Diets for High cholestrol

If a blood test has shown that you have high cholestrol, the first thing you need to do is to change your lifestyle. High cholestrol causes atherosclerosis, narrowing of the arteries, which in turn leads to heart disease. Research has shown that by making simple changes to our daily life we can cut our heart disease risks by 80%.

So what changes do we need to make:-
– Changing to a healthier diet which is lower calorie, low in saturated fats and higher in fibre. Such diets for high cholestrol can have a dramatic effect on cholestrol levels.
– Lose weight – weightloss significantly reduces our risks.
– Start exercising – aerobic or cardiovascular exercise can be effective in lowering cholestrol levels.
– Take supplements – Vitamin B3 (Niacin)can increase HDL or “good” cholestrol levels, Omega 3 fatty acids increase HDL (good cholestrol) levels and reduce LDL (bad cholestrol) levels, Antioxidants vitamins A, C and E protect against damage from free radicals.
– Stop smoking – smoking is a free radical which can increase the oxidation of cholestrol and lead to it depositing in the arteries.
– Consume wheat grass and oat products.

People who have been diagnosed with high cholestrol, or who have a family history of high cholestrol levels, should follow diets for high cholestrol.

How to change your diet

Eating a high fat diet is definitely one cause of high cholestrol but not all fats are bad. Some fat in the diet is vital because our body needs it for energy and for cell building. It is the type of fat that matters when we are considering the best diets for high cholestrol.
Saturated fats and trans fats are the fats that are known to elevate cholestrol levels.
Saturated fats are found in whole fat milk, butter, cheese and fatty meats.
Trans fats (also known as hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats) are found in commercially produced cakes, cookies and pastries as well as fast food.
However, there are good fats. Mono unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can actually be good for our hearts and cholestrol.
Mono unsaturated fats are found in avocados, some oils like rapeseed and olive oil, and some nuts.
Polyunsaturated fats are found in oily fish such as salmon and sardines, some spreads and health drinks.

So, how can we reduce our intake of bad fats and increase our intake of good fats and follow diets for high cholestrol?
The trick is to simply replace saturated or trans fats with good fats. Here are some tricks and tips:-
– Instead of using butter use a polyunsaturated spread or be Mediterranean and drizzle olive oil on your bread – delicious.
– Cook with olive oil
– Use lean meat or trim the white fat off cuts of meat
– Replace whole fat milk with half fat milk or fat free milk.
– Look at food labels for saturated fat and hydrogenated fat and buy low fat versions instead.
– Cut down on fast food and processed food.
– Replace cakes and cookies with fruit or vegetable snacks.
– Grill, microwave, steam or poach food instead of frying it.
– Eat oily fish once or twice a week (replacing your normal meat) to get essential Omega 3 fatty acids

Other changes we need to make when considering diets for high cholestrol are to increase our intake of fibre by eating wholegrain foods, pulses and fruit and vegetables.
Tips for increasing fibre:-
– Replace some of the usual meat you eat with pulses in casseroles or soups
– Replace white bread, pasta and rice with wholegrain/wholemeal versions
– Replace your normal snacks for fruit and vegetable snacks which are also low calorie
– Add fruit to breakfast cereals, add salad to your sandwiches, make smoothies, add more vegetables to casseroles and sauces, make vegetable soups, slice vegetables and serve with low fat dips, serve fruit as dessert.

As you can see these are simple changes we can make to our diets to make them suitable diets for high cholestrol. These changes can lower cholestrol levels without the need for further treatment, they are worth trying.
Search on the Internet for low fat recipes or buy yourself a low fat or low calorie recipe book to give you some inspiration.

cholestrol Test

Who should have a cholestrol test?

You should have a cholestrol test if:-
– you have any type of heart disease
– you have a family history of high cholestrol
– you are over the age of 35 and smoke, or have a family history of heart disease, or you are diabetic, or you suffer with high blood pressure.
– you are already on medication for high cholestrol.

Some experts are even saying that it is sensible for everyone over the age of 20 to have a cholestrol test every 5 years. cholestrol testing is important because high cholestrol generally has no symptoms and it causes heart disease.

