Are you aware that nearly 107 million Americans have total cholesterol of 200 mg/dL or higher, a level at which cardiovascular risk begins to rise.
Mike Flowers of you-and-your-cholesterol.com states that “High Cholesterol and Triglyceride (blood fat) can easily be controlled by following a few simple rules and without giving up some of the pleasures you enjoy most!”
Mr. Flowers also added that ten years ago his doctor wanted to place him on medication due to his high cholesterol levels.
“I was totally shocked because I felt fine, and was going to see him for something unrelated.
At that point, I started thinking about my dad and the Quadruple Bypass he had a couple years earlier.
I convinced my doctor to give me 30 days to reduce my Cholesterol, and get it under control. If not, I would be more than happy to start taking the medication.
When I returned to his office 30 days later, he was completely amazed at how low my levels were and told me to continue doing what I was doing.
To be honest with you, I was more amazed than he was. I was thrilled…not expecting such good results.
It has been ten years since that visit, and each time I visit his office for a check up my levels are consistently good!
A lot of people can lower their levels by incorporating the right diet plan, knowing what foods to stay away from, educating themselves on the benefits of natural herbs and having a simple exercise regiment.
Unfortunately for some, no matter what they do – they will not be able to get their levels under control and will have to seek the advice of their medical professional
Cholesterol is a steroid normally found in all body cells and plasma. It is the most abundant steroid in the body. Gonadal and adrenal hormones are produced from cholesterol.
Do you know the function of cholesterol in your body?
What can you do to lower cholesterol naturally? Are we a society deficient in statin drugs?
Why is your cholesterol high in the first place?
If your cholesterol is too high (a total cholesterol over 230), the problem is not the cholesterol, as your body has raised its levels in order to play some type of ESSENTIAL role(s) for your survival.
The cause of high cholesterol is high starch carbohydrate, hydrogenated fats and low thyroid function. Emotional and physical stress can also influence cholesterol levels.
In general, cholesterol is increased in most endocrine or organ hypofunction and decreased in most endocrine and organ hyperfunction.
New research has revealed that LDL or “bad” cholesterol inhibits the breakdown of fat in adipocytes, or fat cells, suggesting that it is a regulator of fat stores. If a person has elevated cholesterol levels, it is a sign that their body, emotions or intellect are subject to excessive stress.
The majority of excess cholesterol is manufactured in times of psychological stress and dehydration. Elevated LDL can be caused from the body attempting to produce hormones as cholesterol is a precursor to hormone production. In addition, those with low thyroid suffer high cholesterol.
Remember that cholesterol is necessary and healthy because it is involved in cellular repair and reducing inflammation; it is oxidized cholesterol that is unhealthy.
Increased triglycerides, in conjunction with decreased HDL, is a more significant factor for coronary artery disease than elevated cholesterol by itself.
In 1990, the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that normal cholesterol was considered around 200. Today normal is considered 160! Individuals with cholesterol levels below 160 cannot make sex hormones.
So much has been written concerning the evils of increased cholesterol, however very little has been reported concerning decreased cholesterol. Decreased cholesterol can be normal for a vegetarian and some people with a genetic predisposition to decreased cholesterol.
In addition, individuals with cholesterol levels below 160 are associated with compromised immune system, ‘ risk of depression, anxiety, respiratory illness, stroke and brain-related deaths such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s. Individuals with low adrenal or hypoadrenic (Addision’s disease) suffer low cholesterol. Low cholesterol is one of the signs of cancer (JAMA, Dec 1980).
Cholesterol causes heart disease
Cholesterol is bad
Eating fat is unhealthy
High cholesterol is caused only from eating unhealthy foods
High cholesterol means you’re unhealthy
Lowering your cholesterol is healthy
Every hormone in your body requires cholesterol as a precursor
Approximately 80-90% of all cholesterol is made inside your body and does NOT come from the foods you eat.
Elevated cholesterol may be caused from:
” Consumption of too many refined carbohydrates/sugars.
” Congested liver
” Excess amounts of stress either physical, emotional, chemical, electromagnetic, psychological
” Hormonal imbalances
Cholesterol is vital for:
A precursor to sex hormones, vitamin D, and bile production
Robs your body of CoQ10 enzyme which can increase your risk for heart disease
Suppressed immune system
What can you do to lower your cholesterol naturally?
Consume plenty of organic fruits and vegetables, grass-fed beef and free-range poultry
Consider supplementing with:
o Biotics Beta-TCP to lower bile viscosity. This is one of the most important steps to take in high cholesterol.
o Biotics LipidSirt
o Omega-3 fish oil – Biotics EFA Sirt Supreme
o Pantethine, the coenzymatic form of vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) and cysteamine
o Reservertrol, an antioxidant found in red wine
o Tocotrienols – Delta and gamma tocotrienol were found to possess the greatest ability to inhibit cholesterol synthesis
o Vitamins C and E
o Vitamin D – BioD Mulsion Forte
Decrease the amount of refined grains, sugar, dairy, fast food and alcohol. These increase inflammation in excess = ‘ triglycerides which = ‘ cholesterol.
To reduce inflammation: eliminate trans fats, sugars, grains, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, stress, overcooked foods, excessive cardiovascular exercise and excessive alcohol consumption
Drink plenty of water. Bodyweight x .7 = the number of daily ounces to be consumed.
Natural products such as plant sterols and green tea extract can be used to prevent the absorption of cholesterol from the intestinal tract. Green tea extracts have a cholesterol lowering effect.
Eat more good quality fats (raw butter, coconut oil, avocados, extra virgin olive oil and wild salmon).
Identify what you feel stressed about. Reduce the amount of stress in your life by adding in daily meditation and create time for yourself to relax every day even if it’s only 5 minutes.
Implement one change at a time. Gradual, consistent progress over time.
Lab testing to see where there may be hidden inflammation, specifically C-reactive protein (CRP) and homocysteine. CRP is a protein that circulates in the blood, especially when there is inflammation in the body, including inflammation of the coronary arteries. CRP is a biomarker for systemic inflammation and a confirmed risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Homocysteine is an excellent predictor of cardiovascular disease. An elevated homocysteine level is also a risk factor for Alzheimer’s Disease.
o Doctors are finding that CRP is a far more accurate indicator of a future problem with heart disease than cholesterol levels alone. The simplest way to lower the CRP level is to reduce inflammation in the body.
