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.
Steak Heavy High Cholesterol Meat
This is another big culprit behind high bad cholesterol levels in many Western countries.
In countries like the United States people love their steaks and tend to have diets which are heavy on high-cholesterol meats and relatively low on foods that promote good cholesterol.
Again, you can eat steak now and then depending on your own bad cholesterol levels, but when you do eat it, you should make an effort to cut off as much of the fat as possible.
Seafood Is Cholesterol’s Worst Enemy
To defeat high cholesterol levels, you need a superfood like seafood. The Mayo Clinic explains that seafood with omega-3 fatty acids does not increase LDL cholesterol but instead reduces blood pressure and the risk of heart attacks. Seafood with the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids is mackerel, herring, tuna, salmon, and trout. Indeed, a 2017 study published in Public Health Nutrition found that at least one serving of fish per week reduced the risk of dying from coronary heart disease.
The American Heart Association recommends a 3.5-ounce serving of fish or a three-fourth cup of flaked fish at least twice a week. This recommendation applies to fatty fish like salmon that have high omega-3 fatty acids.
If you can’t stomach the taste of fish, fish oil supplements help with the same effects when taken daily. But it’s not as good as chowing down on a tuna sandwich. “You can supplement with fish oil, but be careful because very high doses of pure fish oil can lower your triglyceride levels … and increase your good cholesterol,” Leslie Cho, MD, a preventative cardiologist told the Cleveland Clinic. “It doesn’t lower your LDL, though. Be sure to read your fish oil supplement label.”
Recommended Reading: Are Baked Potatoes High In Cholesterol
Do You Have High Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that is a natural and essential part of all cells in your body. It helps produce hormones, make vitamin D, provide cells with structure, and plays a role in the process of digesting fats. The liver creates all of the cholesterol that your body needs, so it is not required that you get it from foods. Foods that come from animals such as meat, cheese, and eggs all provide dietary cholesterol to the body.
There are two types of cholesterol: high-density lipoproteins and low-density lipoproteins . HDL is thought of as the good type of cholesterol because it carries cholesterol from your blood to your liver to be removed. This is helpful to the heart. LDL is the bad type of cholesterol: It causes a buildup of cholesterol in the blood, which leads to furring up of the arteries. This is called atherosclerosis and is a direct cause of heart attacks, strokes, and peripheral artery disease.
Triglycerides are a type of fat in the blood. They are separate to and different from cholesterol, but they are nearly always included in the cholesterol lab panel since they have a similar effect on your heart and overall health. Triglycerides come from eating too many calories .;These extra calories are stored in the blood as triglycerides. High triglyceride levels can lead to heart disease and problems in your pancreas and liver, including fatty liver disease.
Here are the normal ranges for cholesterol and triglyceride levels in adults :
Duck Away From The Duck
While chicken and turkey have low cholesterol, says WebMD, ducks don’t seem to fit into that category. One cup of cooked duck contains approximately 128 milligrams of cholesterol.”Excessive intake of red meat will drive up LDL levels , the fattier the red meat, the more it will increase heart disease risk,” Deborah Murray, MS, professor at Ohio University’s College of Health Sciences and Professions tells Health Digest.
Another article in WebMD explains that duck meat has monosaturated and polyunsaturated fats that help reduce LDL cholesterol. But there are also saturated fats that increase LDL cholesterol much more than other healthy fats.
Duck eggs are also concerning for people watching their cholesterol. A 2012 study published in the;Journal of Veterinary and Animal Sciences found that cholesterol levels were higher in duck eggs than chicken eggs. Since game is typically lean, Murray recommends eating the duck without the skin for a healthier meal.
Also Check: Does Feta Cheese Affect Cholesterol
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.
Tips For Managing Cholesterol
You can keep your cholesterol levels in a healthy range and still eat cheese and other foods with cholesterol. That being said, some people find it difficult to self-regulate. You may want to take a more regimented approach. The United States Department of Health and Human Services recommends following whats called the , which is often supervised by a doctor.
It is made up of three lifestyle components:
With diet, the main goal is to decrease the amount of saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol you consume daily. Along with this, youll want to add plant stanols and sterols, which fight cholesterol. Youll also want to increase your intake of soluble fiber. Some people have success by shifting their diet to Mediterranean, Paleo, or plant-based from more traditional forms of eating.
Physical activity and weight management can lower your numbers as well. Working out regularly helps with weight loss and can raise your good cholesterol levels. It also strengthens your heart and lungs. Reaching a healthy weight may lower your bad cholesterol and triglycerides.
