|Written by health professionals: Doctor, M.D., CphT, and others - but easy to read.|
Reduce cholesterol / cholestrol with research proven tips and diets
To reduce cholesterol is one of your greatest health challenges, cholesterol induced strokes are not a pretty sight.
So when you have been diagnosed with high cholesterol, you need to realise your life is on the line, and that reducing cholesterol is really your only option for life and health.
Reducing cholesterol isn't about making a few changes, crossing your fingers and expecting the best.
To reduce cholesterol levels, will most likely take a lot of work and effort on your part, just to understand how to reduce cholesterol. To make it work though, you then have to act on that information - not procrastinate or put off to another day, hoping for the cholesterol numbers to reduce by themselves.
This is our introductory page on how to reduce cholesterol.
This page is meant to briefly fill you in on the more popular, natural and proven ways to reduce cholesterol through diet and exercise.
It is not easy for a newbie with the diagnosis of high cholesterol, to reduce cholesterol.
There is just so much involved, so much to understand, that most end up taking cholesterol medication and or drugs to reduce cholesterol. Sad but true.
Research is repeatedly showing that people with high cholesterol are more than likely unable to reduce cholesterol, simply because they don't know how to. They make a little change here, a big change there ... but then the cholesterol doesn't lower by much, doesn't reduce, just stays the same or worsens.
I actually did work it all out, I did lower my cholesterol to within the normal range and this web site has resulted from that victory. I've then continued to research and look into cholesterol for some years now.
You too may share in that victory to reduce cholesterol.
Read through ALL the pages, extract the cholesterol reducing information.
Want to start a diet alteration immediately, try our sample diet to reduce cholesterol, then check out our lower cholesterol diet menu planner which took me a while to work out, but that reduce cholesterol menu planner is now a cinch to use.
Our lower cholesterol naturally ideas contains lots of foods and things that you can increase or add to your diet to lower cholesterol fast.
A cholesterol food chart / table for working out the cholesterol and saturated fat in food, plus I've taken the time to add many low cholesterol recipes to help you reduce cholestrol - yes, you can still have thick shakes and milk shakes, just make them the low cholesterol way.
If you don't know what cholesterol is yet, then read about it and learn --> cholesterol. At this point, learning is your greatest friend in mastering ways to reduce your cholesterol.
The most important endeavor in your effort to reduce cholesterol, is to find out what's caused / causing the high cholesterol.
The first places your doctor will look at will be your family history and lifestyle, to determine the most appropriate way to reduce cholesterol.
Family history is important in determining whether cholesterol medications should be considered early in the piece to reduce cholesterol - if your family ( particularly parents and grandparents ) has a history of high cholesterol problems as shown through strokes and so on, there is more of a chance that genetics are involved and that not too much time should be taken to work on lifestyle first.
In that genetic scenario, life style changes to reduce cholesterol will still be undertaken, as
So, when your doctor looks to reduce cholesterol, that's why he is looking at genetics and life style, but if your bad cholesterol - LDL cholesterol - is really high, your doctor may want to start you on medication to reduce cholesterol immediately.
In determining your cholesterol reduction goals - that is the desired cholesterol levels you should have, that your doctor wants you to have - he will take into account other health conditions you may have.
If you are otherwise healthy with no family history, you would desire to reduce cholesterol levels to be the same as that for normal cholesterol levels as stated in the cholesterol level tables - around 5.1 (200) .
If you have a condition like diabetes, you would desire to reduce cholesterol levels to around the 4.0 (160) level.
A very small number of individuals have a rare genetic ability to tolerate massive cholesterol levels of around 25+ (700+) without ill effect, if you are one of those lucky ones, you will likely never need to attempt to lower cholesterol.
So that's the genetics of lowering cholesterol, now we move onto achieving reduce cholesterol through life style ...
There is more to high cholesterol than just reducing it.
If you are overweight, that weight may reduce your chance of getting osteoporosis, but that weight also is likely to push up your cholesterol levels, while that diet and or lack of exercise that got you overweight, is likely to bring on prediabetes and high cholesterol.
This combination of problems is associated with Syndrome X - which is also known as metabolic syndrome - and it can turn into some nasty irreversible chronic illnesses further down the line, including stroke and blindness.
For many people, their high cholesterol is associated with this medical syndrome.
So, by reducing one's belly size, that is, through weight loss, you are likely to reduce high cholesterol to normal levels, overcome metabolic syndrome, while reducing or removing the chance of getting diabetes. Our rapid weight loss pages, including our weight loss exercise suggestions, may really help.