Turn the lights out by 10pm. Turn the television and computer off by 8pm. Get restful sleep.
Cholesterol is a type of fat that is part of all animal cells. It is essential for many of the body’s metabolic processes, including hormone and bile production, and to help the body use vitamin D.
Cholesterol is more abundant in tissues which either synthesize more or have more abundant densely-packed membranes, for example, the liver, spinal cord and brain.
The liver is the main processing centre for cholesterol. When we eat animal fats, the liver returns the cholesterol it can’t use to our bloodstream and when there is too much cholesterol circulating in our bloodstream, it can build up into fatty deposits. These deposits cause the arteries to narrow and can eventually block the arteries completely, leading to heart disease and stroke.
Cholesterol is produced by the liver and it is also made by most cells in the body. It is carried around in the blood by lipoproteins. We need blood cholesterol because the body uses it to build the structure of cell membranes, to produce hormones like testosterone, adrenaline and estrogen and to aid the metabolism.
There are two types of cholesterol, good and bad, the difference between them is:
• Low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol – called the ‘bad’ cholesterol because it goes into the bloodstream and clogs up your arteries.
• High density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol – called the ‘good’ cholesterol because it helps to take the ‘bad’ cholesterol out of the bloodstream.
Cholesterol is transported towards peripheral tissues by the lipoproteins chylomicrons, very low density lipoproteins (VLDL) and low-density lipoproteins (LDL).
Risks associated with high triglycerides
According to the lipid hypothesis, abnormally high cholesterol levels (hypercholesterolemia), or, more correctly, higher concentrations of LDL and lower concentrations of functional HDL are strongly associated with cardiovascular disease because these promote atheroma development in arteries (atherosclerosis). High cholesterol has also been linked to diabetes and high blood pressure.
Both heredity and diet have a significant influence on a person’s LDL, HDL and total cholesterol levels. Evidence strongly indicates that high cholesterol levels can cause narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis), heart attacks, and strokes. Cholesterol in the bile can crystallize to form gall stones that may block the bile ducts. Cholesterol count also rises during pregnancy.
However, in recent years, scientists have come to realise that to decide whether an individual’s cholesterol levels are dangerous, these levels need to be considered in the light of the person’s overall risk of heart disease. The higher the risk of heart disease (for example, a male smoker with high blood pressure and diabetes), the greater the need to get cholesterol levels down.
Cholesterol testing is recommended as a screening test to be done on all adults at least once every five years.
Foods that contain cholesterol
The cholesterol in your diet comes mainly from the saturated fats found in animal products. All foods from animals contain some cholesterol. Foods from plants do not contain cholesterol. Other sources of dietary cholesterol are full fat dairy foods, eggs and some seafood.
Safe blood cholesterol levels
Health authorities recommend that cholesterol levels should be no higher than 5.5mmols per liter. Approximately 50 per cent of adult Australians have a blood cholesterol level above 5mmols per liter. This makes high blood cholesterol a major health concern in Australia.
How to lower high cholesterol.
The best way to maintain healthy levels of cholesterol in your diet is to limit foods high in saturated fats. Try to avoid: Fatty meats , full fat dairy products, processed meats like salami and sausages, snack foods like chips, most takeaway foods, especially deep fried foods, cakes, biscuits and pastries.
However the most important thing you can do to reduce your cholesterol level is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. You should try to:
Limit the amount of cholesterol-rich foods you eat.
-Increase the amount and variety of fresh fruit, vegetables and wholegrain foods you have each day.
-Choose low or reduced fat milk, yoghurt and other dairy products or have ‘added calcium’ soy drinks.
-Choose lean meat (meat trimmed of fat or labeled as ‘heart smart’).
-Limit fatty meats, including sausages and salami, and choose leaner sandwich meats like turkey breast or cooked lean chicken.
-Have fish (fresh or canned) at least twice a week. Replace butter and dairy blends with polyunsaturated margarines.
-Include foods in your diet that are rich in soluble fiber and healthy fats, such as nuts, legumes and seeds.
-Limit cheese and ice cream to twice a week.
-Some studies have suggested that eating oats and legumes may lower LDL cholesterol. Food components like saponins (found in chickpeas, alfalfa sprouts and other foods) and sulphur compounds (like allicin – found in garlic and onions) may also have a positive effect on cholesterol levels.
Plant sterols can lower cholesterol levels
Plant sterols are found naturally in plant foods including sunflower and canola seeds, vegetable oils and (in smaller amounts) in nuts, legumes, cereals, fruit and vegetables. Some margarine has concentrated plant sterols added to it. Plant sterol enriched margarines may help to lower LDL cholesterol.
Treatment for high cholesterol
Treatment of high cholesterol is aimed at lowering the low-density lipoproteins (LDL) or “bad cholesterol,” lowering triglyceride levels, and increasing the high-density lipoproteins (HDL) or “good cholesterol. Treatment will be most effective if it also includes appropriate diet, weight loss (if necessary) and physical activity.
The first steps in treating high cholesterol levels are: Regular physical activity and healthy eating. There are also some foods that may help to lower cholesterol levels, particularly garlic, soya, oats, corn and selenium-enriched cereals. Cholesterol-lowering foods are not suitable for children under five years or for pregnant or breastfeeding mothers.
Medication : Statin drugs work by interfering with the cholesterol-producing mechanisms of the liver and by increasing the capacity of the liver to remove cholesterol from circulating blood. Statins can lower LDL cholesterol by as much as 60 percent, depending on the drug and dosage.
If you have found out from your doctor or from doing
home cholesterol test that you have a high total cholesterol level, one
of the first things you need to do is to change your diet to a low
cholesterol diet to help you lower your cholesterol. This is because a
high cholesterol level is very dangerous for you and might cause you
serious heart diseases or even a heart attack.