Switching over to a different type of diet can help you reach your goal weight more quickly. In
Also Check: Can Keto Cause High Cholesterol
Cook Fresh Vegetables The Heart
Try cooking vegetables in a tiny bit of vegetable oil and add a little water during cooking, if needed. Just one or two teaspoons of oil is enough for a package of plain frozen vegetables that serves four. Place the vegetables in a skillet with a tight cover and cook them over very low heat until done.
Add herbs and spices to make vegetables even tastier. For example, these combinations add subtle and surprising flavors:
- Rosemary with peas, cauliflower and squash
- Oregano with zucchini
- Basil with tomatoes
Start with a small quantity of herbs and spices , then let your familys feedback be your guide. Chopped parsley and chives, sprinkled on just before serving, can also enhance the flavor of many vegetables.
A Guide To Healthy Eating: Strategies Tips And Recipes To Help You Make Better Food Choices
Eat real food. Thats the essence of todays nutrition message. Our knowledge of nutrition has come full circle, back to eating food that is as close as possible to the way nature made it. Based on a solid foundation of current nutrition science, Harvards Special Health Report A Guide to Healthy Eating: Strategies, tips, and recipes to help you make better food choices describes how to eat for optimum health.
Recommended Reading: Is Shrimp Bad For Your Cholesterol
Supplements To Lower Cholesterol
Some companies sell supplements that they say can lower cholesterol. Researchers have studied many of these supplements, including red yeast rice, flaxseed, and garlic. At this time, there isn’t conclusive evidence that any of them are effective in lowering cholesterol levels. Also, supplements may cause side effects and interactions with medicines. Always check with your health care provider before you take any supplements.
Common Misconceptions About Foods And Cholesterol
Just because a food contains cholesterol does not mean it will raise cholesterol levels. In fact, the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans of 2015-2020 removed the recommendation to limit dietary cholesterol to 300 mg per day, stating that adequate evidence was not available. Extensive research does not show that eating foods that contain cholesterol causes heart disease.
However, many foods remain feared for the belief that they increase the risk for heart disease or harm overall health. Some of these foods are highlighted below:
In addition to these foods, there has been concern over the recently trending ketogenic diet and its role in cholesterol levels. This style of eating limits nearly all sources of carbohydrates and instead gets a majority of calories and other nutrients from high-fat foods and protein. This diet includes eating large amounts of meat, eggs, cheese, and other high cholesterol, high saturated fat foods.
While it may seem as though this style of eating would be harmful to cholesterol levels, current research does not support this so far.
Also Check: Are Pork Chops Heart Healthy
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.
Adapt A Dash Eating Pattern
Research has shown that the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension eating pattern not only lowers high blood pressure but also reduces the risk for heart disease. The pattern may also help reduce hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, according to the 2012 article in the “Journal of Research in Medical Sciences.” A DASH style of eating is higher in vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy products, and lower in sodium, meats and added sugars, than a typical American diet.
Also Check: Does Wine Cause High Cholesterol
Follow A Prudent Diet
Compared to the typical American diet, prudent diet patterns tend to be higher in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats. They are lower in sweets, sugar-sweetened beverages and other sources of added sugars, red meat and solid fats, such as butter. According to research published in July 2012 in the “Journal of Research in Medical Sciences,” higher consumption of fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains — combined with lower consumption of red meat — can help prevent diabetes. Increased fiber consumption can help lower cholesterol.
Shrimp Isn’t So Bad When Eaten In Moderation
Shrimp may be low in fat, but they’re packed with cholesterol. Healthline explains that 3.5 ounces of shrimp are 200 mg of cholesterol a small serving that almost reaches the recommended daily cholesterol intake. According to Medical News Today, the high cholesterol levels once had doctors recommend against eating it. However, a 1996 study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition debunked this claim. They found adding shrimp to a low-fat diet increased more of the HDL cholesterol than the LDL cholesterol.
Indeed, a 2013 review in Current Science reported that when considering all the other nutrients shrimp provides proteins, trace minerals, and carotenoids shrimp is healthy food to eat.
Nicole Avena, Ph.D., nutrition and health expert and author of Why Diets Fail, tells Health Digest that eating shrimp isn’t so bad when eaten in moderation. “Shrimp, while it is high in LDL cholesterol, also helps to raise the good HDL cholesterol so that the ratio between the two types in the body is still balanced.”
