High cholesterol can be lowered with the right attitude

High cholesterol ends up being deposited on the walls of arteries which in turn can cause clots that leads to many cardiac diseases. Cholesterol is a product produced by animals and is also produced by our livers. There are two types of cholesterol LDL and HDL. LDL is the bad type of cholesterol that the more of it we have the more unhealthy we are. HDL is the good type of cholesterol that the more of it we have the better our bodies function. Since HDL and LDL is produced by our bodies the amount is determined by our genetics. Some people are genetically programmed to make more LDL than HDL therefore are more at risk for heart disease. Exercise can lower the LDL and help raise the HDL. So it may not be possible to change your genetics but you are able to overcome it through simple lifestyle changes.

Cholesterol is vital for cell membrane repair and production of vitamin D. Without cholesterol our bodies couldn’t function. In order for cholesterol to be effective it must arrive at the destination. That is where HDL and LDL come in. Low density Lipoproteins(LDL) are responsible to help repair cell walls, whereas High Density Lipoproteins(HDL) remove the LDL out of cell and into the liver to be removed by the body. It is the excess that causes the problems. Blood is the transport system of our bodies. In order for anything to get anywhere it must be transported by our blood. While being transported the cholesterol begins to bind to areas of the walls of arteries. It is not clear why this happens but a lot of theories exist. One of those theories states that there is damage to the wall of the artery from wear and tear. Since platelets like everything smooth and platelets are responsible for clotting our blood. Platelets begin to stick to these areas where-by the high cholesterol then sticks to the clot that formed. Thus the building of a clogged artery begins and over years it slowly grows and grows until enough blood is cut off the downstream organs begin to starve. The symptoms that develop depend where the clot and starvation is if it is in your heart you get chest pain, in your leg (DVT) you get swelling, redness, and pain while walking.

Remember we need a certain amount of cholesterol to function. It is the high cholesterol that we can do without. Only 20% comes from our diet. High level of dietary cholesterol have been found in egg yolks, organ meats, shrimp, fatty meats. Foods that have higher level of saturated fats and trans fats that have been known to produce high cholesterol levels are fatty meats, whole fat dairy products, snack foods and ready prepared foods. The first step in lowering blood cholesterol levels is adopting a healthy lifestyle. Eat a diet lower in saturated and trans fats, be physically active, achieving a healthy weight and maintaining that weight, limit alcohol consumption and being smoke free.

Call your doctor and schedule a simple blood test to know your cholesterol level. You could be one step closer to reducing your risk of having heart disease and prevent a cardiac problem.

All animal foods contain cholesterol and any animal by product contains cholesterol. Organs of animals do not contain as much cholesterol, as a rule, foods that are high in fat also have high cholesterol, as animals make their own. We also make our own cholesterol therefore do not need it from sources of food. Therefore, as a guideline it is recommended to choose leaner cuts of meat and cut the fat to reduce the amount of fat and cholesterol from the diet as possible. According to a study by Harvard nutritionists foods that are high in cholesterol are less likely to raise blood levels as high amounts of fat in the diet.

Therefore it is more beneficial to focus on foods that lower blood cholesterol than foods that raise blood cholesterol. So go ahead don’t worry about that 1 egg yolk you had, but don't over do it!

Foods that lower blood cholesterol

Whole grain foods help reduce high cholesterol

Soluble fibre and high fibre has been proven to reduce LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream it is reccommended to aim for 5 to 10 grams per day of high fibre/day

Soluble fibre and high fibre has been proven to reduce LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream it is reccommended to aim for 5 to 10 grams per day of high fibre/day

Omega 3 fatty acids

Fish are a great source of Omega 3 fatty acids crucial for healthy heart and reducing cholesterol

Omega 3 fatty acids lowers blood pressure and risk of blood clots and also higher doses around 4 to 5 grams per day have been known to reduce inflammation. Great news for arthritis sufferers. Doctors recommend 2 servings per week of fish below.

Mackeral, Lake trout, Herring, Sardines, Albacore tuna, Salmon, and Halibut


A handful of Nuts a day helps keep the doctor away

Some nuts have been known to reduce blood cholesterol but also contain high amount of calories but are crammed with good fat and a handful a day keeps the doctor away. Avoid nuts with salt and sugar coating.

Walnuts, Almonds, Hazelnuts, Peanuts, Pecans, Pine nuts, and Pistachio nuts

Olive oil can reduce LDL cholesterol and leave HDL alone in essence lowering your cholesterol levels. So replace other fats you use for cooking with olive oil 2 tablespoons should do it. In all my pan cooking I use only olive oil and keep to about 1 to 2 tablespoons. While cooking is a great time to cut the fat and add some nice flavourful punch!

Plant stanols and sterols are food additives that can reduce LDL cholesterol by up to 10 percent; about 2 grams is needed to see results. Plant sterols and stanols are naturally occurring substances in fruits, grains, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds but are found in small quantities. Food companies add them into orange juice and margarines in concentrated forms. There they work in the intestines and plug up the receptors that absorb cholesterol and therefore physically less cholesterol gets in to the blood stream.

Return from High Cholesterol to Cardiac Risk Factors

Return from High Cholesterol to Heart Disease and Prevention

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