The cholestrol Test

You may have your cholestrol tested by your own doctor, at a hospital or sometimes you can have your cholestrol checked by a mobile health education unit.

If you go to the doctor or hospital to have your cholestrol test you will generally have a fasting blood test. This simply means that you will be asked not to eat anything for about 12 hours prior to the blood test so that all the food you have eaten has been digested. You may have had fasting tests before if you have ever had your blood sugar checked.

There are no side effects to having a cholestrol test, it is a simple blood test.

The nurse or doctor will either draw blood from a vein with a needle and syringe or use a thumb/finger prick test. Your blood plasma will then be analyzed and commonly you will be given a Total cholestrol reading and a Total cholestrol to HDL cholestrol (good cholestrol) ratio which assesses your risk of heart disease.

A healthy Total cholestrol reading is between 190-210mg/dl or between 4.9 and 5.4 mmol/l. If your cholestrol test shows that you have a Total cholestrol above this level then you will be diagnosed as having high cholestrol.

The Total cholestrol to HDL cholestrol ratio is used to get a better idea of your risk of heart disease. A healthy TC:HDL ratio is 3.5:1 or below, a medium risk ratio is above 5:1 and you are at a high risk of heart disease if your ratio is above 8:1.

If you are diagnosed with high cholestrol your doctor will then discuss treatment. In the beginning this will involve a change of lifestyle – healthy diet and exercise. If this is not effective or your cholestrol is very high then you may be prescribed cholestrol lowering medication.

Home cholestrol tests

You can now purchase a cholestrol test kit for use in your own home. Some of these kits work by pricking your finger with the lancet provided, dropping a bead of blood onto the stick or strip, waiting a few minutes and then comparing the colour of the test strip with the colour chart. This will give you an idea of your Total cholestrol reading.
Other kits will test both your Total cholestrol and your HDL cholestrol to give more information about your risk of heart disease.
Follow the kit instructions carefully and make an appointment with your doctor if you find you have border-line or high cholestrol. Your doctor will probably repeat the test and then advise you accordingly.

cholestrol Readings

cholestrol readings are the results that a doctor obtains from performing a cholestrol test on a patient. The cholestrol test is a blood test which examines the lipids, or fats, in the blood. The patient is asked to fast for 12 hours before the test is taken and then blood is drawn either by a needle and syringe or by a finger prick test.

The 3 cholestrol Readings

The three cholestrol readings which are examined are readings for Total cholestrol (TC), HDL (High density lipoprotein) or good cholestrol, and LDL (low density lipoprotein) or bad cholestrol.

Total cholestrol
Total cholestrol is the total HDL and LDL cholestrol in the blood. A cholestrol reading of between 190-210 mg/dl or between 4.9 and 5.4 mmol/l is a normal and healthy cholestrol level. If your total cholestrol is above this then you have high cholestrol and are at a greater risk of heart disease.

HDL or good cholestrol
HDL cholestrol is mainly protein with a small amount of fat. HDL cholestrol helps to prevent cholestrol building up in the arteries (which causes narrowing of the arteries) by transporting it to the liver where it is dealt with and excreted. It is therefore good to have a high level of HDL cholestrol.

LDL or bad cholestrol
LDL cholestrol is mainly fat with a little protein. This is the cholestrol which, if it is in excess, is deposited on the walls of the arteries. These deposits or plaque on the artery walls lead to atherosclerosis or narrowing of the arteries reducing blood flow to vital organs such as the heart. Atherosclerosis is a cause of cardiovascular disease. It is good to have a low level of LDL cholestrol in the blood.

The Results

When you are given the results of your cholestrol readings your doctor will give you your Total cholestrol reading and then a ratio of Total cholestrol to HDL cholestrol. You want your Total cholestrol level, which includes bad LDL cholestrol to be low compared to your good or HDL cholestrol. A ratio of above 8:1 puts you at a high risk of developing heart disease, a ratio of above 5:1 is a medium risk and a ratio of 3.5:1 or below is seen as healthy.

Why is it important to get cholestrol readings?

