Does Alcohol Influence Cholesterol Levels
Alcohol is a fixture in our society many people consume at least a small amount almost every day. Although many studies do not attribute any good properties to alcohol in any quantities, the positive effect of moderate amounts of alcohol on the cardiovascular system cannot be denied. But what about cholesterol?
According to long-term studies at the University of Tampere in Finland, alcohol in small amounts leads to a reduction in LDL cholesterol and an increase in HDL cholesterol. In contrast to HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol is the bad variety! So should one drink alcohol to balance the level of cholesterol? This question is easy to answer: No. In larger quantities the risks outweigh the benefits. The increase in HDL cholesterol and the associated benefits are also rather marginal. The total cholesterol balance is affected just as much total cholesterol and HDL cholesterol rise to the same extent.
Fruits Rich In Pectin
Pectin is a natural fiber found in the peel and pulp of certain fruits. It’s a favorite of jam and jelly makers, as heating pectin with a liquid causes it to thicken and form a gel. Some fruits, such as apples, pears, and plums, have higher pectin levels than others. The peels and pulp of citrus fruits also contain high amounts of pectin. Studies show that a rise in pectin consumption lowers total cholesterol. At least five servings of fruit a day, especially the high-pectin kinds, can bring down bad cholesterol and maintain adequate nutrient levels.
Foods That Help Lower Cholesterol
The body already produces cholesterol on its own; this vital fat is essential to the proper function of cell membranes. However, consuming foods and drinks high in cholesterol give the body more than it needs, which poses an increased risk for heart disease, stroke, and other ailments. The degree to which foods high in cholesterol raise blood cholesterol varies from person to person, but everyone can benefit from a balanced diet paired with daily exercise to maintain healthy levels. Some foods not only assist in lowering bad LDL cholesterol but also leave the good HDL cholesterol unaffected.
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How Can Foods Help Lower Cholesterol
People can often reduce their cholesterol levels dramatically by changing the foods they eat. Diets high in saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterolfound in meat, dairy products, and eggsraise cholesterol levels, which increases heart attack risk. Foods high in saturated fat are especially dangerous;because they can trigger the body to produce extra cholesterol.
Plants do the opposite. They are very low in saturated fat and free of cholesterol. Plants are also rich in soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol. Soluble fiber slows the absorption of cholesterol and reduces the amount of cholesterol the liver produces.;Oatmeal, barley, beans, and some fruits and vegetables are all good sources of soluble fiber.
It is important to continue to work closely with your health care provider to monitor your health and manage medications, even as you make dietary changes.
Foods Good For High Cholesterol
Some of the following foods can be included in the diet to reduce cholesterol. Let us explain further what to eat to lower cholesterol.
- Including whole grains ;Whole grains are beneficial in reducing cholesterol levels. Whole grains contain a variety of nutrients and minerals like iron, fiber, folate, and niacin that helps to prevent the problems caused by high cholesterol. You can also include cereals like wheat, rice, corn in your diet.;
- Consume fruits ;Fruits are low in calories and high in nutrients. Apart from this, they help in reducing the amount of fat. According to some research, fruits are rich in minerals like fiber, potassium, and vitamin C, which help in reducing the level of cholesterol in the body. Also, include fiber-rich fruits, then include kiwi, apple, orange, and banana in your diet.
- Green vegetables ;Green vegetables are beneficial for health and also help in controlling cholesterol levels. Apart from this, green vegetables have many nutritious elements like fiber, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, etc. In green vegetables, you can include spinach, fenugreek, etc. in your diet.
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Cholesterol: The Good And The Bad
Two different types of lipoproteins carry cholesterol to and from cells. LDL cholesterol carries lipoproteins to the cells.;
HDL carries nutrients and excess lipoprotein molecules to the liver to be excreted.;
Each of these cholesterol levels can be checked by your primary care doctor.;
They can help you review your levels and find out whether or not they are in the desired range.
Nuts Especially Almonds And Walnuts
Nuts are another exceptionally nutrient-dense food.
Theyre very high in monounsaturated fats. Walnuts are also rich in the plant variety of omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat associated with heart health .
Almonds and other nuts are particularly rich in L-arginine, an amino acid that helps your body make nitric oxide. This, in turn, helps regulate blood pressure .
Whats more, nuts provide phytosterols. These plant compounds are structurally similar to cholesterol and help lower cholesterol by blocking its absorption in your intestines.