You May Like: Is Shrimp Bad For Your Cholesterol
Other Ways To Lower Cholesterol
Eating a low cholesterol, heart-healthy diet is an effective way to manage cholesterol levels in the body. However, dietary changes alone may not be enough to bring cholesterol levels down to the normal range. Other non-dietary treatments for high cholesterol include:;
- Regular exercise
- Cholesterol-lowering medication;
Food Supplements That Do Not Help With Cholesterol
Many extracts and supplements have been promoted for their overall health benefits and lipid-lowering effects, but do they work?
We reviewed the available scientific research and found that the following supplements had no good evidence to support those claims:
- Selenium: Supplements may help lower cholesterol in people with low levels of selenium, but not in people with normal levels of selenium. There is not enough scientific evidence to say that selenium protects against cardiovascular disease.
- Calcium: Results here are mixed, but the bottom line is calcium supplementation does not improve cholesterol levels.
- Garlic supplements: Raw, powdered, and aged garlic supplements had no effect on cholesterol levels.
- Policosanol: This substance, which is extracted from sugar cane wax, did not improve cholesterol.
- Coconut oil supplements: There is mixed evidence about the cardiovascular benefits or harm of coconut oil. It is not an evidence-based alternative treatment for high cholesterol levels.
- Coconut water: There is no high-quality data about coconut water improving cholesterol levels.
- Resveratrol supplements: There is no evidence that these improve cholesterol levels in humans.
- Soy isoflavones supplements: Taking supplements of soy isoflavones does not improve cholesterol levels.
Also Check: Shrimp Have Cholesterol
Articles On High Cholesterol Diet
If you have high cholesterol, you should talk with your doctor about what you eat, including meat.
Check the nutrition label on the package to be sure the meat is 96% to 98% fat-free. Also, limit your serving size according to your doctor’s instructions. Or follow the TLC diet recommendations of no more than 5 ounces total per day of lean meat, poultry, or fish.
The American Heart Association recommends eating fish with omega-3 fatty acids at least twice a week. Doing so can lower your risk of dying from coronary artery disease. Fish higher in omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, mackerel, sardines, tuna, and herring.
Other healthy protein alternatives include dried beans and peas, nuts and seeds, low-fat dairy products, and soy products. Protein does not have to come from meat.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: “Eat Heart Smart: Eating Foods Lower in Saturated Fats and Cholesterol,” “Your Guide to Lowering Blood Cholesterol with TLC.”
American Heart Association: “Meat, Poultry, Fish.”
National Cholesterol Education Program: “High Blood Cholesterol: What You Need to Know.”
Foods To Eat And 7 To Avoid For High Cholesterol
Cholesterol is the misunderstood hero of the body. The American Heart Association divides it into two categories: good and bad cholesterol. When people are talking about high cholesterol, they’re likely referring to LDL cholesterol. When there’s too much LDL, fat builds up in the arteries creating a series of heart problems.
On the other hand, good cholesterol is called HDL because they are protective against the harmful effects caused by LDL. “It is also used as starting material in the body for making steroid hormones, vitamin D, and bile acids we need for digestion. Without cholesterol, we would not be alive,” William W. Li, MD, a physician, scientist, and author of Eat to Beat Disease: The New Science of How Your Body Can Heal Itself tells Health Digest.
A healthy diet involves the right balance of cholesterol. Here’s some food to try and foods with high cholesterol to avoid.
Read Also: Is Mayo Bad For Cholesterol
Myth: All Cholesterol Is Bad For You
Fact:;Some types of cholesterol are essential for good health. Your body needs cholesterol to perform important jobs, such as making hormones and building cells. Cholesterol travels through the blood on proteins called;lipoproteins. Two types of lipoproteins carry cholesterol throughout the body:
- LDL ,;sometimes called bad;cholesterol,;makes up most of your bodys cholesterol. High levels of LDL cholesterol raise your risk for heart disease and stroke.
- HDL ,;or good;cholesterol,;carries cholesterol back to the liver. The liver then flushes it from the body. High levels of HDL cholesterol can lower your risk for heart disease and stroke.
When your body has too much LDL cholesterol, it can build up in the walls of your blood vessels. This buildup is called;plaque. As your blood vessels build up plaque over time, the insides of the vessels narrow. This narrowing can restrict and eventually block blood flow to and from your heart and other organs. When blood flow to the heart is blocked, it can cause angina or a heart attack.