Exercise can apparently help keep a fat person healthy and reduce cholesterol levels, keep bad cholesterol levels down, without massive dietary changes, nor having to lose weight. This opinion may be changing, as recent medical research is showing that overweight or obese people, even when their cholesterol is normal, are dieing earlier in life than their slimmer friends!
The big one to reduce cholesterol levels at the moment is plant sterols. There are also many other medications, herbal remedies and foods that can reduce cholesterol naturally.
Plant sterols to reduce cholesterol
PLANT STEROLS can reduce cholesterol. Use the margarine or butter that is enriched with plant sterols - about four to five level teaspoons per day is optimum. The sterols stop cholesterol being taken out the food and put into your blood, thereby reducing cholesterol levels. The proof of this comes from the CSIRO: After people with high cholesterol were put on such a margarine enriched with plant sterols, their cholesterol was reduced by around 10 per cent in three weeks in both men and women with high bad cholesterol. This represents a reduction in the risk of heart disease by about 20 per cent. Further, the good cholesterol (HDL) levels were unchanged. A pretty good result I think!
Basikol helps to reduce cholesterol
The dietary supplement, Basikol, appears to lower cholesterol by about 15 percent, according to the Mayo Clinic. An over the counter product, Basikol consists of, you guessed it, plant sterols -- derived from corn, soy and canola oil. cholesterol lowering, of course - the plant sterols being the stuff that makes the cholesterol lowering margarines work. Basikol appears to have few adverse side effects when taken as directed, so is another option to be considered. I have my doubts about it reducing cholesterol by 15%, as consuming more than the four to five teaspoons of plant sterol enriched margarine, apparently does little beyond the 10% reduction benefit gained in the first three weeks.
Losing weight can really help to reduce cholesterol
Losing weight can reduce cholesterol. IF YOU ARE OVERWEIGHT, which you probably are, go to my page on Fast Weight Loss and weight loss tips. Losing that excess weight is the most important thing I think in reducing high cholesterol, bad cholesterol. Being over weight is the principal cause of high bad cholesterol. You may like to check out our online calculators to get a picture of just how healthy or unhealthy you may be.
EXERCISE can definitely help to reduce cholesterol
EXERCISE can reduce cholesterol really well in many people. 30 minutes a day is good, but 60 minutes a day is optimal. I don't like most exercise machines and so on, so I either work hard in the garden - digging the soil or pump weights or use a fairly expensive gym set up that I have .... The important thing is that one gets the heart pumping harder - this helps weight loss and improves the good cholesterol and lowers the bad cholesterol; improves muscle strength and so on.
More than walking is neeeded to help reduce cholesterol
Walking is referred to as incidental exercise - it may help lose weight, but unless you get the heart pumping harder, it wont help much with reducing cholesterol (except by it's effect of lowering the weight). Bottom line appears to be that if you exercise and burn up the calories, then most people can eat what they want for the most part. The exception may be those that have high cholesterol caused by other factors other than weight and lack of exercise.
Fish oil not so helpful with reducing cholesterol, but good with tryglycerides
FISH OIL Does NOT appear to be a good supplement to reduce cholesterol, but it is good with lowering tryglycerides.
Some authorities claim that you should take about 9,000 mg FISH OIL: about three 1,000 mg capsules thrice each day - the ones enriched with DHA ... - as fish oil has been found to help the brain and help reduce cholesterol - the latter is still a bit controversial as, having reviewed a number of studies, I found findings from some fish oil studies to directly contradict the findings of other fish oil studies.
4,000 mg per day can reduce blood triglyceride levels by 25-40%.
500-800mg of daily omega-3 fatty acids can help prevent fatal heart attacks and so on in those that already have damaged cardiovascular systems.
Obviously, if you are allergic to fish oil, don't take it!
Also, at 3000mg or higher doses of fish oil, some people may experience side effects, such as bleeding, so please discuss with doctor.
What does fish oil do to blood? You can expect to get an improvement in hdl good cholesterol 1-3%, reduce the risk of heart attack etc by 3 to 9%. However, it also increases ldl bad cholesterol by 5-10%, which may increase your risk of heart attack by 10 to 20%.
So, unless it's a triglyceride problem you are trying to fix, or you already have a cardiac problem, fish oil doesn't appear to be the way to go to reduce cholesterol.
Gene therapy to reduce cholesterol? Something new is coming.
The whole picture appears to be about to change, with the discovery that high bad blood cholesterol can also be caused in SOME people by a gene that allows cholesterol to leak out of cells into the blood stream.
