Foods That Fight High Cholesterol
It’s easy to eat your way to an alarmingly high cholesterol level. And the reverse is true too changing what you eat can lower your cholesterol and improve the composition of the armada of fats floating through your bloodstream. Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and “good fats” are all part of a heart-healthy diet. But some foods are particularly good at helping bring down cholesterol.
How? Some cholesterol-lowering foods deliver a good dose of soluble fiber, which binds cholesterol and its precursors in the digestive system and drags them out of the body before they get into circulation. Others provide polyunsaturated fats, which directly lower LDL, or “bad” cholesterol. And those with plant sterols and stanols keep the body from absorbing cholesterol. Here are 5 of those foods:
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.
How Can I Lower Cholesterol With Diet
Heart-healthy lifestyle changes include a diet to lower your cholesterol. The DASH eating plan is one example. Another is the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes diet, which recommends that you
Choose healthier fats.You should limit both total fat and saturated fat. No more than 25 to 35% of your daily calories should come from dietary fats, and less than 7% of your daily calories should come from saturated fat. Depending upon how many calories you eat per day, here are the maximum amounts of fats that you should eat:
|Calories per Day|
|69-97 grams||17 grams|
Saturated fat is a bad fat because it raises your LDL level more than anything else in your diet. It is found in some meats, dairy products, chocolate, baked goods, and deep-fried and processed foods.
Trans fat is another bad fat it can raise your LDL and lower you HDL . Trans fat is mostly in foods made with hydrogenated oils and fats, such as stick margarine, crackers, and french fries.
Instead of these bad fats, try healthier fats, such as lean meat, nuts, and unsaturated oils like canola, olive, and safflower oils.
Limit foods with cholesterol. If you are trying to lower your cholesterol, you should have less than 200 mg a day of cholesterol. Cholesterol is in foods of animal origin, such as liver and other organ meats, egg yolks, shrimp, and whole milk dairy products.
Eat plenty of soluble fiber. Foods high in soluble fiber help prevent your digestive tract from absorbing cholesterol. These foods include
You May Like: How Much Cholesterol In Pork Chops
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 To Avoid That Are Linked With High Cholesterol
It may surprise you to learn that half of all heart attacks happen in people with normal cholesterol. A groundbreaking 2017 study in the New England Journal of Medicine looked at ten thousand people who had suffered heart attacks and saw elevated blood levels of a protein associated with inflammationC-reactive protein, or CRP. They administered an anti-inflammatory drug to some and a placebo to others the anti-inflammatory group saw 37 percent less inflammation and 15 percent fewer cardiovascular events compared with the placebo group.
Also Check: Does Mussels Have Cholesterol
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.
Ranking The Best Cholesterol Supplements Of 2021
Cholesterol supplements are designed to keep your cholesterol at a healthy level. They do this using a variety of different methods and ingredients.
If your cholesterol levels are too high, you are at a higher risk for heart attack and stroke, so it is vital to lower them to a healthy level. Generally, this is done through both medication and diet. However, supplements can also play a key role when used correctly.
Here are some of our favorite supplements for lowering cholesterol levels:
This supplement contains 500 mg of niacinamide, which can lower your LDL levels. Plus, it also contains a variety of other expert-chosen ingredients, like red yeast rice and garlic powder.
It also promotes the creation of healthy HDL cholesterol to keep your heart healthy. For these reasons, it is Bodynutritions #1 pick.
Recommended Reading: Does Feta Cheese Affect Cholesterol
So Which Food Products Lower The Level Of Cholesterol Naturally
Animal products with a high fat content, such as fatty meat, whole milk, cheese or butter, as well as heavily sweetened foods and large amounts of alcohol, increase the level of cholesterol and should therefore be avoided. But which foods have the opposite effect and have a positive impact on your cholesterol levels? We have summarised the top 6 for you here:
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.
Recommended Reading: Are Egg Beaters Low In Cholesterol
Apples Citrus And Berries
Fruit is included as part of any heart-healthy eating pattern, and for good reason. Many fruits are rich in vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and antioxidants. Pectin, a specific type of soluble fiber found in many fruits, including apples, citrus fruits, and berries, helps lower cholesterol in part by decreasing the amount of cholesterol made by the liver.
One small clinical trial of 40 adults found that those who ate two apples per day for eight weeks had lower LDL and total cholesterol levels compared with the control apple beverage.
Antioxidant compounds called polyphenols found in these fruits also provide anti-inflammatory effects that may reduce your risk of heart disease by lowering LDL cholesterol and preventing it from being oxidized.
Nature Made Cholestoff Complete Softgels
One inexpensive bottle of Nature Made CholestOFF contains a 20-day supply of cholesterol-lowering softgels. It contains a variety of ingredients designed to help lower your harmful cholesterol levels, including plant sterols.
It works by directly reducing the amount of cholesterol produced by your liver.