It is important to get cholestrol readings done either by a doctor or by using a home kit because high cholestrol, on the whole, does not have any obvious symptoms. You will not know your true risk of heart disease until you have your cholestrol level checked. It is especially important to have your cholestrol checked if:-
– you have a family history of heart disease
– you have heart disease
– you suffer from diabetes
– you smoke
– you have high blood pressure
– you have a family history of high cholestrol

Once you know your cholestrol readings you can do something about them. If your cholestrol levels are healthy then carry on with your healthy lifestyle. If your levels are too high then you need to make some lifestyle changes to lower bad cholestrol and increase good cholestrol. You may even have to take medication, discuss this with your doctor.

cholestrol Medication

In this article we will discuss the different cholestrol medication available for the treatment of high cholestrol levels.

It is important that high cholestrol is treated because it causes many problems including coronary heart disease, thrombosis and strokes. Lowering your cholestrol is especially important if you have other risk factors for heart disease like high bloodpressure.

How cholestrol medication works

cholestrol medication can be split into two main types:
– those medications that reduce the amount of cholestrol produced by the liver
– those medications that reduce the amount of cholestrol which is absorbed into the body from the food that we eat.

Types of cholestrol medication

Niacin
This vitamin, when taken in high doses, reduces bad cholestrol and triglyceride levels while also increasing good cholestrol levels. Niacin, the generic name, is prescribed by your doctor as Nicolar or Niaspan. It can have minor side effects such as skin flushing, itching or tingling, and also headaches. You must tell your doctor if you experience these side effects.

Bile-acid Sequestrants or Resins
These work by binding bile, which is made from cholestrol, in the intestines to stop it being reabsorbed into the bloodstream. Common brand names are Questran (generic name cholestyramine), Questran Light, Colestid (generic name Colestipol) and Welchol.
Common side effects of resins are gas, constipation and an upset stomach.

Statins or HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors
This type of cholestrol medication works by blocking the production of cholestrol in the liver. They have been shown to be very effective in lowering cholestrol and reducing the risk of heart disease. Statins include Atorvastatin (prescribed as Lipitor),Simvastatin (prescribed as Zocor), Fluvastatin (Lescol), Pravastatin (Pravachol), Lovastatin (Mevacor)and rosuvastatin (Crestor).
Minor side effects of statins are upset stomach, gas, constipation, abdominal pain and headaches. They have also been known to cause joint and muscle pain in some cases. In very rare cases they have caused damage to the liver.

Fibrates
Fibrates (ciprofibrate, bezafibrate, fenofibrate and gemfibrozil)work by reducing the triglyceride level in the body while increasing the level of HDL or good cholestrol. Fibrates are normally prescribed for people who cannot tolerate statin medications or in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Minor side effects can be an upset stomach, anaemia, possible gallstone production, temporary blurred vision or dizziness and muscle aching. If the patient is on Warfarin the blood thinning effect may be increased.

Zetia (generic name ezetimibe)
This cholestrol medication reduces the amount of cholestrol which is absorbed from food. It is often prescribed along with statin medications to maximise the results. It has been shown to lower total cholestrol and bad LDL cholestrol while increasing the level of good HDL cholestrol.
Its side effects include nausea, fever, muscle pain, upset stomach, joint pain, headaches and possible liver damage.

Your doctor will be able to advise you what cholestrol medication is best for you. Remember that you still need to make changes to your lifestyle and keep up these changes even if you are on medication. It is the combination of lifestyle and medication that have the best effect on lowering cholestrol.

Regular checks

If you are on any type of cholestrol medication, it is vitally important that you have your cholestrol level checked regularly. At these appointments you can also discuss your medication and any side effects you are suffering from.

Is milk good for a person with high cholestrol?

Well, it depends on what type of milk you’re drinking and much you consume in your diet. Our bodies need dairy products to function properly, unfortunately almost all dairy is loaded with saturated fats. Saturated fat is found in almost all animal products and is one of the causes in high cholestrol.

If you need to lower your cholestrol, do not drink whole milk, which is high in saturated fat. Choose skim milk or 1’% over whole milk, which is much better for you in the long run. If you’re a big coffee or tea drinker use skim milk or a fat free creamer instead of half and half or whole milk.

