My Cholesterol Is Very High Should I Come Off Lchf Diet
I started the LCHF diet in September, thanks to your website. Ive lost almost 14 pounds so Im very happy with that, but I had my bloods done last week and my cholesterol has come back very high, at 10, and apparently my bad cholesterol was high as well. It was around 5 previously. I was on a statin and after watching some videos and reading up on them, I came off my statin about two months ago. My doctor wants me to go on a statin and a low-fat diet but I feel great on LCHF. Is there any advice you could give me?
Whether you need a statin or not is something we cant tell you we cant and we should not, offer personalized medical advice here.
In general, stopping taking statins appears to result in a significant increase in cholesterol on its own.
Cholesterol levels can rise quite a bit for a minority of people who try keto. However, the cholesterol profile usually improves, e.g. the good cholesterol usually goes up the most, this is connected to a lowered risk by itself. For more on the topic see this guide.
When Should My Cholesterol Levels Be Tested
Your GP may recommend that you have your blood cholesterol levels tested if you:
- have been diagnosed with coronary heart disease, stroke or mini stroke , or peripheral arterial disease
- have a family history of early cardiovascular disease
- have a close family member who has a cholesterol-related condition
- are overweight
Whole Milk And Other Full
Some doctors and nutritionists recommend people with high cholesterol to get rid of dairy products from their diet altogether.
This will depend on exactly how high your cholesterol levels are, but many people wont have to go to quite such an extreme.
Dairy products provide many people with essential nutrients, such as calcium for strong bones. There are other foods that can deliver these nutrients but dairy products are convenient and slot nicely into a well-rounded diet.
However, you do need to take steps to cut down your cholesterol intake from dairy by using low-fat or no-fat options.
You can also replace certain dairy products with soy-based products, which are lower in cholesterol.
Some soy-based products also contribute to your good cholesterol levels, helping you lower your overall risk of heart disease and heart attacks.
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What Not To Eat: Foods That Raise Cholesterol
Whether you have high cholesterol that needs to be lowered or you simply want to maintain an already-healthy cholesterol level, avoiding certain foods can help.
Any food that contains saturated fat is a no-no for a cholesterol-lowering diet. Trans fats are equally as bad, if not worse. Trans fats are a double whammy they raise LDL cholesterol and lower HDL cholesterol, Featherstun says.
Here are some specific types of food to avoid:
Anything fried Youd be hard-pressed to walk into a restaurant in the United States and not find a deep fryer. But if youre on a cholesterol-lowering diet, take a pass on the greasy stuff. Not only does deep frying cause foods to lose water and suck up fat, making them more calorie dense, but the oils that foods are fried in are often high in trans fats, the worst offenders.
If you cant bear the thought of never eating another crunchy onion ring, consider using olive or sunflower oil when frying. In a study published in January 2012 in The BMJ, researchers in Spain, where olive and sunflower oils are used for frying, found that eating fried foods was not associated with increased rates of heart disease like it is in countries where saturated fats, like lard and butter, are used. Just be sure not to heat these oils past their smoke point the temperature at which an oil starts to burn.
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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Which Foods Are High In Cholesterol
All animal foods contain some cholesterol. But by cutting down on the animal foods that contain saturated fats you will be keeping the cholesterol in your diet in check too.
Foods that contain cholesterol and are high in saturated fat.
Full fat dairy foods such as milk, cheese, yogurt and cream.
Animal fats, such as butter, ghee, margarines and spreads made from animal fats, lard, suet and dripping.
Fatty meat and processed meat products such as sausages.
There are some foods which are low in saturated fat but high in cholesterol. These include eggs, some shellfish, liver, liver pate and offal. Most people dont need to cut down on the cholesterol thats found in these foods.
Foods that contain cholesterol but are low in saturated fat.
Lean meat, especially offal, such as liver, kidney, sweetbreads, heart and tripe
Prawns, crab, lobster, squid, octopus and cuttlefish.
For people with FH, or who have high cholesterol, or are at high risk of or have cardiovascular disease, you can still eat some of these foods, but you need to be more careful about how often you eat them to ensure youre keeping within the guidelines. For example, you could eat three or four eggs a week, and shellfish such as prawns up to once or twice a week.
You should avoid liver and offal altogether because they are very rich sources of cholesterol.
The table below shows the amount of cholesterol in these types of foods:-
Butter And Some Oils The Silent Cholesterol Attack
Butter is a high cholesterol food which is something of a silent killer many people never consider the health implications of eating butter because it seems like such a relatively minor part of their diet.
The reality is the butter you spread on your toast and use for cooking can make a huge contribution to your cholesterol levels.
The same applies to certain cooking oils which contain saturated fats like palm oil.
Now, be careful if you want to substitute butter with margarine though some margarine products contain trans fats rather than saturated fats, which actually stimulate the production of bad cholesterol inside your body.
Ideally you want to find spreads and cooking oil products which made from foods high in unsaturated fats.
Olive oil and olive oil based spreads are good examples.
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Fats: The Good And Bad
In general, the American Heart Association cautions that fatty red meats, including lamb, pork and beef, have higher levels of saturated fat than alternatives such as fish and lean poultry. It’s the saturated fat in a food, not its cholesterol content, that translates to high blood cholesterol. Organ meats as well as full-fat meats and full-fat dairy products are best to avoid, says Dr. Quinones-Camacho.
If you really want to keep your bad cholesterol levels down, fish is probably your best bet. “Fatty fishes such as salmon are high in good fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids, which can help people with high cholesterol,” she says.