A low cholesterol
diet does not have to be hard to stick to, as you can still enjoy some
of the foods you always like. However, you really need to stay away
from foods that contain saturated or trans fats, as they are among the
major leading causes to having a high cholesterol level.
a low cholesterol diet means that you should replace the saturated fat
in your diet with unsaturated fat besides eating less high-cholesterol
food and choosing foods that are high in complex carbohydrates. You
should also make sure that you get more physical activity and try
reducing your weight if you are overweight.
Determining What is Low Cholesterol Food and What Isn’t
starting on a low cholesterol level, you should first know what low
cholesterol food is and what isn’t. This will help you create a diet
which is low in cholesterol to help you lower your total cholesterol
levels. There are many different types of food that can be classified
as low cholesterol foods, so that you do not need to give all the food
you love to have a low cholesterol diet.
Cholesterol is most
usually found in foods of animal origin, such as meat, poultry, and
eggs, including milk and cheese. In animals, cholesterol is part of the
cell membrane structure of all cells. That is why removing the skin
from a chicken will remove most of the fat, but will not remove all the
However, in dairy foods the amount of cholesterol
involved depends on the amount of fat as milk is secreted from animal
cells and not made up of cells like meat. Although it has no
cholesterol-containing cell membranes, but because cholesterol is fat
soluble, it can b found in fats in milk and milk-based foods. That is
why if a dairy product contains more fat, it will also contain more
cholesterol, so always choose low fat dairy products when sticking to a
low cholesterol diet.
Converting To A Low Cholesterol Recipe
you found out that you have high cholesterol, you must start converting
some of foods you love to a low cholesterol version. You must also
learn to live without some of the foods that have been causing you to
get a high cholesterol level in the first place. Learning how to make
your foods using a low cholesterol recipe is one way to lower your
Converting your food to a low cholesterol
recipe is not a very difficult thing to do. All you need is a little
bit of willpower and you can start enjoying cholesterol free or lower
cholesterol version of your favorite foods. The taste will not differ
much as long as you know how to add flavor into your cooking without
using saturated fats and other harmful foods that contribute to more
The easiest way to get started on low
cholesterol recipe is to start with one day’s menu. You can include a
safe amount of food fats into your diet at first so that you can ease
the transition period from your normal food to the low cholesterol
diet, and make this change easier on you.
A good way to start a
low cholesterol diet with a low cholesterol recipe is trying a serving
of oatmeal, honey, and an apple for breakfast. Mixing oats, fat free
milk, and a little honey and chopped apple will make a great delicious
cholesterol free breakfast. For lunch, you can follow up with a salmon
and tomato sandwich with a side salad. For tasty salad dressing, you
can try using lemon juice and black pepper as a low cholesterol option.
For dinner, you can have stir-fried chicken breast, veggies, and some
rice will make you enjoy your low cholesterol diet. You can also try
using brown rice instead of white rice for a lower cholesterol diet.
changes one step at a time, and in no time you will start enjoying a
healthier life with lower cholesterol level. These changes will prevent
you from having heart diseases caused by your diet. You will soon find
that you enjoy the low cholesterol food as much as or more than your
previous high cholesterol food.
As most of us may have read about, cholesterol is the fatty, wax like substance present in our cells and blood steam. Cholesterol has an important part in our body. This is because it produces cell membrane and contributes to a number of hormones as well. However, cholesterol can be dangerous to us if it is present in large amounts in our body.
The Two Types of Cholesterol
There are two types of cholesterol, one is the good cholesterol known as HDL or high density cholesterol and the other is the bad cholesterol known as LDL or low density cholesterol. The good cholesterol HDL, should be in levels of minimum 40md/dL or more and the bad cholesterol should be less than 200mg/dL.
The bad cholesterol is the cholesterol responsible for causing dieses including clogged arteries and can provoke a coronary heart disease.
What Causes High Cholesterol In Your Body?
High cholesterol level in your body is primarily due to the food products you consume which contain trans fat, saturated fats and cholesterol. This is the major cause of raising cholesterol levels in the blood stream. However, there is more than one cause of high cholesterol. Besides the foods you consume, excess weight, genes, gender and age all can cause high cholesterol levels.
Obesity is one of the major cause of high cholesterol as it occurs when the body mass is mostly made up of fat. Fat in turn, contain cholesterol. That is why, it is important to keep an ideal weight at all times.
Family’s health history transmitted through the genes is also a cause of high cholesterol levels. So, if anyone in your family has suffered from high cholesterol, you may have a tendency to suffer from it too. High cholesterol caused by heredity can be controlled with medication under a doctor’s supervision.
Men are found to be more prone to high levels of cholesterol in their teens while women become more prone to high cholesterol after menopause. Both men and women can control their cholesterol levels and maintain a normal level of cholesterol with proper health care and diet and with the right medication.
How To Prevent High Cholesterol
As most of the causes of high cholesterol are our own negligence in our diet and physical activities, we could easily manage our cholesterol level by modifying our diet and daily activities. We should pay more attention to the food we consume everyday and the amount of exercise we do everyday. This will help prevent and improve the levels of bad cholesterol in our body and maintain it at the right level.
Another factor that causes high cholesterol levels is triglyceride, which is a form of fat. It comes from food and is also made in your body. People with high triglycerides will often have a high total cholesterol level too.
The Importance of Understanding Your Cholesterol Level
It is extremely important to know your cholesterol levels. This is because having untreated high cholesterol can make you very prone to heart attacks and strokes. Although obesity is one of the most obvious causes of high cholesterol, just because you have an ideal weight does not mean that you have the right cholesterol level.
Basically your level of cholesterol can be categorized in one of three categories of cholesterol levels, which are: desirable, borderline risk, or high risk. You are considered as being in the desirable category if your total cholesterol is less than 200mg/dL, and the risk of getting a heart attack is relatively low, unless if you have other risk factors for the condition.
If your cholesterol is between 200 and 239mg/dL, you are considered in the borderline risk category. About a third of all people are in this category. If you are in the borderline category, you should check your cholesterol level at least once a year, especially if your HDL is less than 40mg/dL and/or you don’t have other risk factors for heart disease.