A healthy alternative to milk is soy milk. Over the years soy milk has become increasingly popular due to its nutrient benefits. During the mid 90’s clinical studies were done that proved patients that had a significant amount of soy protein in their diet lowered their cholestrol levels. By 1996 the FDA put out a health claim stating that soy protein had benefits against fighting heart disease. The health claim stated “Diets low in saturated fat and cholestrol that includes 25grams of soy protein a day may reduce the risk of heart disease. One serving of [name of product] provides [amount] of soy protein”. One glass of soy milk contains 8g of soy protein in it, plus added nutrients that are beneficial to you.

In 1981 a study was done on people that lived in Thailand. The coconut plays a key role in the islander’s diet. The bad side to coconut is that it’s high in saturated fat but the islanders showed no signs of harmful effects from consuming coconuts. A ton of islanders moved off of Thailand to New Zealand, once there their intake of coconut deceased. As their intake decreased their LDL, the bad cholestrol, increased. Scientists were baffled at this finding and dove deeper to see what the cause could be. Turns out that coconut saturated fat is mostly made up of lauric acid. When lauric acid enters into the body it’s changed into Monolaurin which is actually good for your body. Monolaurin attributes to the help of fighting off certain viruses, such as herpes, aids and influenza.

If you suffer from high cholestrol speak with your doctor first. Your physician will be able to give you information on what foods are right for you to eat. Any questions you have about drinking milk or soy milk can be answered and your doctor will also be able to give you up to date information on lowering cholestrol.

Is Milk Good For A Person With High cholestrol

There has been much talk recently about whether milk is good for people with high cholestrol. Some are blaming the widespread use of homogenised milk for the rise in cholestrol levels and increase in heart disease which seem to have happened since homogenised milk became the most common milk stocked in supermarkets. People are searching for answers to questions such as “Is milk good for a person with high cholestrol?”and “Is homegenised milk good for us?”

What is homogenisation?

For your information, homogenisation is a process in which milk is forced through very fine filters at high speed to break up the fat or cream in the milk. The fat is broken up into minute fat globules which mix in with the milk. This process results in milk that is smooth and which doesn’t have a layer of cream on top.
Does homogenised milk cause an increase in our cholestrol levels? Is milk good for a person with high cholestrol or not?
Dr Kurt Oster, a cardiologist in the US, started researching milk and its effect on cholestrol in the 1960s. He found that the fat in milk contained a substance called Xanthene Oxidose. In normal milk both the fat and Xanthene Oxidose are digested by the body and either used for nutrients or excreted. However, Dr Oster found that the fat and Xanthene Oxidose particles in homogenised milk were so small that they could pass through the intestine walls into the bloodstream. Xanthene Oxidose from cow’s milk fat can attack the tissue in the artery walls causing legions. As these legions heal they can harden into calcified plaque which then narrows the arteries and cholestrol is able to stick to the plaque which narrows the arteries even more. Narrowing of the arteries is called atherosclerosis and is a major cause of heart disease.

So, is milk good for a person with high cholestrol?

Whole milk, especially homogenised whole milk, is not good for a person with high cholestrol as it contains saturated fat which can raise cholestrol levels and the substance Xanthene Oxidose. It is best to drink fat-free (skimmed) milk which is lower in saturated fat but still has the goodness of calcium, Vitamin D and other valuable nutrients. It is also possible to buy cholestrol lowering milks which are fat-free and contain plant sterols which lower cholestrol. Soya milk is also known to lower cholestrol. Research has shown that drinking three glasses of soya milk a day can significantly lower your cholestrol. Soya milk can be used wherever you would use normal milk – in drinks, on your cereal and in cooking.

The question should not be “Is milk good for a person with high cholestrol?” but instead “What milk is good for a person with high cholestrol?”.

This article will discuss how to reduce cholestrol

Having high cholestrol puts you at a greater risk for getting heart disease. Reducing your cholestrol is easier then it looks, with a few simple lifestyle changes you can be on your way to a healthier you.