This is believed to account for why some unfit and obese people develop high blood cholesterol and related artery problems, while other unfit and obese people remain within normal cholesterol levels.
It will be a revolutionary way to reduce cholesterol in the not so distant furture.
How to reduce cholesterol the Toronto University way
Here's some dietary suggestions from the Toronto University, that have been found to significantly help reduce cholesterol, the bad LDL cholesterol, by nearly 29 per cent! If you were on a prescription drug to reduce cholesterol, such as lovastatin, the result is about 30.9 per cent reduction in the bad cholesterol. So the cholesterol lowering diet is quite worthwhile following.
The special Toronto University diet means including the following foods: almonds, soy proteins, viscous fibre (high-fibre) foods such as oats and barley and the special margarine with plant sterols that I mentioned above. This diet to reduce cholesterol, also included foods such as oat bran bread and cereal, soy drinks, fruit and soy deli slices. The normal main meal for people following this type of diet included tofu bake with eggplant, onions and sweet peppers, pearled barley and vegetables.
You would need to follow this type of healthy diet for about nine weeks before checking your cholesterol levels to see if you achieved a reduce cholesterol level. Personally, I find it easier just to lose the weight - my taste buds don't extend that far, yet. It is certainly a good alternative to drugs to reduce cholesterol though, so appears well worthwhile to pursue.
University of Illinois supports the use of soy protein to reduce cholesterol
A study from the University of Illinois found that eating or drinking between 25 to 50 grams of soy protein per day reduces low-density lipoprotein (LDL) bad cholesterol by up to 8 percent.
University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center and it's suggestions to reduce cholesterol
From the University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center: Changing lifestyle and eating patterns can significantly reduce cholesterol (LDL). They recommended:
1... reducing intake of saturated fats to less than 7 percent of total calories, with dietary cholesterol intake reduced to less than 200 mg per dayand the eating of 2 grams of either plant stanols or sterols and/or 10 to 25 grams of soluble fiber each day. Fruits, oats, barley and legumes are high in soluble fiber and therefore highly desirable to include in any effort to lower choelsterol.
2... Weight loss, weight reduction. Abdominal obesity is a waist circumference of more than 40 inches in men and more than 35 inches in women. Abdominal obesity is major risk factor in coronary heart disease. Weight loss can reduce cholesterol, as well as reduces other risk factors related to Syndrome X aka Metabolic Syndrome.
3... Increased physical activity, to increase HDL, the good cholesterol.
Reduce cholesterol with the CSIRO findings too.
According to the CSIRO, Dr. Clifton et al, undertook a research review into the effect of wholegrains on lowering heart disease.
The findings were most impressive, with the finding being a 20 to 40% reduction in risk when 2 or 3 servings of wholegrains were included in the diet - such as wholemeal or wholegrain bread, even plain popcorn.
This is comparable to the effect that is achieved by taking the strong statin drugs typically prescribed to reduce cholesterol levels.
Increasing or adding fruit and vegetables to a diet, normally results in a 10 to 15% reduction in heart disease risk.
Clearly wholegrains should not be ignored when trying to reduce cholesterol!
The illusive Mediterranean Diet and it's way to reduce cholesterol, or at least cardiovascular disease.
The Mediterranean Diet refers to a diet higher in monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil.
Keeping diets lower in omega-6 oils helps reduce cardiovascular disease, as these oils interact with the bad cholesterol making it more likely to stick to the vein and artery walls.
Typically check the ingredients of margarine, vegetable shortening and processed foods to see if Omega-6 is listed, if not, it may still be there if corn oil or safflower oil were ingredients.
Omega-6 may be in other types of oil as well, so you will need to check out the oils as you find them.
Also, before you leave our web site you may like to give our daily calories calculator, fat intake calculator ... a go and find out how much saturated fat is too much for you - it will also tell you your ideal weight range. Our fitness professional BMI calculator may prove an eye opener for you into just how fit you may really be and how many calories you may need to adjust your diet by.
Then our cholesterol diet page and sample cholesterol diet page are good places to start. Into low or reduce cholesterol recipes? Our low cholesterol recipes are genuinely low cholesterol. Want to know how much cholesterol is in a particular food, check out the cholesterol chart and table. There is so much here that can help with the goal to reduce cholesterol.
That's it for this introductory cholesterol lowering page, now check out the other cholesterol and weight loss pages on this site for much, much more information on how to reduce cholesterol and hopefully you will equip yourself to win against that high bad cholesterol, before it kills you. Also, don't forget to check out our low fat, low calorie, low cholesterol recipes.
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