Lastly, if your cholesterol level is at 240mg/dL or more, you are in the high risk category. This means your risk of heart attack and stroke is very high. You will also have twice the risk of other coronary problems. If you are in this category, you must be more careful and start taking steps to improve your condition.
The most important to remember is lower LDL cholesterol, means lower total cholesterol level. Take all of the possible measures to keep your LDL cholesterol as low as possible. If you still are not able to lower your cholesterol, you can ask your doctor to prescribe medications to assist you in this process.
Your body makes all the cholesterol you need. Your body uses cholesterol to produce hormones, vitamin D, and the bile acids that digest fat. When cholesterol is reabsorbed into the bloodstream, it is carried to the arteries by a lipoprotein (fat/protein complex) call low-density lipoprotein (LDL). If a large proportion of your cholesterol is combined with LDL it is more likely to be deposited in the walls of the arteries. High cholesterol is directly related to conditions such as arteriosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, circulatory problems, heart attack, and hypertension. Another lipoprotein called high-density lipoprotein (HDL) can take cholesterol out of the arteries and back to the liver, where it is broken down for removal from the body. HDL has been called “the good cholesterol” because the higher a person’s HDL cholesterol compared to their LDL cholesterol, the lower the risk for heart disease.
It is important to distinguish between serum cholesterol and dietary cholesterol. Serum cholesterol is the cholesterol in the bloodstream. Dietary cholesterol is cholesterol that is present in food. Cholesterol levels are greatly influenced by diet as well as your genetic makeup. The consumption of foods high in cholesterol and/or saturated fat increases cholesterol levels, while a vegetarian diet, regular exercise, and the nutrient vitamin C may lower cholesterol.
Diets high in soluble fiber, hence a diet high in fruits, grains and vegetables, have been shown to normalize serum cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber binds with bile acids and cholesterol, interfering with the absorption of dietary fat and cholesterol, as well as with the recirculation of cholesterol and bile acids, resulting in reduced blood cholesterol levels Vitamin C may also be a factor is lowering cholesterol. In his book The Optimum Nutrition Bible, Paul Holford presents an interesting aspect of vitamin C. Vitamin C is involved in making the collagen that keeps skin and arteries supple and during our evolution we lost the ability to manufacture vitamin C in our bodies because fruit was so abundant. However, when we did not eat enough fruit and became deficient in vitamin C, our bodies produced arterial plaque (the little fat deposits) to coat our arteries to patch up the various tears from wear and tear. The arterial plaque started out as a kind of soupy oatmeal like substance like mortar filling in bricks on a brick wall, it was doing the job of the vitamin C—repairing normal cellular damage. However, it doesn’t quite work out, and the soupy oatmeal dries to a hard coating, hardening the arterial walls, rather than keeping them supple. Hence, the importance of keeping vitamin C levels constant over time for arterial health.
What is the Recommended Level of Total Serum Cholesterol?
The National Cholesterol Education Program (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute) has a set of guidelines for cholesterol levels. It recommends that everyone age 20 and older should have their cholesterol measured at least once every 5 years. A blood test called a “lipoprotein profile” is considered the best way to find out your cholesterol numbers. This blood test is done after a 9- to 12-hour fast and gives information about your:
• Total cholesterol
• LDL cholesterol
• HDL cholesterol
• Triglycerides, which are another form of fat in your blood
If it is not possible to get a lipoprotein profile done, knowing your total cholesterol and HDL cholesterol can give you a general idea about your cholesterol levels. If your total cholesterol is 200 milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dL) or more or if your HDL is less than 40 mg/dL, you will need to have a lipoprotein profile done.
A total cholesterol level less than 200 mg/dL is desirable. A level of 200 to 239 is borderline high and levels over 240 mg/dL are high. A LDL cholesterol level less than 100 mg/dL is optimal. A level of 100 to 129 mg/dL is near optimal to above optimal. A level of 130 to 159 mg/dL is borderline high, 160 to 189 mg/dL is high and levels at or above 190 mg/dL is very high.
HDL cholesterol protects against heart disease, so for HDL, higher numbers are better. A level less than 40 mg/dL is low and is considered a major risk factor because it increases your risk for developing heart disease. HDL levels of 60 mg/dL or more help to lower your risk for heart disease.
Triglycerides can also raise heart disease risk. Levels that are borderline high (150-199 mg/dL) or high (200 mg/dL or more) may need treatment in some people.
Dietary and lifestyle changes usually can lower blood cholesterol levels to acceptable ranges for most people, starting with foods low in saturated fats and high in fiber. Not only can a diet rich in fiber and low saturated foods reduce your cholesterol it may also prevent heart disease.
Cholesterol is a fatty substance that is carried by the blood to all parts of the body. A large amount of the cells in your body can also produce it. Some of the cholesterol comes from food (dietary cholesterol), but your body makes the bulk of blood cholesterol. If there is too much blood cholesterol, the cholesterol will then build up or form plaque on the walls of the blood vessels and even clog them over time. Causing plaque formation will narrow the blood vessels, which may increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Total cholesterol (TC) levels have a desirable, borderline, and high range. It is desirable to have a TC number of less than 200 mg/dl.
TC = Total Cholesterol
HDL= High Density Lipoprotein (Good)
LDL= Low Density Lipoprotein (Bad)
In addition to knowing the amount of total cholesterol in your blood, the doctor usually finds out how much of the cholesterol is present as HDL-cholesterol (the good kind) and as LDL-cholesterol (the bad kind). Cholesterol teams up with protein to get through the blood vessels.
HDL, a high density lipoprotein made up of lipid (another word for fat) and protein, has more protein than fat and appears to carry the cholesterol it contains to the liver for excretion.
HDL-cholesterol is known as the “good” cholesterol. Therefore, you want a high HDL number because that indicates a high level of this good cholesterol in your blood. It is desirable to have a HDL-cholesterol of more than 40 mg/dl. An average HDL number is in the mid-forties range for a man and in the fifties range for a woman. A HDL number less than 40 is considered low and increases your risk. The higher your HDL number is, the better.
