Treatment For High Cholesterol
Making lifestyle changes, especially changing some of the foods you eat, and regular physical activity, are very important to help reduce high LDL cholesterol.
You may also need to take cholesterol-lowering medicines to help manage your cholesterol and reduce your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Talk to your doctor about finding the most appropriate treatment for you.
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.
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.
Read Also: Tuna High In Cholesterol
Portion Control For Better Numbers
As youre planning a high cholesterol diet, dont forget that portion control matters, too. Your body weight can have a surprising effect on your cholesterol. If someone is overweight or obese, they can reduce LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol by losing as little as 3 percent to 5 percent of their body weight, says Sollid. For healthy weight loss, aim to lose no more than one to two pounds per week.
Recommended Reading: Coconut Oil And Cholesterol Mayo Clinic
Saturated Fat And Cholesterol
Diets high in saturated fat and cholesterol can contribute to high total cholesterol and a high low-density lipoprotein level in the body, increasing your risk for coronary artery disease caused by atherosclerosis, which is plaque build-up in the arteries.
Here’s a list of foods that are high in cholesterol or saturated fat that you need to limit or avoid:
You May Like: How Much Cholesterol In Crab
Enjoy Lots Of Fruits And Vegetables
Studies show that adults who consume at least four servings of fruits and vegetables each day have roughly 6% lower LDL cholesterol levels than people who eat fewer than two servings per day .
Fruits and vegetables also contain high numbers of antioxidants, which prevent LDL cholesterol from oxidizing and forming plaques in your arteries .
Together, these cholesterol-lowering and antioxidant effects can reduce your risk of heart disease.
Research has found that people who eat the most fruits and vegetables have a 17% lower risk of developing heart disease over 10 years compared to those who eat the fewest .
Summary Eating at least four servings of fruits and vegetables daily can lower LDL cholesterol levels and reduce LDL oxidation, which may reduce your risk of heart disease.
Eat Fewer Added Sugars
Its not just saturated and trans fats that can raise cholesterol levels. Eating too many added sugars can do the same thing .
One study found that adults who consumed 25% of their calories from drinks made with high-fructose corn syrup experienced a 17% increase in LDL cholesterol in just two weeks .
Even more troubling, fructose increases the number of small, dense oxidized LDL cholesterol particles which contribute to heart disease .
Between 2005 and 2010, an estimated 10% of Americans consumed over 25% of their daily calories from added sugars .
According to a 14-year study, these people were almost three times more likely to die from heart disease than those getting less than 10% of their calories from added sugars .
The American Heart Association recommends eating no more than 100 calories of added sugar per day for women and children, and no more than 150 calories per day for men .
You can meet these goals by reading labels carefully and choosing products without added sugars whenever possible.
Summary Getting more than 25% of your daily calories from added sugars can raise cholesterol levels and more than double your risk of dying from heart disease. Cut back by choosing foods without added sugars as much as possible.
Also Check: Shrimp Has High Cholesterol
What Diet Is Best For Lowering Cholesterol
Studies have found that plant-based diets lower cholesterol levels more effectively than other diets. In 2017, researchers reviewed 49 studies that compared plant-based diets with omnivorous diets to test their effects on cholesterol. Plant-based diets lowered total cholesterol, LDL, and HDL levels when compared to omnivorous diets. Low-fat, plant-based regimens typically reduce LDL levels by about 15 to 30 percent.
Some recommendations for lowering cholesterol still include consuming chicken and fish. However, a number of studies have shown that heart disease patients who continue to eat these foods still tend to get worse over time. Those who adopt a low-fat, plant-based diet, get daily exercise, avoid tobacco, and manage stress have the best chance of reversing heart disease.
How To Lower Your Elevated Ldl Cholesterol
Cholesterol is naturally produced by your body and is essential to its function throughout your everyday life. However, excessively high levels of cholesterolin particular, LDL cholesterol are bad and can lead to serious health problems such as clogged arteries, heart disease, and stroke.
What is LDL Cholesterol?
