Cholesterol, Food and Supplementation
When trying to lower your cholesterol initially consider your diet and increasing exercise. Making changes to your diet can significantly improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels as well as improve the health of your heart and overall health.
Focus on reducing saturated fats and trans fats first. Saturated fats are found in meats and vegetable oils, these fats raise total cholesterol levels. Trans fats are found in store-bought desserts, snacks and processed foods and will increase levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) and lower HDL (good cholesterol) levels.
Include the following foods in your diet for improved cholesterol.
Soluble fiber lowers LDL cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein) - oatmeal, oat bran, apples, pears, psyllium, barley and prunes
Nuts and seeds – almonds, walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, pepitas, sunflower seeds contain oils that help reduce cholesterol
Fish and fish oil supplements – research indicates that the oils in fish, also known as, Omega–3 fatty acids reduces cholesterol, blood pressure and the risk of developing blood clots. Fish oil will help reduce LDL (bad cholesterol) and increase HDL (cholesterol).
Olive oil - 2 tablespoons of olive oil daily will help reduce LDL (bad cholesterol) and increase HDL (good cholesterol)
Supplements can also be beneficial and effective at lowering cholesterol levels.
- Plant sterol supplements – Sterols and stanols are similar to animal cholesterol and will block absorption of cholesterol from the digestive system. Foods like yogurt, low fat milk, cereals, fruit juices, and margarine are being fortified with plant sterols. Plant Sterols (Phytosterols) occur naturally in vegetables, fruits, legumes, grains, and nuts. The amounts available through food only are not sufficient to effect cholesterol levels. 2 grams per day is the minimum recommendation for sterols and stanols.
- Red Rice Yeast – contains compounds called monacolins that inhibit cholesterol synthesis and inhibitors HMG-CoA reductase.
- Guggul – herb used in ayurvedic medicine, improves binding of LDL in the liver and excreting it from the body.
These supplements can be obtained through your Physicians Office and may be found at Local supplement retailers.