LDL-cholesterol is a low density lipoprotein (more fat, less protein). The cholesterol it contains is carried to the tissues and may be deposited in the blood vessels, which causes plaque formation. It is desirable to have a LDL-cholesterol of less than 100 mg/dl. The LDL number is always larger than the HDL number. Ideally keeping your intake of salt under 1500 milligrams a day is advisable.
A cholesterol lowering diet should first be low in total fat, especially saturated fat, as well as cholesterol, and high in fiber. Some kinds of fiber help lower blood cholesterol levels; other kinds of fiber help regulate your bowel function and may reduce your risk of cancer. Fiber is found in fruits, vegetables, breads, cereals, and other grain products. Animal products have very little fiber no matter how lean they are. Keep in mind animal products have cholesterol, plant foods do not.
There are two types of fiber; soluble fiber helps to lower blood cholesterol levels in most individuals when added to the diet. Though oat bran is the most common type of fiber next to whole wheat, quinoa, millet, peas, squash, figs, apples along with many vegetables and most fruits also contain soluble fiber. Insoluble fiber produces the tough, chewy texture of vegetables such as celery, cabbage, and whole grains. Cellulose, hemi cellulose, and lignin are insoluble fibers. Eating foods containing insoluble fiber is important for proper bowel function and can reduce symptoms of chronic constipation, and hemorrhoids.
Keep in mind that when you read on bread labels “Whole Wheat” it does not necessarily suggest high fiber, look closely and you will find most ingredient labels begin with “Enriched Whole Wheat Flour” or “Enriched Bleached whole wheat Flour” which is whole wheat that has been stripped away of all dietary nutrients including fiber. Always reach for heart-healthy whole grain bread without enriched flour.
How much fiber do you need? It takes just 2 ounces of oat bran a day, about 6 grams of soluble fiber, to lower blood cholesterol levels when added to a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet. That equals 2 servings of cooked oat bran or oatmeal but you should get more total dietary fiber than that-20 to 35 grams every day is the usual recommendation.
Fiber may cause a feeling of fullness and gas, increase fiber consumption gradually. Drink plenty of liquid to get the greatest benefit.
Though most cholesterol is produced through the consumption of animal protein realistically is it may be difficult to take meat and cheese out of our diets, however, there are ways to counterbalance these foods with fiber rich foods.
Foods that reduce cholesterol due to their High Fiber:
Apples with the skin
Dark leafy green vegetables
Raw and Unsalted Walnuts
Raw and Unsalted Pumpkin seeds
Raw and Unsalted Sunflower Seeds
All Fresh Berries
Foods that will raise cholesterol:
High Saturated Fats in meats and cheeses (read the labels)
Trans Fats in foods
Low fat, Fat free, or High Sodium processed foods that have trans fats
Egg Yolks (amount in baked goods is fine if your cholesterol doesn’t exceed 280)
Dill Pickles in Brine
Olives in vinegar or salt brine (better to use olive oil)
The lists above are just partial lists as there are many selections available in stores and on the internet. Always read the nutrition labels for the saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, and fiber levels. The foods suggested to reduce cholesterol are for prevention purposes and should not be substituted by medicine prescribed by your doctor.
Some additional tips to keep in mind are:
Egg yolks can be substituted with egg whites (watch out for high egg yolk content in baked goods), when baking at home you can substitute 1 whole egg for 2 egg whites in all recipes.
Farm raised fish are great substitutes for meat protein such as cod, salmon, tuna, flounder, red snapper, tilapia, trout, halibut, and many more.
Watch your intake of smoked salmon (also known as lox), it is very high in sodium.
Keep your raw nuts fresh by keeping them in the refrigerator. The perishable oils in the nuts will go rancid if not stored properly.
Grape seed oil is naturally cholesterol free and great for two things. 1) it is high in Vitamin E, and Omega-6 and 2) it can be used for high heat cooking unlike olive oil, vegetable oil, and some nut oils, in addition to retaining the antioxidants in the high heat cooking temperatures. The one I recommend is by SADAF. You can order it online at: http://sadaf.com/Grapeseed.html or find it at Trader Joe’s in the oils section.
Use extra virgin olive oil (should be cold pressed) for salads – the greener the oil the better it is for you – younger olives are packed with phytonutrients, which are potent antioxidants that can neutralize free radical damage.
When drinking milk it’s best to opt for the 1% or skim variety which has virtually no saturated fat yet with all the calcium of whole milk.
All citrus fruits are high in soluble fiber.
All the berries, cherries, and apples also have high soluble fiber…best to eat 5 serving a day, also the berries and cherries are cancer cell blockers preventing free radical damage.
Drink pomegranate juice regularly, it’s high in fiber and reduces cholesterol along with having one of the highest levels of antioxidants.
And finally, anything white is usually best eaten sparingly…though we do have our occasional cheeseburger with the works, let’s indulge in those foods as little as possible as we do want to be on this planet as long as possible…here’s to great health and great living!
Cholesterol is a type of fat (lipid) made by the body. About 80% of cholesterol is made by the body, the other 20% comes from the diet. Cholesterol is a building block for cell membranes. Our body uses cholesterol to produce many hormones (e.g., progesterone, estrogen, testosterone), vitamin D, and the bile acids that help to digest fat.
Many foods contain cholesterol and high intake of these foods can increase the level of cholesterol in the blood. Having too much cholesterol in the blood is not a disease in itself, but high cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia) can cause the formation and accumulation of plaque deposits in the arteries. Plaque is composed of cholesterol, other fatty substances, fibrous tissue, and calcium. When it builds up in the arteries, it results in the hardening and narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis) in the major vascular systems.
Narrowing of the arteries around the heart (coronary heart disease) can prevent the heart from getting as much oxygen-rich blood as it needs, increasing the risk of a heart attack. Decreased blood flow to the brain can cause a stroke, and less blood flowing to the lower limbs may result in exercise-related pain or even gangrene.