LDL stands for Low-Density Lipoproteins. This type of cholesterol is produced by the liver and is instrumental in the creation of cell walls, hormones, and digestive juices. However, when your LDL level is high, it can start to form a plaque-like substance on the walls of your cardiovascular system, blocking the natural flow of blood and leaving you at severe risk for heart attack and stroke. Put simply, LDL is the bad kind of cholesterol. But fear not there are several ways in which you can lower your LDL cholesterol and encourage the development of High-Density Lipoproteins , which actually function to limit the level of LDL cholesterol in your system.
Consider Screening for Familial Hypercholesterolemia ?
Familial hypercholesterolemia is a genetic disorder that causes dangerously high levels of LDL, or bad cholesterol from birth. If you have a family history of heart disease and very high cholesterol, you may have FH. FH can be diagnosed with a simple blood test, or lipid panel. Learn more here.
You May Like: Does Mussels Have Cholesterol
The Dietary Guidelines For Americans Summarized
Heres a summary of the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans:
Avoid industrial trans fats.
Replace saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats, and aim to get less than 10% of your calories from saturated fats.
Reduce calories from solid animal fats with plant oils when possible.
Prioritize seafood , lean meats, poultry, eggs, legumes , nuts, seeds, and soy products over red and processed meats as sources of protein.
You Pile On The Sausage And Bacon
While breakfast meats like bacon and sausage are okay on occasion, they shouldn’t be gracing your breakfast plate on a routine basis.6254a4d1642c605c54bf1cab17d50f1e
Processed meats are full of sodium and saturated fat that may raise your blood pressure and cholesterol and increase your risk for certain cancers, explains Lisa Andrews, MEd, RD, LD Owner of Sound Bites Nutrition.
Choosing a processed plant-based meat alternative isn’t the solution. Many plant-based meat alternatives are high in saturated fat and sodium, just like their meaty counterparts.
To enjoy these foods without raising your cholesterol, watch the portion size and try to enjoy them only a couple of times a month instead of weekly.
Read Also: Cholesterol Hydrophobic
Eat A Variety Of Unsaturated Fats
Two main kinds of fats are found in food: saturated and unsaturated.
On a chemical level, saturated fats contain no double bonds and are very straight, allowing them to pack together tightly and stay solid at room temperature.
Unsaturated fats contain at least one double bond and have a bent shape, preventing them from joining together as tightly. These attributes make them liquid at room temperature.
Research shows that replacing most of your saturated fats with unsaturated fats can reduce total cholesterol by 9% and bad LDL cholesterol by 11% in just eight weeks .
Longer-term studies have also found that people who eat more unsaturated fats and fewer saturated fats tend to have lower cholesterol levels over time .
Summary Eating more unsaturated fats and fewer saturated fats has been linked to lower total cholesterol and bad LDL levels over time. Avocados, olives, fatty fish and nuts are especially rich in unsaturated fats.
Duck: Okay In Small Quantities
It makes sense to assume that duck should be relatively low in cholesterol like similar meats such as chicken and turkey. In small quantities duck isnt particularly harmful, but since its typically served as part of a large meal its easy to take in a large quantity of cholesterol from a duck meal. This is the case regardless of whether the skin is removed.
Its not unusual for a serving of duck such as one you might get at a Chinese restaurant to contain over 100 milligrams of cholesterol in the meat alone, not including cholesterol in gravies and cooking oils.
Also Check: How Much Cholesterol In Pork Chops
Read Also: Is Tuna Good For High Cholesterol
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.
Baked Goods And Sweets
Cookies, cakes and doughnuts usually contain butter or shortening, making them high in saturated fat and cholesterol.
They also tend to be full of sugar, which can lead to high levels of blood triglycerides, an unhealthy blood fat that can be a risk factor for coronary heart disease.
Instead, make your desserts at home, choosing recipes that dont need shortening or lots of butter. This also allows you to modify recipes and cut down the amount of sugar used, to half or three-quarters the recommended amount. You can also enjoy baked fruit as a dessert, or substitute applesauce for eggs or butter in your baking.