Indeed, the good fats, like those found in fish, can raise what’s known as the good type of cholesterol high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. When it circulates through your bloodstream, HDL works like a vacuum cleaner, carrying away the waxy buildup of LDL from inside your arteries, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Limiting Saturated And Trans Fats
Here are some ways to lower your intake of saturated and trans fats:
- Maintain a diet that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish and nuts. Also limit red meat and sugar-sweetened foods and beverages.
- Opt for naturally occurring unhydrogenated vegetable oils such as canola, safflower, sunflower or olive oil.
- Look for processed foods made with unhydrogenated oil rather than saturated fat or hydrogenated vegetable oils.
- Use soft margarine as a substitute for butter and choose soft margarines over harder stick forms. Look for 0 g trans fat on the Nutrition Facts label.
- Doughnuts, cookies, crackers, muffins, pies and cakes are examples of foods high in trans fat. Dont eat them often.
- Limit commercially fried foods and baked goods made with shortening or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. These foods are very high in fat, and its likely to be trans fat.
- Limit fried fast food. Commercial shortening and deep-frying fats are still made by hydrogenation and contain saturated and trans fats.
Consider using a food diary to keep track of what you eat. Its a handy way to evaluate the healthy, not-so-healthy and unhealthy foods youre making a part of your everyday diet.
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Embrace A Heart Healthy Diabetes Diet
You may have negative associations with the word dietthinking that it means you can never have anything flavorful again and that youll be eating bland food for the rest of your life, just because you want to take care of your heart and blood glucose levels.
This doesn’t have to be the case. The simple definition for diet is “the foods we eat.” It has earned a negative connotation because so many people have strayed from eating wisely so much attention has been paid to going on a “diet” to mean eating to lose weight.
However, you can reframe the word to accept it’s original meaningto the focus has been on eating better. Eating well when you have diabetes and high blood cholesterol doesnt have to be a dull affair. You may choose to make some adjustments to the way you prepare meals like swapping whole grains for white flour, adding more fruits and vegetables, using healthy oils, and finding a way to put a little creativity into your cooking. These changes will help you prepare delicious meals that you, your family and friends can enjoy and that will assure that you are keeping your heart healthy!
Getting Too Many Calories From Animal Products
Plant-based eating is usually associated with lower levels of LDL cholesterol, but you dont have to go full vegan to reap the benefits many people choose to simply incorporate more plant-based meals into their diet, only eating animal products for one meal every day .
Eating highly-processed meats and red meat contributes to worsening of cholesterol levels, says Dr. Rothberg. People with high cholesterol should focus on getting more of their daily energy from plant sources rather than animal sources.
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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?
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.
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How Can I Lower My Cholesterol Level
The first step in reducing your cholesterol is to maintain a healthy, balanced diet. Its 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 dont 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
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.
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Prepare Your Food A Little Differently
Its not only what you eat its how you eat it. Just as you can change what you buy in the grocery store, you can also choose healthier ways to make your food that help lower your cholesterol naturally. For example:
- Trim fat and remove the skin when cooking meat or fish. This helps you get the protein while reducing fat intake.
- Focus on boiling, broiling, baking, poaching or grilling. These are better methods of preparation than deep frying or breading, which can bring in extra fat.
Myth: I Would Be Able To Feel It If I Had High Cholesterol
Fact: High cholesterol usually has no signs or symptoms. You may not know you have unhealthy cholesterol levels until it is too latewhen you have a heart attack or stroke. Thats why its so important to get your cholesterol levels checked at least every 5 years.1,2 Learn more about getting your cholesterol checked.
Occasionally, some people develop yellowish growths on their skin called xanthomas, which are cholesterol-rich deposits. People with xanthomas may have high cholesterol levels.
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Be Selective With Your Fats
Though it sounds backward, foods high in dietary cholesterol don’t actually seem to raise our body’s cholesterol levels. To lower your cholesterol, limit foods with saturated fats and instead, go for leaner white meat and plant-based protein options , and switch over to low-fat dairy products. Additionally, you’ll want to include more heart-healthy fats from foods like salmon, avocados, olive oil, nuts and seeds, which help to improve cholesterol levels.
A step that can have an even larger impact on lowering cholesterol levels is eliminating foods made with hydrogenated fats and partially hydrogenated fats , which are highly processed fats that are associated with increased risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. The FDA has banned food manufacturers from adding trans fats as of January 2020, but still check ingredient lists and avoid products with hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats listed.
Drinking Habits Science Says Help With High Cholesterol Eat This Not That Eat This Not That
Having high cholesterol can make your body feel like a ticking time bomb. High cholesterol is a risk factor for both heart disease and strokeand a shocking number of U.S. adults have cholesterol levels that may be negatively affecting their health.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , 94 million U.S. residents have high cholesterol, but just over half of those who might benefit from taking cholesterol-lowering drugs are currently doing so.
Luckily, even if youre not ready to add new medications to your routine, theres another way you can lower your cholesterol: by changing what you drink.
Read on to discover which drinking habits could seriously benefit your health if you have high cholesterol. And for more ways to boost your wellbeing, check out The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.
If youre struggling with high cholesterol, the solution may be as simple as adding some extra water to your regular routine.
A 2016 study published in Nutrición Hospitalaria found that, among a group of 366 school-aged children, not only was drinking more water associated with lower rates of overweight and obesity, children who drank less water than their peers had higher rates of LDL, or bad, cholesterol and lower rates of HDL, or good, cholesterol. Higher water intake was also associated with higher levels of HDL regardless of age, sex, or overall cardiorespiratory health.
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