Having a high cholesterol level does not cause symptoms and does not make you feel sick. If there is a huge excess, some people develop soft, yellowish skin growths called xanthomas, usually in the area near the eyes. Most people find out they have high cholesterol when they have their blood cholesterol measured as part of a medical check-up.
Types of Cholesterol
Cholesterol is not soluble in water and doesn’t mix easily with blood. In order to be able to travel in the bloodstream, the cholesterol made in the liver is combined with protein and other substances. This cholesterol-protein package is called a lipoprotein. Lipoprotein then carries the cholesterol through the bloodstream.
Lipoproteins can be high density (HDL), low density (LDL) or very low density (VLDL), depending on how much protein there is in relation to fat.
LDL (low density lipoprotein)
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is called the “bad” cholesterol. About 70% of cholesterol is transported as LDL. This is mostly fat and not much protein. LDL causes cholesterol to be deposited in the arteries. High levels of LDL are associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease.
HDL (high density lipoprotein)
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is called the “good” cholesterol. It carries cholesterol from the body’s tissues back to the liver. About 20% of cholesterol is transported as HDL, which is mostly protein and not much fat. HDL cholesterol may help protect against atherosclerosis by preventing cholesterol from depositing on arterial walls as it circulates in the bloodstream.
There are several factors that may contribute to high cholesterol level in the blood:
Genetic predisposition. People are at a higher risk of high cholesterol if they have a direct male relative aged under 55 or female relative aged under 65 affected by coronary heart disease.
Diet high in saturated fat. Saturated fat and cholesterol come from animal foods such as beef, pork, veal, milk, eggs, butter, and cheese.
Sedentary lifestyle. Lack of exercise may increase LDL cholesterol and decrease HDL cholesterol. Regular physical activity may lower triglycerides and raise HDL cholesterol levels.
Overweight. Excess weight may modestly increase your LDL (bad) cholesterol level.
Age and sex. Cholesterol generally rises slightly with increasing age, and men are more likely to be affected than women.
Drinking alcohol excessively. Drinking too much alcohol can damage the liver and heart muscle.
Diabetes. Diabetes is a significant risk factor for all cardiovascular diseases.
Smoking. This applies not only if you smoke, but also if you live or work every day with people who smoke.
Lifestyle changes such as changing diet, managing weight, increasing exercise, and quitting smoking are the first steps to improving blood levels of cholesterol. If these changes are not enough, your physician might recommend cholesterol-lowering prescription medication.
Medications to improve blood cholesterol levels include:
Statins – are the most widely used, and also the most powerful medications for lowering LDL cholesterol. They work by reducing the production of cholesterol in the liver. Statins not only lower blood LDL cholesterol levels, they also modestly increase HDL cholesterol levels and modestly decrease triglyceride levels. These medications are usually well tolerated, have few side effects, and are taken once or twice a day. Currently, six statin drugs are available: atorvastatin (Lipitor), fluvastatin (Lescol), lovastatin (Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol), simvastatin (Zocor), and rosuvastatin (Crestor).
Bile acid sequestrants – these drugs bind with cholesterol-containing bile acids in the intestines and are then eliminated in the stool. They typically lower cholesterol by 10 to 20%. Small doses of sequestrants can produce useful reductions in LDL cholesterol. Cholestyramine (Questran, Questran Light), colestipol (Colestid), and colesevelam (WelChol) are the 3 main bile acid sequestrants currently available. Bile acid resins are mainly used in young adults with hypercholesterolemia or in combination with another cholesterol-lowering medication.
Cholesterol absorption inhibitors – are a new class of cholesterol lowering agents approved in 2002. Drugs in this class work to lower blood cholesterol levels by absorbing excess cholesterol in the intestines and thus blocking cholesterol’s entry into the bloodstream. Ezetimibe (Zetia) is the first drug in this class. Ezetimibe reduces LDL cholesterol by 18-20%. It is probably most useful in people who cannot take statins or as an additional drug for people who take statins but who notice side effects when the statin dose is increased. Adding ezetimibe to a statin is equivalent to doubling or tripling the statin dose.
Nicotinic acid or niacin – this water-soluble B vitamin improves all lipoproteins when given in doses well above the vitamin requirement. Nicotinic acid lowers total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels, while raising HDL cholesterol levels. Niacin also widens blood vessels, making flushing and hot flashes frequent side effects.
Fibrates – these cholesterol-lowering drugs are primarily effective in lowering triglycerides and, to a lesser extent, increasing HDL cholesterol levels. These drugs include fenofibrate (Tricor) and gemfibrozil (Lopid).
Cholesterol is one of the most familiar medical words today. Everyone knows “something” about it , but mostly cholesterol is associated in our mind with something “bad” and “unwanted” that happens to old and overweight people.The facts show that about 20 percent of the U.S. population has high blood cholesterol levels.
Actually holesterol is a waxy, fatlike substance (lipid) that your body needs for many important functions, such as producing new cells , some hormones, vitamin D, and the bile acids that help to digest fat.. It is present in cell walls or membranes everywhere in the body, including the brain, nerves, muscle, skin, liver, intestines, and heart.
In fact our bodies need cholesterol to function normally, but too much cholesterol can be bad for our health. Why ? Cholesterol and other fats can’t dissolve in the blood. They have to be transported to and from the cells by special carriers. Cholesterol travels through your blood attached to a protein. This cholesterol–protein package is called a lipoprotein. Lipoproteins are high density or low density depending on how much protein there is in relation to fat.
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is the major cholesterol carrier in the blood. If too much LDL cholesterol circulates in the blood, it can slowly build up in the walls of the arteries feeding the heart and brain. Together with other substances it can form plaque, a thick, hard deposit that can clog those arteries. When the coronary arteries become narrowed or clogged by cholesterol and fat deposits (a process called atherosclerosis) and cannot supply enough blood to the heart, the result is coronary heart disease. If the blood supply to a portion of the heart is completely cut off by total blockage of a coronary artery, the result is a heart attack. This is usually due to a sudden closure from a blood clot forming on top of a previous narrowing. Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol is called “bad” cholesterol because it can cause cholesterol buildup and blockage of your arteries. LDL is mostly fat with only a small amount of protein.