Read Also: Are Mussels High In Cholesterol
Genius Heart And Cardiovascular Health Supplement
These supplements contain a variety of ingredients, including grape seed extract and vitamin K2. This pill may help you maintain healthy cholesterol levels and improve your cardiac function and health.
It also contains several other ingredients to improve your heart health, making it an excellent choice for those worried about their heart health.
Minimize Foods That Raise Blood Cholesterol
Eat far fewer :
- Saturated-fat-rich foods such as butter, tropical oils like coconut oil, fatty meats, and dairy foods like cheese, cream, and whole/low-fat milk
- Organ meats
- Processed meats such as hot dogs, bacon, and bologna
- Partially hydrogenated vegetable oils
- Cholesterol-rich foods like egg yolks.
Have you recently heard in the news that egg yolks are okay? Dont believe it, cautions Kimberly Gomer, Director of Nutrition and Educator at Pritikin. Egg yolks are not okay, as this review by faculty at Pritikin elucidates.
Read Also: Does Shrimp Have High Cholesterol
Eating Chinese Cuisine On A Low Cholesterol Diet
Chinese food is a popular option for lunch or dinner whether you are dining out or eating take-out at home. Although delicious, some foods in Chinese cuisine can pose a problem if you are watching your cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Some Chinese food options can be high in fat, which could affect your lipid levels if you consume these foods on a regular basis. These healthy tips will show you how to consume your favorite Chinese foods while youre watching your cholesterol levels whether you are eating at your favorite Chinese restaurant or cooking your favorite recipes.
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
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
What Is The Difference Between Hdl And Ldl Cholesterol
Cholesterol doesnt dissolve in blood. To be transported in the bloodstream, cholesterol is packed into two types of carriers: low-density lipoproteins or high-density lipoproteins . LDL cholesterol, which is sometimes known as bad cholesterol, is necessary in limited quantities , but high LDL cholesterol levels can dramatically increase your risk of a heart attack. Thats because LDL particles can contribute to atherosclerosisor clogged arteries. HDL cholesterolsometimes called good cholesterolhelps clear LDL cholesterol from the arteries.
When doctors measure cholesterol levels, they first look at total cholesterol as a quick way to assess a persons risk. For a more exact guide, they divide the total level by the HDL level. Heart attack risk is minimized by having a lower total cholesterol and a higher proportion of HDL cholesterol. The ratio of total cholesterol to HDL should be less than 4 to 1.
Unfortunately, the average American man has a ratio of 5 to 1. Vegetarians, on the other hand, average about 3 to 1. Smoking and obesity lower HDL vigorous exercise and foods rich in vitamin C may increase it.
Don’t Miss: Are Egg Beaters Low In Cholesterol
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.
Aspects Of Cholesterol Problems
In and of itself, cholesterol is not a bad thing: It’s present in every cell in the body and does a lot of goodsupporting the production of hormones, digestion, and converting sunlight into vitamin D. Approximately 75 percent of the cholesterol present in the blood is produced by the liver, but the rest is derived from the diet, which is why making dietary changes is an effective way to keep cholesterol levels healthy.
There are two types of cholesterol:
- Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol is regarded as “bad cholesterol.” It’s the soft, waxy stuff that can accumulate in the bloodstream and interfere with the flow of blood.
- High-density lipoprotein the so-called “good cholesterol”helps keep blood vessels clear by carrying LDL cholesterol to the liver for disposal.
|Cholesterol Level Guidelines for Adults 20 and Older|
Read Also: Shrimp Cholesterol Myth
Dark Chocolate And Cocoa
Cocoa is the main ingredient in dark chocolate.
It may seem too good to be true, but research verifies the claims that dark chocolate and cocoa can lower bad LDL cholesterol .
In one study, healthy adults drank a cocoa beverage twice a day for a month.
They experienced a reduction in bad LDL cholesterol of 0.17 mmol/l . Their blood pressure also decreased and their good HDL cholesterol increased .
Cocoa and dark chocolate also seem to protect the bad LDL cholesterol in your blood from oxidation, which is a key cause of heart disease .
However, chocolate is often high in added sugar which negatively affects heart health.
Therefore, you should use cocoa alone or choose dark chocolate with a cocoa content of 7585% or higher.
The effect seems strongest in people with high cholesterol.
SummaryThere is some evidence that soy foods can reduce heart disease risk factors, especially in people with high cholesterol.
Vegetarian Or Vegan Diet
These plant-based diets could do a lot for your cholesterol, if you choose your foods wisely.
Vegetarians don’t eat any meat. Vegans don’t eat any animal products, including meat, eggs, dairy, or even honey.
Studies suggest vegetarians are less likely to get heart disease and high blood pressure. Thatâs because a diet with low or no animal products tends to be lower in total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol.
But if youâre going vegetarian or vegan, you’ll still need to check food labels and keep sweets and fatty foods to a minimum.
You May Like: Is Shrimp Bad For Your Cholesterol