The most important factor in reducing cholestrol is your diet. If you’re eating bacon and eggs every morning for breakfast, chances are you can end up with some health issues later on. Egg yolks are very high in cholestrol and bacon is full of saturated fat. If you feel you can’t live without either of those foods switch to egg whites or have only 2 yolks a week and switch to a leaner meat, like turkey bacon. Eat whole grain breads and pastas, and try to eat fruit and vegetables every day. Dairy is another high in fat product. Instead of drinking whole milk, drink skim or even soy milk which has numerous benefits to it.

We live in a country that loves their fast food; to bad it’s terrible for you. Luckily more fast food companies are adding healthy alternatives to their menu. Wendy’s has a few different salads that you can choose from. When ordering a salad stick with a plain garden or grilled chicken, some of the salads tend to be very high in fat.

People that are overweight tend to have higher cholestrol. By losing a few pounds you can immediately reduce your levels. Exercise will help you to lose weight faster and reduce cholestrol. Any aerobic or cardiovascular exercise like running or walking should be implemented into your daily routine if possible. Try and do 30 to 60 minutes a day of cardio, start off slow and work your way up. If you find that you don’t have time to exercise as much as you should, you can do little things through out the day.

Park your car farther away so you’re forced to walk some extra steps to get where you need to be. If you sit at a desk all day, on your breaks take quick walks around the block or even the parking lot. I work in a warehouse and during break time there are two ladies that will walk around the warehouse if it’s raining out.

Some other steps you can take are to cook with olive oil, use margarine instead of butter and stay away from any foods that have partially hydrogenated oils; they are the worst type of fat for you. You can also use egg whites as a batter for your chicken cutlets instead of eggs, bread them and then bake them in the oven; they still come out tasting great.

Certain vitamins and herbs can also help reduce cholestrol. Studies have been done on, fish oil, royal jelly, and vitamin B, but before taking either of these supplements speak with your physician. Worst case scenario, if lifestyle changes don’t help to reduce your cholestrol your doctor might put you on medication. If you’re on medication make sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.

When asked the question, how to raise good cholestrol, there is more then one answer

By changing your diet and lifestyle you can raise your HDL levels faster then you think.

HDL is known as the good cholestrol, is a lipoprotein that removes the bad cholestrol (LDL) from the body. By having a high HDL level, you will lessen your chances of getting heart disease.

The first step in raising HDL is changing your diet. Switch to eating complex carbohydrates if you don’t already eat them. If you’re a diabetic increasing your HDL will also help you. Complex carbohydrates can be found in vegetables, potatoes, pasta and all grain products like bread. You want to stick with whole grains like whole wheat bread and pasta. In white breads most of the fiber is removed, taking away a big part of its nutrients. Fiber plays an important role in the digestive system; it keeps you feeling fuller longer and helps to digest foods. Adding more protein to your diet in forms of lean meat, beans, and tofu will increase HDL.

Tofu and beans are a good meat alternative that you’ll find in a lot of the low cholestrol recipes. Eating foods that are high in unsaturated fat will help keep HDL levels high and increase them. Some examples of food products that are high in unsaturated fat are salmon, olives, avocadoes, soybean and walnuts.

Research has been done on alcohol and whether or not it helps to lower cholestrol. One study showed that red wine actually increased HDL levels. The Mediterranean diet which is a popular low cholestrol diet advocates drinking 1-2 glasses of red wine daily.

There are certain supplements that have been known to increase HDL cholestrol; one of these is a drug free product called Niacin. A study done involving 400 patients both male and female showed a significant increase in HDL levels while taking Niacin over a 16 week study. Niacin is a highly effective solution that is affordable and has minimal side effects. The main side effect that Niacin has is called flushing. Flushing is a warm, tingling sensation that happens to the skin, normally the face which also adds redness to your complexion. Flushing can be easily resolved by taking aspirin along with the Niacin dosage.

Some other tips on raising HDL are: take omega 3-oils daily, eat foods that are high in fiber like brown rice, exchange vegetable oil for olive oil in your cooking, exercise regular if you can at least 30 minutes a day, and quit smoking.

There are books written on how to raise your HDL cholestrol that include advise on what foods to eat, information about HDL, recipes, and experts opinion.