Calcium, magnesium and potassium, also found in nuts, may reduce blood pressure and lower your risk of heart disease.
In an analysis of 25 studies, eating 23 servings of nuts per day decreased bad LDL cholesterol by an average of 10.2 mg/dl .
Eating a daily serving of nuts is linked to a 28% lower risk of both fatal and nonfatal heart disease .
Fatty fish, such as salmon and mackerel, are excellent sources of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3s bolster heart health by increasing good HDL cholesterol and lowering inflammation and stroke risk.
In one large, 25-year study in adults, those who ate the most non-fried fish were the least likely to develop metabolic syndrome, a cluster of symptoms that includes high blood pressure and low good HDL levels .
In another large study in older adults, those who ate tuna or other baked or broiled fish at least once a week had a 27% lower risk of stroke .
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Is The Portfolio Diet Right For Me
Recent research from Toronto University has shown that the Portfolio Diet can improve blood pressure, decreasing inflammation and reduce the 10-year risk of heart disease. However, people taking cholesterol-lowering drugs were excluded from the original study, so it is not known whether the diet could produce the same level of cholesterol reduction in those on medication.
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.
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If Lifestyle Changes Arent Enough
Take medications, if you need to, to lower your cholesterol into healthy ranges. Drugs like statins can be very effective, says Dr. Danine Fruge, MD, ABFP – Medical Director at the Pritikin Longevity Center, but do continue in your efforts to eat well and exercise because a healthy lifestyle can give you far, far more than drugs alone.
With a healthy living program like Pritikin, youre not only reducing cholesterol quickly, youre also creating changes throughout your body that can profoundly improve your overall well-being. Youre reducing blood sugar levels and blood pressure. Other heart disease risk factors like triglyceride fats are also dropping dramatically. Youre also reducing inflammatory factors that sicken arteries. Youre shedding excess weight. And, quite simply, youre feeling better, much better. Many of our guests at Pritikin tell us, I had no idea I could feel this good again.
Can any pill or combination of pills do all of the above? I highly doubt it. But a healthy lifestyle like Pritikin can.
Foods To Avoid In High Cholesterol
- Alcohol: Alcohol increases the calories in the body that causes weight gain. Apart from this, bad cholesterol increases due to weight gain and causes heart disease.
- Excessive consumption of certain foods, such as egg yolk, full-fat milk products & red meat, can lead to an increase in bad cholesterol. All these foods should be consumed in moderation to keep the cholesterol levels under control.
- Processed foods like biscuits and pastries, fast food items like burgers and fried foods.
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Puree Fruits And Veggies For Baking
Pureed fruits or vegetables can be used in place of oil in muffin, cookie, cake and snack bar recipes to give your treats an extra healthy boost. For many recipes, use the specified amount of puree instead of oil. Check the mixs package or your cookbooks substitutions page for other conversions. You can:
- Use applesauce in spice muffins or oatmeal cookies.
- Include bananas in breads and muffins.
- Try zucchini in brownies.
Foods With Added Sterols And Stanols
Sterols and stanols are plant chemicals which are a similar size and shape to cholesterol. They are absorbed from the intestines into the blood stream and block some cholesterol from being absorbed,; lowering the cholesterol in your blood.
We get a small amount of sterols from plant-based foods such as vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, but its not enough to lower cholesterol. So, food companies have developed foods with plant sterols or stanols added to them, such as mini yogurt drinks, fat spreads, milk and yogurts.
These fortified foods lower your cholesterol gradually, over a few weeks, and how much depends on the amount you eat. Some experts believe they are the most effective single food for lowering cholesterol.
Who should eat foods with sterols and stanols added?
Sterols and stanols have been thoroughly researched, so they can be added to foods and are safe to eat.
They are suitable for:
- People with high cholesterol; theres no real benefit if you dont have high cholesterol.
- Children with inherited high cholesterol such as familial hypercholesterolaemia; with support from a doctor or dietitian.
- People taking statins; sterols and stanols will help to lower your cholesterol further because they work in a different way to the statin.
They are not suitable for:
Aim for:; one to three;;servings; of fortified foods a day. This will give you 1.5 to 3g of stanols and sterols.
Three servings of:; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;OR
- 1 glass of milk
One product a day:;
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Work In Some More Movement To Your Daily Tasks
Do you need to start running every day? Do you need to join a gym or buy a bunch of home fitness equipment? If you want to, go ahead! But there are many other choices, and finding a routine that works for you is whats most important.