About one-third to one-fourth of blood cholesterol is carried by high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Medical experts think HDL tends to carry cholesterol away from the arteries and back to the liver, where it’s passed from the body. Some experts believe HDL removes excess cholesterol from plaques and thus slows their growth. HDL is called “good” cholesterol because it helps prevent cholesterol from building up in your arteries. It is mostly protein with only a small amount of fat.
Since there is good cholesterol and bad cholesterol it is not only necessary to know your cholesterol level ,it is also important to know your levels of LDL and HDL.
The fact is that there are no symptoms of high cholesterol. Your first symptom of high cholesterol could be a heart attack or a stroke. The level of cholesterol can be measured only with a blood test.The results come as three main numbers:
· Total Cholesterol · LDL · HDL The level of LDL should be less than 160. Total cholesterol should be less than 200. The level of HDL should be more than 35.
Most Important: Your LDL level is a good indicator of your risk for heart disease. Lowering LDL is the main aim of treatment if you have high cholesterol. In general, the higher your LDL level, the greater your chance of developing heart disease.
Remember : Regular cholesterol tests are recommended to find out if your cholesterol level is within normal range.
WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT YOUR LDL CHOLESTEROL LEVELS?
The main cause of high blood cholesterol is eating too much fat, especially saturated fat. Saturated fats are found in animal products, such as meats, milk and other dairy products that are not fat free, butter, and eggs. Some of these foods are also high in cholesterol. Fried fast foods and snack foods often have a lot of fat.
Being overweight and not exercising can make your bad cholesterol go up and your good cholesterol go down. Regular physical activity can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels. It also helps you lose weight. You should try to be physically active for 30 minutes on most, if not all, days.
Cigarette smoking damages the walls of your blood vessels, making them likely to have cholesterol rich plaques rupture and have heart attacks. Smoking may also lower your level of HDL cholesterol by as much as 15 percent.
Also, after women go through menopause, their bad cholesterol levels tend to go up. There is also a rare type of inherited high cholesterol that often leads to early heart disease.Some people inherit a condition called familial hypercholesterolemia, which means that very high cholesterol levels run in the family.Other people, especially people for whom diabetes runs in the family, inherit high triglyceride levels. Triglycerides are another type of blood fat that can also push up cholesterol levels. People with high blood triglycerides usually have lower HDL cholesterol and a higher risk of heart attack and stroke. Progesterone, anabolic steroids and male sex hormones (testosterone) also lower HDL cholesterol levels.
So we can make a conclusion that the main therapy is to change your lifestyle. This includes controlling your weight, eating foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol, exercising regularly, not smoking and, in some cases, drinking less alcohol.
But , depending on your risk factors, if healthy eating and exercise don’t work after about 6 months to 1 year, your doctor may suggest medicine to lower your cholesterol level.
Now there are very effective medications called “statins”,such as Lipitor.
The drug works by helping to clear harmful low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol out of the blood and by limiting the body’s ability to form new LDL cholesterol. Each tablet Lipitor includes 20mg Atorvastatin. It is in a class of medications called HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors. It works by slowing the production of cholesterol in the body. Lipitor has shown the ability to halt, not just slow, the potentially fatal buildup of plaque in clogged arteries. While a handful of drugs now available slow the buildup of new plaque, or atherosclerosis, in coronary arteries, no drug on the market has been proven to both stop new build-up and clear existing plaque.
Blood cholesterol levels have been proven to be a major, modifiable risk factor for the development of heart disease. A risk factor is a condition that increases your chance of getting a disease. The fact that high cholesterol is a modifiable risk factor is important. Unlike your gender or your age, the cholesterol level in your blood is something you have the ability to change. High cholesterol levels can be treated with lifestyle modifications, supplements and/or prescription medication. Treatment to change blood cholesterol levels have been shown to lower your risk of getting heart disease or having a heart attack or stroke.
Cholesterol builds up in the walls of your arteries. Over time, this buildup causes “hardening of the arteries” so that arteries become narrowed and blood flow to the heart is slowed down or blocked. You can imagine what that looks like if you think about the pipes under your kitchen sink. As they get clogged with food, grease and hair over time, the drainage of water slows and eventually stops completely. Since blood travels through these arteries, or pipes, to carry oxygen to your muscles, organs and tissues including your heart, a blockage could reduce enough blood and oxygen to your heart that you may suffer chest pain, called angina. If the blood supply to a portion of the heart is completely cut off by a blockage, the result is a heart attack. If this blockage occurs in your brain, the result is a stroke.
High blood cholesterol itself does not cause symptoms; so there are a lot of people that are completely unaware that their cholesterol level is too high. It is important to find out what your cholesterol numbers are because lowering cholesterol levels that are too high lessens the risk for developing heart disease and reduces the chance of a heart attack or stroke. Even if you have already had a heart attack or stroke, lower cholesterol will reduce your chance of having second one. Cholesterol lowering is important for everyone–younger, middle age, and older adults; women and men; and people with or without heart disease.
There are different kinds of cholesterol in your blood that can measured through a simple blood test preformed at your doctor’s office. This blood test must be preformed fasting, which means you can not eat or drink anything but water or black coffee for 8-12 hours before your blood test for them to be accurate.
What is LDL?
LDL (bad) cholesterol is the main source of buildup and blockage in the arteries. The majority of LDL is created by your body in your liver. A smaller percentage of it is absorbed through your diet. An easy way for patients to remember LDL is the “bad cholesterol” is to think the L in LDL stands for Lousy cholesterol, or the one you want to Lower.With this form of cholesterol, studies have shown the lower the better. Babies are born with an LDL of 30-40, so it is hard to lower the LDL too much. Since physicians and various guidelines have different goals for different patients, ask your doctor what your personal goal is for LDL.
What is HDL?
HDL (good) cholesterol helps keep bad cholesterol from building up in the arteries. An easy way for patients to remember this is the good cholesterol is the H in HDL stands for Healthy cholesterol or the one you want to be Higher. Studies show that with this form of cholesterol, the higher the better. If your HDL is below 40, it becomes an additional risk factor for heart disease. If your HDL is above 60, it actually allows you to subtract one of your other risk factors.
