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Andrea Wilcox(Registered Dietitian)answered(6/19/2012)Diet is very important in managing cholesterol. Saturated fat and dietary cholesterol can negatively impact your cholesterol levels. Aim to avoid foods with more than 2g of saturated fat and limit fried foods, processed foods and high fat baked goods. Your fat intake should come mostly from unsaturated fats. Good fat choices are olive oil, canola oil, nuts/nut butters, seeds, avocado, and fatty-fish such as salmon. Low-fat dairy and lean means can be a part of a healthy diet as well.
Kathleen Bundy, MS RD CLT(Registered Dietitian)answered(7/12/2012)It really depends on your genes (your ApoE genotype), some people respond better to a low fat diet while other a low-carb diet. Everyone responds to eating more soluble fiber, increasing veggie intake, adding ground flax seeds and raw nuts daily, omega-3 fish oils (2000-4000mg EPA/DHA content), decreasing packaged and processed foods, avoiding hydrogenated oils and fried foods, and eating starches (especially simple ones and sugars) in moderation. A good, high quality olive oil is best used cold on veggies or salads. A sluggish thyroid can also raise cholesterol, so be sure to find a functional medicine-minded doc who will do a full thyroid panel
Maintaining healthy cholesterol involves factors that include not only what you feed your body, but how you feed your lifestyle, and nourish your emotions. Chronic stress that isn't released can induce chronic inflammation, and subsequently elevate cholesterol. Therefore, addressing your emotional needs is key. In addition, assess your lifestyle: smoking, lack of exercise, being overweight/obese, and excessive alcohol intake can all contribute to elevated cholesterol.
Let's examine the nutrition aspect. In addition to the above dietary suggestions here are some more tips:
~include organic, unrefined coconut oil. Our bodies require small amounts of saturated fats, which play an important role in immune health and nerve function. Coconut oil has recently enjoyed the research spotlight for its multiple health benefits and I would suggest cooking with it or adding a tablespoon daily into your oatmeal, as an example.
~Don't be afraid to eat organic eggs, which pack a nutritional punch of vitamin D (also beneficial for healthy cholesterol), calcium, iron, choline, lutein. I wouldn't recommend frying them in tons of oil or butter but you can enjoy them in moderation
~avocados, raw nuts, and seeds contain heart-healthy fats and are super tasty!
~Just say no to partially hydrogenated fats ( processed trans fats)
~Just say no to high fructose corn syrup or any artificial sweetener
Pamela Warren, MS, CHN(Certified Holistic & Clinical Nutritionist)answered(9/11/2012)Cutting alcohol consumption can also help to reduce cholesterol. As previously mentioned cutting out the simple carbs is a good place to start and alcohol is metabolized as sugar. This will increase your triglyceride level. With a higher triglyceride (TG) level it means more cholesterol molecules are needed to carry TG in your bloodstream. So cut down on simple carbs and alcohol to reduce your overall cholesterol level. I also write a column on cholesterol. If you'd like any further info, please let me know.
Sohah N. Iqbal, MD(Interventional Cardiologist)answered(5/11/2013)All the points above are excellent and dietary intake is a large component of blood cholesterol concentrations. However genetics have a lot to do with high cholesterol as well. Eating well and in moderation is important, having your cholesterol monitored regularly is also key, but the most important thing you can do to lower your bad cholesterol (ldl) and increase your good cholesterol (hdl) is stay active and lose any excess weight.
Jacqueline Aizen(Registered Dietician)answered(8/29/2012)Unfortunately stress is a culprit that triggers certain inflammatory markers, weakens the immune system, and can contribute to a cascade of disease states. I'm not talking about physical stress as much as emotional. Although stress is almost inevitable, our response to certain challenges in life is what really affects our health. Therefore, it's not just about eating well and working out, but finding balance and peace within that is so crucial to good health.
Pamela Warren, MS, CHN(Certified Holistic & Clinical Nutritionist)answered(5/11/2013)One more very important thing you can do to lower cholesterol. Whether yours is familial or not. Red yeast rice, as a supplement has shown remarkable results for many to reduce unhealthy cholesterol levels. And as stated above, staying active is also quite helpful.
Recruit your family and friends on your new regime. When getting together, ask them to cook and eat the way you do with all the suggestions provided here. This way you have support and everyone can become healthier and enjoy the time together doing it.
I write for other publications on cholesterol. In my work I help my clients to reverse illness and restore health 100% naturally. Additionally, I work with corporations in the NY Metro area to educate officers and staff on healthful eating and reversing illness. It's as simple as being conscious of what you're consuming and how you treat yourself with a total lifestyle focus on health. Check my website for more pearls of knowledge: www.artofconsciousliving.com
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Rosa r.answered(7/1/2012)My dad's naturopath advised that he go gluten-free for his high cholesterol.