Ideally, you want to aim for at least 2.5 hours of moderate physical activity every week. You can break that up however you like. You might focus on doing something every day, or you could dedicate yourself to just a few days per week. The key is to just get started.
For example, do you usually take the elevator? Take the stairs instead. Do you walk your dog every day? Go a little farther than usual, or walk at a faster pace. Need to go shopping? Park farther away than you normally do. Catching up on your favorite TV series? Try stretching, dumbbells or kettlebells while youre watching rather than just sitting on the couch. Also look for chances to bring motion into your daily life, such as walking while you talk on the phone.
If youre feeling good, work up to more intense physical activity, like lap swimming, jogging or hot yoga. Dont overexert yourself, but remember that regular and consistent exercise has benefits beyond managing your cholesterol. It also helps reduce blood pressure and builds your overall physical, mental and emotional well-being.
Even if you just go a little farther or a little faster than you usually do, that extra activity will be a big step in the right direction for your health.
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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What Kind Of Food Should You Avoid If You Have High Cholesterol
Due to the abundance of food available, it is often difficult to find out which of the products you buy are really healthy for your body. However, if you want to watch your level of cholesterol, you should definitely avoid some Foods.
For example, meat that is too fatty is always a danger. In addition, crustaceans and shellfish should be avoided. Sausages with a high fat content can also lead to an increase in the level of cholesterol. Dairy products with high fat content are also a trap, including cheese, butter, milk and cream. Sweet pastries, sweetened drinks and sweets in general are all not always healthy for many reasons including in relation to cholesterol balance. Fast food and convenience foods are also very high on the no-no list.
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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What Should I Eat To Cut My Cholesterol
Eating oats, green leafy veg, nuts, seeds, beans and soy milk can help lower LDL cholesterol, according to research by Dr David Jenkins of the University of Toronto. His Portfolio Diet involves eating these foods as part of a calorie-controlled vegan diet low in saturated fat and salt and high in fibre, fruit and veg.
People with high levels of bad cholesterol are often advised to follow a low-fat, low-cholesterol, high-fibre diet, which has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels, but only by a small amount.
The problem is that most of us make more cholesterol in our bodies than we consume in food. So is following the Portfolio Diet while taking regular exercise a better way to tackle the problem?
Saturated And Unsaturated Fat
There are 2 main types of fat: saturated and unsaturated. Eating too many foods high in saturated fat can raise the level of cholesterol in your blood.
Most people in the UK eat too much saturated fat.
Foods high in saturated fat include:
- meat pies
- cakes and biscuits
- foods containing coconut or palm oil
Eating foods that contain unsaturated fat instead of saturated fat can actually help reduce cholesterol levels.
Try to replace foods containing saturated fats with small amounts of;foods high in unsaturated fats, such as:
- oily fish; such as mackerel and salmon
- nuts; such as almonds and cashews
- seeds; such as sunflower and pumpkin seeds
- vegetable oils and spreads; such as rapeseed or;vegetable oil,;sunflower, olive, corn and;walnut oils
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Is Dietary Cholesterol Harmful
Research has shown that dietary cholesterol does not significantly impact cholesterol levels in your body, and data from population studies does not support an association between dietary cholesterol and heart disease in the general population .
Though dietary cholesterol can slightly impact cholesterol levels, this isnt an issue for most people.
In fact, two-thirds of the worlds population experience little or no increase in cholesterol levels after eating cholesterol-rich foods even in large amounts .
A small number of people are considered cholesterol non-compensators or hyper-responders and appear to be more vulnerable to high-cholesterol foods.
However, hyper-responders are thought to recycle extra cholesterol back to the liver for excretion .
Dietary cholesterol has also been shown to beneficially affect the LDL-to-HDL ratio, which is considered the best indicator of heart disease risk .
While research shows that its unnecessary for most people to avoid dietary cholesterol, keep in mind that not all cholesterol-containing foods are healthy.
Here are 7 healthy high-cholesterol foods and 4 to avoid.
Here are 7 high-cholesterol foods that are incredibly nutritious.
Foods Especially Rich In Soluble Fiber Are:
Beans are stars in this meal plan for lowering cholesterol. And with the huge variety of beans now available, from fancy heirloom combinations to good old pintos, youll never get board.
- Beans such as lentils, peas, kidney beans, lima beans, black beans, red beans, pinto beans, and so on
Or, as our doctors and nutritionists at the Pritikin health resort like to abbreviate: BYOBBB
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