What Is Triglicerides?
Triglycerides are another form of fat in your blood which is often high in patients with diabetes, but can be high in anyone. Some patients may only have high triglycerides while all other cholesterol values remain normal. If you have both high triglycerides and high cholesterol, the condition is called “mixed dyslipidemia”.
What Does Total Cholesterol To HDL Ratio Mean?
Another number that clinical studies have shown to be important in determining your risk of heart disease is the ratio of Total Cholesterol to HDL Cholesterol. In general, it should be less than 4.0. Ask your doctor what your value is, and what your specific goal should be. Again this is a number where the lower it is, the better.
The level of your LDL or “bad cholesterol ” along with the number of other risk factors that you may have for developing heart disease will help your doctor decide not only your individual cholesterol goals, but if necessary what your individual treatment will include.Other risk factors for heart disease include age, gender (males), cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, HDL levels below 40, and a family history of early heart disease. Even though physical activity (sedentary lifestyle) and obesity are not included on this list, these are conditions that need to be corrected as well.
There are several treatment options for patients depending on individual test results and goals. All treatments should include a diet designed to lower cholesterol intake and an exercise plan. Many treatment plans will include dietary supplements and/or prescription medication(s). There are a variety of prescription medications that can target your specific treatment needs, including but not limited to lowering the amount of LDL created by the liver, lowering the amount of LDL that is absorbed from your intestines, increasing levels of HDL or lowering levels of triglycerides.Your doctor may put you on one, or a variety of medications to meet your individual treatment goals.
Blood cholesterol levels have been proven to be a major, modifiable risk factor for the development of heart disease. A risk factor is a condition that increases your chance of getting a disease. A modifiable risk factor is something you have the ability to change. High cholesterol levels can be treated with lifestyle modifications, supplement and/or prescription medication. Treatment to change blood cholesterol levels have been shown to lower your risk of getting heart disease or having a heart attack or stroke.
There are many different types of cholesterol lowering medications that your doctor may prescribe, however these prescriptions can cause certain nutritional deficiencies that may increase your risk for side effects or diminish the risk reduction you would otherwise get from the cholesterol lowering medications. NutraMD Cholesterol Essential Nutrients® supplement was designed to work with your cholesterol lowering medications by replacing lost nutrients reducing the risk of dangerous side effects, and promote better health.
Medications for treatment of High Cholesterol:
The three main classes include statins, fibrates, and bile acid sequestrants.
Statins include the following medications: Lipitor (atorvastatin) Zocor (simvastatin) Pravachol (pravastatin). Mevacor (lovastatin) Crestor (rosuvastatin) Advicor (lovastatin + niacin). Caduet (atorvastatin + amlodipine).
The main function of statins is to reduce an individual¡¦s risk for cardiovascular disease (i.e., heart attack, stroke, peripheral vascular disease, atherosclerosis, arteriosclerosis, and plaque development in arteries) by reducing the total and LDL cholesterol levels as well as by reducing certain plaque promoting factors and increasing artery dilating factors.Your doctor may prescribe a statin if you have high cholesterol or have had heart attack or stroke in the past. If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure or diabetes but do not have high cholesterol, your doctor may still prescribe a statin to reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease. Statins help lower cholesterol by blocking it’s direct synthesis throughout the body but primarily in the liver, however the action of the medication also blocks the synthesis of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and has a potential negative effect on the synthesis of vitamin D.
* CoQ10 deficiency has been linked to the following diseases and symptoms:
Congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, rhabdomyolysis (muscle break down), muscle and joint pain, and fatigue.
Therefore to achieve maximum benefit from the statin medication and minimize potential side effects of nutrient deficiencies, you should compliment your prescription medication by taking NutraMD Cholesterol Essential Nutrients® supplement. By doing this you will balance the risk/benefit ratio further in your favor.
Fibrates include the following medications:
Tricor, Antara, and Lofibra (fenofibrates) Lopid (gemfibrozil).
The main functions of fibrates are to lower triglycerides and raise HDL (good cholesterol). These medicines also have a mild lowering effect on LDL (bad cholesterol) and total cholesterol. Your doctor may prescribe fibrates in combination with a statin or bile acid sequestrants. The down side of fibrates is there ability to increase muscle pain and myalgia (including rhabdomyolysis).11-15 These medications also have the ability to raise homocysteine levels.11-15 Homocysteine is a chemical (amino acid metabolite) which when elevated is a risk factor for heart disease, atherosclerosis, stroke, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and osteoporosis. The only substances known to lower homocysteine levels are the B-vitamins (folate, riboflavin, cobalamin, and pyridoxine).Therefore to reduce the potential risks while taking fibrates, you should also be taking NutraMD Cholesterol Essential Nutrients® supplement.
Bile Acid Sequestrants include the following medications:
Questran or Questran Light (cholestyramine) Welchol (colesevelam HCl).
The main functions of bile acid sequestrants are to lower cholesterol by binding to it in the intestine and preventing its absorption thus allowing its excretion in the feces. Your doctor may prescribe this type of medicine in combination with fibrates and statins. Unfortunately, bile acid sequestrants will also bind to vitamins A, D, E, and K as well as essential fats in the intestine preventing their absorption into the blood stream thus leading to their deficiencies. A few of the problems which arise from deficiencies of vitamins A, D, E, K, and essential fatty acids include the following: Heart disease, high cholesterol, stroke, high triglycerides, cancer, thyroid disease, autoimmune disease, bone disease, arthritis, joint pain, muscle pain, cataracts, skin lesions, allergies, and many other.Therefore, to reduce potential side effects of nutrient deficiencies you should take NutraMD Cholesterol Essential Nutrients® supplement as long as you are on bile acid sequestrants.
In summary, cholesterol-lowering medications prescribed by your doctor are necessary to treat your condition; however, you should also be aware that the long term potential nutritional side effects can be just as big a risk factor for your condition as well as other conditions. Put the odds in your favor and maintain your health with NutraMD Cholesterol Essential Nutrients® supplement.