How to lower your cholestrol

There are many different books and articles written on how to lower your cholestrol. You can lower cholestrol many different ways, but there is no quick and easy solution that will lower cholestrol overnight. In order to lower cholestrol you need a lifestyle change that includes a change in your eating habits and exercise.

The first step that needs to take place is to try and lower your cholestrol naturally. Any doctor will suggest a change in your diet first, if you’re not already eating healthy. When eating meats choose leaner meats like fish and poultry instead of red meat. Try and buy turkey and chicken that has the skin already moved, if not cut it off and trim the fat before cooking. Make sure to eat lots of fruits and vegetables, especially raw vegetables like carrots. A healthy diet should consist of at least 3-5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day.

Cheese and dairy tend to be very high in saturated fat which leads to a higher cholestrol level. If you are eating quite a bit of dairy and happen to love cheese, stick to low fat, fat free cheese and skim milk. Another healthy alternative to milk is soy milk which has been known to help lower cholestrol and has many other added benefits. For dessert eat non-fat frozen yogurt or sherbet, instead of ice cream. When a recipe calls for eggs, use only the egg whites instead of the whole egg. Egg yolks are very high in cholestrol and you should only eat at most, two yolks a week.

Exercise plays an important role in helping to lower cholestrol. People that are overweight tend to have a higher cholestrol then people who are not. Cardio vascular exercises like walking, jogging and swimming are the ones you want to stick to. They burn more calories and increase your heart rate. If you need an at home exercise and walking doesn’t suit you, try aerobics such as dancing or step. Step aerobics may take awhile to get used but after you learn the moves, it can be very fun.

If you’re a smoker, stop smoking immediately. Smoking constricts your blood vessels and increases your chances of having heart disease or having a heart attack. Quitting smoking will not only lower your cholestrol but will overall change how you feel and possibly add years to your life.

There are also natural herbs and supplements that you can take instead of medications, which often have negative side effects. Some vitamins such as vitamin B have been known to help lower cholestrol. Before deciding to take any natural remedy or medication, talk with your doctor to find out what’s best for you.

How to lower your cholestrol

There are many different books and articles written on how to lower your cholestrol. You can lower cholestrol many different ways, but there is no quick and easy solution that will lower cholestrol overnight. In order to lower cholestrol you need a lifestyle change that includes a change in your eating habits and exercise.

The first step that needs to take place is to try and lower your cholestrol naturally. Any doctor will suggest a change in your diet first, if you’re not already eating healthy. When eating meats choose leaner meats like fish and poultry instead of red meat. Try and buy turkey and chicken that has the skin already moved, if not cut it off and trim the fat before cooking. Make sure to eat lots of fruits and vegetables, especially raw vegetables like carrots. A healthy diet should consist of at least 3-5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day.

Cheese and dairy tend to be very high in saturated fat which leads to a higher cholestrol level. If you are eating quite a bit of dairy and happen to love cheese, stick to low fat, fat free cheese and skim milk. Another healthy alternative to milk is soy milk which has been known to help lower cholestrol and has many other added benefits. For dessert eat non-fat frozen yogurt or sherbet, instead of ice cream. When a recipe calls for eggs, use only the egg whites instead of the whole egg. Egg yolks are very high in cholestrol and you should only eat at most, two yolks a week.

Exercise plays an important role in helping to lower cholestrol. People that are overweight tend to have a higher cholestrol then people who are not. Cardio vascular exercises like walking, jogging and swimming are the ones you want to stick to. They burn more calories and increase your heart rate. If you need an at home exercise and walking doesn’t suit you, try aerobics such as dancing or step. Step aerobics may take awhile to get used but after you learn the moves, it can be very fun.

If you’re a smoker, stop smoking immediately. Smoking constricts your blood vessels and increases your chances of having heart disease or having a heart attack. Quitting smoking will not only lower your cholestrol but will overall change how you feel and possibly add years to your life.

There are also natural herbs and supplements that you can take instead of medications, which often have negative side effects. Some vitamins such as vitamin B have been known to help lower cholestrol. Before deciding to take any natural remedy or medication, talk with your doctor to find out what’s best for you.