L or less for healthy adults
- 4mmol/L or less for those at high risk
As a general guide, LDL levels should be:
- 3mmol/L or less for healthy adults
- 2mmol/L or less for those at high risk
An ideal level of HDL is above 1mmol/L. A lower level of HDL can increase your risk of heart disease.
Your ratio of total cholesterol to HDL may also be calculated. This is your total cholesterol level divided by your HDL level. Generally, this ratio should be below four, as a higher ratio increases your risk of heart disease.
Cholesterol is only one risk factor. The level at which specific treatment is required will depend on whether other risk factors, such as smoking and high blood pressure, are also present.