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Did you know that too much cholesterol in the blood can lead towards heart disease? This is the number one cause of death in the United States. It is important to learn how to lower cholesterol with these 8 easy different steps.
2,100+ Americans day each die because of cardiovascular disease.
A death occurs every 40 seconds. While you have read this first paragraph, someone has already died cause of cardiovascular disease.
This is not supposed to scare you but make you more aware of what you can do to change and have a low cholesterol diet.
These tips and tricks will teach you how to lower cholesterol.
One of the first things you need to know is the proper terminology and facts. This includes knowing what LDL cholesterol is. It is affected by diet. Knowing what fats increase or decrease LDL cholesterol levels is important.
Human biology naturally produces LDL cholesterol but eating trans fats and saturated fats increase blood cholesterol levels.
Lowering LDL levels can be done by reducing 5-6% of saturated fats which can mean consuming 11-13 grams of saturated fats per 2,000 calorie diet.
The American Heart Association recommends these fat guidelines for any American that is 2 years or older.
Chocolate is one of the things that can help you lower cholesterol. This is because it has antioxidants that can help build up HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
In a study conducted by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN) concluded that participants that had supplemented with 22g of cocoa powder and 16g of dark chocolate had a 24% increase in HDL levels over 12 weeks.
This was compared to the people who didn’t have supplemented cocoa powder/dark chocolate who saw only a 5% increase in HDL levels.
The key is dark chocolate. It has 3 times as many antioxidants, compared to milk chocolate. This is important as antioxidants help keep arteries unclogged by preventing blood platelets from sticking together.
From antioxidants to fighting against LDL cholesterol levels, tea has many healthy properties.
The United States Department of Agriculture study showed drinking black tea lowered blood lipids by 6-10% within a three week period.
It also stated that drinking tea along with a healthy diet with lower in fat, saturated fatty acids, and cholesterol helped reduce the overall total LDL cholesterol levels.
To make the ideal tea, steep it in hot water for at least 3 minutes, this will ensure that it releases the beneficial compounds.
If you don't like black tea, add a spoon of honey to add a little sweetness.
Scientists are giving you another reason to grab a glass of red wine. Antioxidants in a red may help prevent heart disease by increasing high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the good kind.
This option is for people who already drink alcohol. Doctors would not recommend this solution to people who do not drink alcohol.
Keep in mind that overindulging can have the opposite effect and won’t be beneficial. It’s only beneficial when you limit it to one glass a day.
Resveratrol in red wine might be the key ingredient in providing this added benefit of preventing damage to blood vessels. It also reduces LDL levels and prevents blood clots.
Another study by Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain found that drinking red wine decreased LDL levels by 9% and participants with high cholesterol saw a 12% drop in LDL.
Salmon and fatty fishes are rich in Omega-3 fats that have tremendous health benefits.
Did you know it has been shown to help with dementia, heart disease, and many other diseases?
If that wasn’t enough reason to eat salmon, it now helps lower cholesterol.
Replacing saturated fats with omega-3s that can be found in sardines, salmon and herring can raise HDL cholesterol by 4% according to Loma Linda University.
Another study was done by the Human Nutrition Research Centre noted that participants who ate salmon for a 20 day period saw a 10% increase in HDL levels.
Fish oils can also lower triglyceride (blood fat) levels by 24%.
Beans are really good for the heart and could also help lower cholesterol.
By just adding half of cup of beans to your soup it could help fight against bad cholesterol. Beans have a lot of fiber that help to slow the rate and absorption of cholesterol.
Black beans, in particular, have the most soluble fiber amongst the plant group.
One cup of black beans provides 5 grams of potent cholesterol lowering-agent, which is twice the soluble fiber of oats.
It is important not to ignore oats, however, as they have added benefits as well. The idea is to have a diet that consists of a variety of foods that you can eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Rather than having that glass of red wine at breakfast, oats should be the answer to a healthy start in the day. By just adding two cups of oats to your breakfast it can help lower LDL rates by 5.3%.
Expect to see results will come within a 6 week period granted you’re not eating other foods to counter this. It’s recommended to eat oatmeal or oat bran which can be found in baked goods, cereals, and other products.
Researchers found that soluble fiber, which is found in oatmeal, sticks to the cholesterol and stops it from being absorbed in the intestines.
To lower your overall cholesterol, it is important to combine oats with other cholesterol-lowering foods to enhance the effectiveness.
In addition to this, using cholesterol-fighting drugs like Zetia can also help to lower cholesterol.
Zetia is a prescription medication that helps lower cholesterol levels and other sterols that are absorbed by the body.
It works alongside a low-cholesterol and low-fat diet to control high cholesterol.
Medication is intended to be a part of a low-cholesterol diet program alongside exercise (weight control).
Do not take Zetia with cholestyramine (Prevalite, Questran), colestipol (Colestid), and colesevelam (Welchol).Wait at least 4 hours before taking any of the medication listed above and 2 hours before taking other medication.
The effects of Zetia can take up to 2 weeks and for optimal results, continue taking Zetia as directed.
Some of Zetia side effects include:
This is not a complete list of side effects and you should contact your physician for more information.
After going through a list of foods that are good for cholesterol, here is a list of foods that you want to avoid/eliminate from your diet. These foods increase LDL levels and put cholesterol numbers in a dangerous zone. Try to avoid the following: