Shed The Excess Pounds
The increasing rate of obesity in the United States is the No. 1 cause of cholesterol-related issues, says Dr. Knight-Mathis. Nearly 40 percent of Americans are considered obese nearly 10 percent are severely obese, at 100 pounds over their optimal weight.
The Covid-19 pandemic made the situation even worse.
Over 50 percent of U.S. adults reported weight gain during Covid, says Dr. Knight-Mathis, whose practice focuses on adolescents. The most frequently cited number is 15 pounds, but it is likely even higher.
Extra weight leads to more cholesterol production in the liver, including LDL. When cholesterol production shifts into high gear, theres a whole lot of bad LDL for HDL to vacuum up, and it gets overwhelmed.
Extra weight also increases the risk for diabetes, which is associated with worsening cholesterol, Dr. Knight-Mathis says.
Desirable Cholesterol Numbers For Better Health
Your cholesterol numbers from a simple blood test provide a measure of your cardiovascular health and can be an early warning sign of heart disease. The AHA recommends your total cholesterol levels be measured at least once every five years once you reach age 20.
Total cholesterol is the sum of a few numbers: HDL cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol , triglycerides, and other lipid components of your blood. Each is reported in milligrams per deciliter of blood .
Your doctor can determine the best cholesterol level for you based on your health, medical history, and family history of heart disease. Desirable cholesterol levels, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , are:
- Total cholesterol less than 200 mg/dL
- LDL cholesterol less than 100 mg/dL
- HDL above 40 mg/dL in men and above 50 mg/dL in women
Regulation Of Cholesterol Synthesis
Biosynthesis of cholesterol is directly regulated by the cholesterol levels present, though the homeostatic mechanisms involved are only partly understood. A higher intake from food leads to a net decrease in endogenous production, whereas lower intake from food has the opposite effect. The main regulatory mechanism is the sensing of intracellular cholesterol in the endoplasmic reticulum by the proteinSREBP . In the presence of cholesterol, SREBP is bound to two other proteins: SCAP and INSIG-1. When cholesterol levels fall, INSIG-1 dissociates from the SREBP-SCAP complex, which allows the complex to migrate to the Golgi apparatus. Here SREBP is cleaved by S1P and S2P , two enzymes that are activated by SCAP when cholesterol levels are low.
Cholesterol synthesis can also be turned off when cholesterol levels are high. HMG-CoA reductase contains both a cytosolic domain and a membrane domain. The membrane domain senses signals for its degradation. Increasing concentrations of cholesterol cause a change in this domain’s oligomerization state, which makes it more susceptible to destruction by the proteasome. This enzyme’s activity can also be reduced by phosphorylation by an AMP-activated protein kinase. Because this kinase is activated by AMP, which is produced when ATP is hydrolyzed, it follows that cholesterol synthesis is halted when ATP levels are low.
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Good Cholesterol Foods To Raise Hdl Levels And Lowering Ldl Naturally
Having cholesterol levels checked regularly and eating a diet high in good cholesterol foods and cholesterol lowering foods is an excellent way to help improve your overall health while also lowering your risk for serious medical conditions such as heart disease.
Knowing and understanding as much as possible about good cholesterol and bad cholesterol, and how they work, is the key to taking control of your own health.
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.
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What Exactly Is Good Cholesterol
Despite its link to heart disease, cholesterol is essential to the body.
Produced in the liver, the substance aids in digestion and metabolism. It also helps produce necessary vitamins, such as vitamin D for bone strength, and sex hormones, including estrogen and testosterone.
Cholesterol is the building block of all cells, explains Vicki Knight-Mathis, MD, a board-certified pediatrician in the Atlanta area.
Its a tiny, waxy substance and a type of fat, or lipid. Because its not water soluble, it needs some help traveling through the blood, which is mostly water. So it joins up with protein.
This fat-and-protein particle is called a lipoprotein. There are two main types: high-density lipoprotein and low-density lipoprotein .
When doctors refer to good cholesterol, they mean HDL. When they reference bad cholesterol, theyre talking about LDL, says Christopher Di Giorgio, MD, a board-certified cardiologist in New Jersey who is part of the Englewood Health Physician Network.
High levels of LDL can clog arteries, reducing blood flow and raising the likelihood of a heart attack.
HDL, on the other hand, is the cleanup crew. It collects fatty substances and excess cholesterol throughout the body and brings them back to the liver to be disposed.
The goal is to keep LDL numbers low and HDL levels high for optimal heart health.
Tests For High Ldl Cholesterol
There are several different tests doctors use to check for high LDL cholesterol levels
- Direct LDL Test This test is purely to measure your LDL levels and does not test or check anything else. This test can be carried out at any time of the day, regardless of whether you have eaten or not.
- Fasting Cholesterol Test This type of test measures HDL and LDL cholesterol, as well as fats and something known as triglycerides.
- Simple Cholesterol Test This is the test most commonly carried out by the doctor in his surgery, the results of which will determine whether the person requires any further testing. This test is basic and simply measures cholesterol level, whether you have eaten before the test or not will have no bearings on the results.
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Salmon: 1037 Mg 35% Dv
Salmon is one of the healthiest proteins despite being a high-cholesterol food. A cooked 6-ounce fillet of sockeye salmon has 35 percent of the DV for cholesterol and 108 percent DV for omega-3. This fatty fish is also an excellent source of protein, vitamin D, selenium and B vitamins.
The AHA recommends eating two 3.5-ounce servings of fatty fish like salmon each week. Try it in these air-fryer salmon recipes for a quick and easy dinner.
Foods To Avoid When Ldl Cholesterol Is High
Many vegetable oils, processed foods, or foods made from animal fats contain high levels of saturated fats. These fats are harder for your body to break down. They also contain excessive LDL cholesterol.
Foods that give you high cholesterol may include:
- Fatty cuts of red meat
- Smoked, cured, and packaged meats
- Fast food
- Whole fat dairy products
- Vegetable oils
Keep in mind some saturated fats could be heart-healthy. For instance, coconuts, lean cuts of red meat, and some cheese may lower LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol. When in doubt, opt for leaner antibiotic-free proteins and as many whole foods as possible.
In addition, these foods are also high in omega-6 fatty acids. Too many omega-6 fatty acids can cause chronic inflammation that can lead to heart attacks or strokes .
Lastly, trans fats also play a role in the development of high cholesterol. These food additives are highly addictive to consumers and provide little to no health benefits.
Trans fats are typically found in baked goods, potato chips, and other snacks. So, there’s another reason to lay low on the sweets!
Thankfully, banning trans fats has gained a lot of momentum around the world. Many products are omitting them from their recipes.
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Eating For Lower Cholesterol
Healthy eating can make a huge difference to your cholesterol levels and your heart health, whether your cholesterol has crept up over the years or you have a genetic condition. It will improve your health in other ways too, helping to lower your blood pressure, prevent diabetes and maintain a healthy weight.
Other Ways To Improve Your Hdl
In addition to nutrition, lifestyle changes that can raise your HDL include physical activity, smoking cessation and weight loss, Dr. Sullivan says.
Moderate physical activity is good for your overall health, but it can specifically help raise HDL. If you arent currently physically active, begin working toward at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week.
A good place to start is just to start sitting less and moving more, Dr. Sullivan says.
Smoking cigarettes is associated with low HDL levels. So quitting smoking can allow your HDL cholesterol to return to a healthier level and reduce your risk of heart disease.
Moderate weight loss even just 5 to 10 percent of your current weight has been shown to improve cholesterol levels along with blood pressure and blood sugar.
Work on making small changes with your nutrition and activity routines. For example, swap out sugary drinks for water, try taking a short walk during a break, Dr. Sullivan says.
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Turkey Breast: 136 Mg 45% Dv
Turkeys popularity might peak around Thanksgiving, but it deserves more time in the spotlight. While a 6-ounce serving of roasted turkey breast has 45 percent of the DV for cholesterol, it only has 1 gram of saturated fat . Because saturated fat is the type of fat you want to limit, turkey can be a healthier option for meat lovers.
Try it as a lean alternative to ground beef in these creative ground turkey recipes.
Lifestyle Changes To Improve Your Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance in your body. Your body uses it to protect nerves, make cell tissues, and produce certain hormones. Your liver makes all the cholesterol your body needs. But you also get cholesterol directly from food you eat. Common sources include eggs, meats, and dairy products. This can add too much cholesterol into your body. If this happens, you may have high cholesterol. That can have negative effects on your health. Luckily, there are lifestyle changes you can make to improve your cholesterol.
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How The Fat You Eat Affects Cholesterol Levels
The relationship between the fat we eat and our health, particularly our cardiovascular health, has been hotly debated for many years.
Heres what you need to know:
Not all fats are created equally.
The kinds of fat you eat matter more than the amount.
There are different types of fats in our diet:
Polyunsaturated fats: essential and important nutrients
Monounsaturated fats: can come from plant or animal products and are generally considered healthy
Saturated fats: less healthy than mono- and polyunsaturated fats
Trans fats: unhealthy fats
Medical Guidelines And Recommendations
In 2015, the United States Department of Agriculture Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recommended that Americans eat as little dietary cholesterol as possible, because most foods that are rich in cholesterol are also high in saturated fat and thereby may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. For over 2 decades, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommended that dietary cholesterol be no more than 300 mg per day. In a 2014 draft, DGAC dropped this recommendation because evidence showed no appreciable relationship between dietary and serum cholesterol. This caught the eye of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine , which sued DGAC due to concerns of conflicts of interest which prompted the final draft to recommend eating “as little dietary cholesterol as possible”. A 2013 report by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology recommended to instead focus on healthy dietary patterns rather than cholesterol limits as they are hard for clinicians and consumers to implement. They recommend the DASH and Mediterranean diet, which are low in cholesterol. A 2017 review by the American Heart Association recommends switching saturated fats for polyunsaturated fats to reduce cardiovascular disease risk.
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Healthy Eating Tips To Lower Cholesterol
As well as sticking to a varied and healthy diet, try these tips to help you manage your cholesterol:
- Limit takeaway foods to once a week .
- Limit salty, fatty and sugary snack foods to once a week .
- Eat plenty of vegetables aim for 5 serves of vegetables every day. .
- Choose wholegrain breads, cereal, pasta, rice and noodles.
- Snack on plain, unsalted nuts and fresh fruit .
- Include legumes such as chickpeas, lentils, split peas), beans into at least two meals a week. Check food labels and choose the lowest sodium products.
- Use spreads and margarines made from healthy unsaturated fats instead of those made with saturated fat .
- Use healthy oils for cooking some include canola, sunflower, soybean, olive , sesame and peanut oils.
- Use salad dressings and mayonnaise made from oils such as canola, sunflower, soybean, olive , sesame and peanut oils.
- Include 2 or 3 serves of plant-sterol-enriched foods every day .
- Have 2 to 3 portions of oily fish every week. Fish may be fresh, frozen or canned.
- Include up to 7 eggs every week.
- Select lean meat and limit unprocessed red meat to less than 350g per week.
- Choose reduced fat, no added sugar milk, yoghurt, or calcium-added non-dairy food and drinks.
- Limit or avoid processed meats including sausages and deli meats .
If you are having trouble with your cholesterol levels, a dietitian can help you to eat healthily for your specific needs.
What Causes High Cholesterol
Some causes of high blood cholesterol include:
- Low intake of foods containing healthy fats healthy fats tend to increase the good cholesterol.
- High intake of foods containing unhealthy fats such as fatty meats, full-fat dairy products, butter, coconut oil, palm oil and most deep-fried takeaway foods and commercially baked products . Foods high in trans-fats include most commercially baked products and deep-fried takeaway foods.
- Low intake of foods containing fibre foods that are high in dietary fibre, particularly soluble fibre, can reduce the amount of LDL cholesterol in your blood. Include fibre-containing foods in your diet by choosing vegetables, fruits, wholegrains, nuts and seeds every day.
- Cholesterol in food this has only a small effect on LDL cholesterol -saturated fats and trans-fats in food have a much greater effect.
- You can also eat up to 7 eggs a week as part of a healthy, balanced diet low in saturated and trans-fats, without increasing your risk of heart disease.
Some people will have high cholesterol even if they follow a healthy, balanced diet low in saturated fats and trans-fats. These people may need to take cholesterol-lowering medicine as prescribed by their doctor.
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How To Lower Cholesterol The Importance Of Lowering Bad Cholesterol
There are two types of cholesterol, HDL or High-Density Lipoprotein, known as good cholesterol and LDL or Low-Density Lipoprotein, which is known as bad cholesterol. LDL or bad cholesterols are bad for your health and can cause health issues such as heart attacks and stroke. So, it is important to lower bad cholesterol to avoid heart diseases. High cholesterol can be inherited, but often it is a result of unhealthy lifestyle practice. Not only is high cholesterol a result of a bad lifestyle, but it can also be lowered or controlled by changing your lifestyle. Check out the best Indian diet plan for immunity and weight loss here.
High cholesterol could lead to severe health issues, such as heart diseases. Controlling cholesterol levels shouldnt take much effort a simple lifestyle change is enough. All you need to do to lower your cholesterol levels is to avoid smoking, limit alcohol intake, exercise regularly, and follow a healthy diet. Food plays a key role in the rise or fall of cholesterol levels healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish and more reduce LDL cholesterol levels and raise HDL levels while unhealthy fried and fast food, rich in trans fat and calories do the opposite. Read on to find the role of food in cholesterol levels.
Foods To Eat To Lower Cholesterol
The term cholesterol still causes a lot of confusion. So, what exactly is cholesterol? Cholesterol is in every cell in your body, its made by the liver, and travels in your blood. Cholesterol is a good thing it has many important roles like fat absorption, making vitamin D from the sun, and making hormones. But too much cholesterol can cause problems for some people.
So, there is cholesterol in your blood and in food. Food from animals including meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy have cholesterol. However, dietary cholesterol doesnt automatically turn into cholesterol in your blood.
High levels of cholesterol in the blood have been linked to heart disease. People with diabetes are 2-4 times more likely to die from heart disease than someone without diabetes. So, we used to think that dietary cholesterol was the heart disease villain. Newer thinking is that heart disease is about inflammation. What causes inflammation in people is different. Contributors to inflammation include diet, environment, toxins, stress, infections, lack of sleep, and excess body weight. Another cause of inflammation for people with type 2 diabetes is high levels of insulin in the blood or insulin resistance.