Use Cholesterol Lowering Diet - Live To A Hundred!
Adopting a cholesterol lowering diet will provide an effective alternative treatment to prescription drugs that are used to lower cholesterol.
It’s a proven fact that a lifestyle of a healthy diet and exercise plan can lower the risk of heart disease by as much as 82 percent, but the most important thing is to be proactive and take charge of your health before disease strikes.
The key features of a cholesterol lowering diet and for reducing cholesterol levels, according to the American Heart Association are to:
1. Follow a low saturated fat diet
2. Adopt a high fiber diet
3. Eat five servings of fruit and vegetables a day
4. Maintain regular physical exercise
5. Maintain an action plan to manage your cholesterol.
Cholesterol Lowering Diet Versus Statins
No doubt, statin drugs are very effective in lowering cholesterol levels but the sad part is that they are not for everyone. Some people experience intolerable side effects from these drugs, and for those people, it is good to know that they have alternative in using cholesterol lowering diet.
Consider and weigh the possible side effects statin drugs might have on you before you decide to go on them. The following is a list of the most common side effects associated with these cholesterol lowering drugs.
* Diarrhea and stomach upset
* Muscle soreness, pain or weakness
* Elevated liver enzymes
* Inflammation of the muscles
* Pain in the jaw, or muscle pain in the legs
* Kidney failure due to overload of deteriorated muscle tissue.
Cholesterol lowering diet is an alternative method for people who want to lower their LDL levels. It is also ideal for people who are already on statin drugs but want to remain on low dosages in order to lower the risk of the dangerous side effects.
For people who are health conscious with normal levels of cholesterol, following a healthy diet can prevent high cholesterol from occurring in the first place. Know that the bases for a cholesterol lowering diet is low-fat foods, lots of fruits and vegetables.
Cholesterol Lowering Diet Plans
There are four steps or approaches you can adopt to lower cholesterol. The suggested approach is to start with step 1 and progress to step 2 if you don’t see much difference from where you started from.
Start with this approach and apply these recommendations on a daily basis if you have never tried any cholesterol lowering diet before.
• Total fat intake should not exceed 30% of calories. Out of
this, saturated fat should be limited to 10%.
• Switch to monounsaturated fats like olive and canola oils
• Consume a maximum of 200 milligrams dietary cholesterol
• Limit sodium intake to 2,400 milligrams.
The step 2 approach is much stricter and should be followed if you already have a heart disease, or if you’ve been on step 1 with no improvement in cholesterol levels.
• Limit saturated fat intake to no more than 7% of total
• Dietary cholesterol consumption should be less than 200
• Reduce calorie intake to lose weight or maintain a healthy
Very Low Fat Diet
If you’ve tried steps 1 and 2 with no improvements in your cholesterol levels, but you do not wish to take drugs, then the very low fat diet can be considered. Very low fat diets contain very little fat which translates to cutting out almost all animal products added fats in your meals.
One best diet for high cholesterol is the Dean Ornish Program. It is a good example of a very low diet plan. Research indicates that this plan can clear clogged up arteries in people who already have heart disease.
The Mediterranean Diet
A Diet which include generous amounts of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, dried beans, peas, red wine, fish, and only small portions of meat is considered to be a Mediterranean diet because these foods are generally consumed by people who live in countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.
Evidence shows that inhabitants of Mediterranean countries like France, Spain, Italy and Greece have very low incidence of heart disease which has been attributed to the types of foods they eat. The diet is also rich in monounsaturated fat, like olive oil, an LDL cholesterol lowering fat.
Studies confirm that the Mediterranean diet which is more palatable and easier to stay on produces beneficial changes in blood cholesterol levels.
Foods For Your Cholesterol Lowering Diet
In addition to adopting one of the steps mentioned above, there are a variety of foods that can prevent your cholesterol levels from going up and also be able to lower your cholesterol levels if they are already too high.
There is no single best food to lower cholesterol. Rather an approach that combines different types of cholesterol lowering foods works best. I have listed these foods below. Be sure to include some of them in your daily diet. The more you can add to your diet, the better.
Heart Healthy Nuts: Snack on a handful of any of these nuts daily. Almonds, Hazelnuts, Pecans, Pistachios, Macadamia,
Viscous Fiber: Consume a bowl of any of this every day.
Oatmeal, Barley, Oat Bran, Bran cereal, Cheerios.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Include one or two of these in your daily diet. Two tablespoons of ground flax seed daily is recommended. Flax seed, Fish oil supplements - 1,200 mg., Salmon, Sardines, Herring, Mackerel, Rainbow Trout.
Eat Soluble Fiber: Include a serving of some of these foods in your daily diet. Three grams of psyllium supplements is recommended to start with. Okra, Peas, Brussels Sprouts, Kidney Beans, Prunes, Eggplant, Apples, Psyllium husk supplements.
Consume Legumes: Beans, Peas, and Lentils. Eat ½ a cup of any of these every day. Types of beans you can try include:
Black beans, Black-eye peas, Cannellini beans, Chickpeas, Kidney beans, Pinto beans.
Enjoy Fruits: Aim for an apple a day, and add two servings from these foods: Oranges, Grapefruit, Blueberries,
Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackberries.
Go Green On Vegetables: Eat a cup of any of these vegetables steamed, or two cups of raw leafy greens daily.
Spinach, Kale, Collards Greens, Swiss Chard, Mustard Greens
Turnip Greens, Bok Choy, Romaine Lettuce.
Eat Phytosterols: Consume 2 – 3 servings of phytosterols daily. Some foods rich in plant sterols are: Benecol Light Margarine, Take Control Light Margarine, Smart Balance Omega Plus Buttery Spread, Rice Dream Original Rice Drink, Minute Maid Premium Orange Juice, Yoplait Health Heart Yogurt, Nature Valley Healthy Bar, Heart Chewy Granola Bars.
Say Yes To Soy Protein: Consuming soy on frequent basis reduces cholesterol levels, cuts risk of breast, colon and prostate cancers, lower blood pressure and controls diabetes. Aim for 25 grams of soy protein every day. You can obtain soy from the following foods: Edamame (Sweet Beans), Soy Crumbles, Soy Nut Butter, Plain Soy Milk, Soy Flour, Soy Burgers, Soy Sausages, Soy Nuts, Tofu, Tempeh.
Eat A Clove Of Garlic: Oh no, not garlic! Yes. It’s not only good for your heart, it also prevents colds and flu, reduces your risks of strokes, and strengthens your immune system against allergies. Aim to eat a fresh clove every day. Use it in cooking, it really brings a delicious flavor and taste to foods. If you really cannot tolerate the smell, try taking 1,000 mg. of Kyolic aged garlic extract each day.
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