Also Check: How Much Cholesterol In Pork Chops
You Choose Refined Carbs Over Fiber
“Choosing breakfast foods high in refined carbohydrates is one of the worst things you can do for your cholesterol, and one of the easiest traps to fall into, as so many popular breakfast items fit this bill,” says Sharon Puello, MA, RD, CDN, CDCES.
A diet high in refined carbohydrates can increase your triglycerides and the number of small LDL particles in your blood, which both increase your risk for heart disease, explains Puello.
Starting your morning with sugary cereal, donuts, pastries, pancakes, bagels, or any other refined carbohydrate can significantly affect your risk for heart disease. Researchers found that just one to two extra servings of refined carbohydrates per day can increase the risk of coronary heart disease by 10 to 20 percent. But, adding one to two servings of whole grains can decrease the risk by the same amount.
Choose whole grains and fruit over refined carbohydrates and add a healthy serving of protein and fat to your breakfast to keep you full and satisfied.
Aim For Cholesterol Balance When Eating Eggs For Breakfast
Once banned from the breakfast table, eggs are now generally considered a relatively healthy choice within limits.
A study published in May 2018 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating up to 12 eggs per week did not increase the risk of heart disease for people with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. However, the whole diet must be considered.
So if you have an egg for breakfast, dont have a cheeseburger for lunch.
Aim for balance, says Kristi King, RDN, a clinical instructor at the Baylor College of Medicine and the senior dietitian at Texas Childrens Hospital in Houston. If you are going to consume fried chicken, add a salad instead of fries. If you want fries, get the grilled chicken to go with it.
Also Check: Cholesterol In Egg Beaters
Don’t Miss: Is Canned Tuna Bad For Cholesterol
Good Vs Bad Cholesterol
Cholesterol travels through your bloodstream in small packages called lipoproteins, which are made up of fat on the inside and proteins on the outside. Because fats arent water-soluble, this binding with proteins helps move them through the bloodstream.
Its important to have healthy levels of two lipoproteins that carry cholesterol throughout the body: low-density lipoproteins and high-density lipoproteins . Both LDLs and HDLs transport cholesterol in and out of cells and are involved in damage control of cells and tissues.
LDLs carry 75 percent of the cholesterol in our bodies and are the cholesterol compounds most involved in cell damage and tissue repair and protection. HDLs do only 25 percent of the work they transport cholesterol to and from the liver and serve as the bodys cholesterol-recycling system.
LDL is called bad cholesterol because when your levels of LDL are high, this can lead to a buildup of cholesterol in your arteries. When you have high levels of LDL cholesterol in your blood, you have a greater chance of developing heart disease. LDL cholesterol also raises your risk for a condition called peripheral artery disease, which can develop when plaque buildup narrows an artery supplying blood to the legs.
Conversely, HDL cholesterol is known as good cholesterol because it can carry cholesterol from other parts of your body back to your liver, where its properly broken down and removed from your body.
Cutting Through The Cholesterol Confusion
We previously thought that dietary cholesterol caused high blood cholesterol, but weve found that saturated fat and trans fat actually have more of an effect on blood cholesterol than dietary cholesterol does, said with Gina Thayer, a registered dietitian with Banner Health Center in Colorado. What you should really watch out for are foods high in saturated and trans fats, as these can boost the level of LDL cholesterol, or bad cholesterol, in your blood, which can increase your risks.
Another note Thayer pointed out is that the majority of the cholesterol in our bodies is produced by our livernot food. Your body will make the amount of cholesterol it needs to perform key functions, like making hormones, vitamin D and bile acids, she said. Cholesterol isnt a required nutrient we need in our diets, but its safe to have some as long as youre being mindful of what types of cholesterol-rich foods youre eating.
To help you navigate the grocery store, Thayer shared two lists of high cholesterol foods: those to include in your diet and some you should avoid.
Don’t Miss: High Cholesterol Mayo