List of Foods that Help to Lower LDL Cholesterol and Raise Good Cholesterol
Many of us have heard that a good diet for lowering cholesterol should include vegetables, but there is much confusion over the types of fat we should include in our diets and how much fat we should eat.
Dr. Leia provides a list of foods that help to lower cholesterol along with foods to add to your diet, such as nuts and
almonds for raising good cholesterol.
Question for Dr. Leia : Good morning. I am looking for foods that can help raise my good cholesterol level along with a list of foods that help to lower bad cholesterol.
I understand more exercise will help, but I am looking to combine the two. Can you tell me or direct me to the proper information?
Thank you. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Dr. Leia’s Answer: Dear Brenda, you are correct in wanting to combine exercise with proper nutrition and diet for raising your good cholesterol levels. As you know, optimal total cholesterol levels should be between the range of 150 to 200 mg/dl. Not only can food help raise good cholesterol but a person can diet for lowering cholesterol, too.
Good cholesterol is called HDL or high density lipoprotein and should be proportionate to the total cholesterol level, usually greater than 40 mg/dl. When looking at the cholesterol levels, your doctor looks at the proportion between the good cholesterol and the bad cholesterol. LDL or low density lipoprotein is considered the bad guy, and as such should be proportionately lower to the overall total cholesterol levels, usually below 100 mg/dl.
For example, it is possible for someone with a high HDL level to be at a relatively low risk for heart disease even with a total cholesterol level above 200 mg/dl.
People with high cholesterol levels are commonly advised to reduce their dietary consumption of cholesterol and saturated fats. This reduction can have a favorable effect upon the lipid levels. Here is a guideline to the various fats found in your diet:
Usually meat fats, such as pork, beef, veal, poultry, especially dark meat and skins, cheese, butter, dairy, high fat ice cream, and coconut oil. Limit or reduce these items in your diet. as you add better foods to lower cholesterol (LDL).
Also called trans fatty acids or TCAs are hydrogenated oils found in highly processed foods, fried foods, such as french fries, chips, etc., margarine, crackers, cookies, cakes, doughnuts, and other bakery goods. Current legislation require labeling of these trans fats in packaged goods. Avoid them in your diet.
Low Fat Foods
Beware of these foods because they usually contain more fat than you may want to ingest. Usually they are labeled as “low fat” or 2% dairy, milk, cheese, and ice creams. 25% of the calories in 2% milk products come from fat. This is a high percentage. So stick to non-fat dairy products such as yogurt, cheese, and skimmed milk.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
These fats are actually good for you and can help to lower your cholesterol levels rather than contribute to raising it. You can take them in the form of capsules, or you can eat nuts and/or nut butters such as walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, and pistachio nuts. Avoid macadamia nuts. Research consistently shows that nuts are beneficial for preventing heart disease. Flax seeds and flax seed oil is also a wonderful addition to your daily diet because it contains good fat and also fiber, which is essential for cholesterol regulation.
These contain DHA and EPA, two essential fatty acids found only in fish. More recent research has shown that these two fatty acids are important for not only maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, but also for preventing inflammation, joint pain, and Alzheimer’s disease. Make sure that you obtain the purified fish oil capsules or eat fish which is low in mercury, such as wild Alaskan salmon, anchovies, and sardines. Stay away from farmed salmon because of the antibiotics and food coloring and other chemicals which are used in fish farms.
This type of oil lowers the bad LDL cholesterol and is high in monounsaturated fatty acids. It is found in the famous Mediterranean cultures and diets where the people enjoy healthy hearts and are at low risk for elevated cholesterol levels.
Make sure that you get plenty of vegetables in your daily diet. Vegetarians and vegans have lower cholesterol levels than meat eaters.
When eggs are cooked or exposed to air, the cholesterol in them are oxidized and oxidized cholesterol is linked to increased risk of heart disease.
Avoid Coffee, Alcohol, and Sugar
Sugar reduces the good HDL cholesterol. Alcohol in moderation could be ok, but the risks of high blood pressure, cancer, and liver disease may be a problem. Coffee appears to increase homocysteine levels, a risk factor for heart disease.
Eat Garlic and Onions
Research has shown that garlic lowers overall cholesterol levels.
You also want to stay away from all processed and packaged convenience foods, white breads, and overly processed grains. Instead, eat whole fresh foods, whole grains, and unprocessed foods.
I hope this list gives you some guidelines for incorporating cholesterol balancing foods into your daily diet. As you make better choices along with adding exercise you will find you body will respond.
Dr. Leia Melead
The following product information is provided for your education and is not endorsed by Dr. Leia.
Chitosan for Weight Loss
A study by the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition found that 62%
of American Men and 71% of women were still trying to find diet plans to lose weight fast. The average American has gained nearly eight pounds in the past ten years.
What is Chitosan?
Chitosan General Information: Chitosan is found in the shells of shellfish and has been found to aid in weight loss. This is because Chitosan is a dietary fiber which has the ability to absorb and capture
fat that is found in the stomach. It then safely carries the fat out of the body as waste before it can be absorbed by the body. Chitosan
also does not add calories and it easily dissolves in the stomach providing a feeling of fullness while suppressing the appetite.
Chitosan Uses and Scientific Evidence
Chitosan as a safe and effective diet aid remains somewhat controversial, however. In one clinical trial Chitosan
was used in conjunction with controlled calorie intake which resulted in weight loss, but it is unclear how much
of the loss was due to the Chitosan and how much due to the calorie restriction. Studies are still being conducted
regarding Chitosan’s effectiveness in lowering cholesterol, due to its fat-binding qualities, and it might also play
a role in controlling ulcers, high blood pressure, and arthritis.
Chitosan Dosage Information
For optimum results, it is best to take Chitosan with your two fattiest meals, which is usually lunch, dinner and/or
snacks for most people. It is important to drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water a day as the water assists the
Chitosan in passing the fat through your digestive tract. The more water you drink, the better.
Chitosan Safety & Interaction Information
Chitosan is a completely safe supplement to use; however, it could block the absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins
(vitamins A, D, E and K) as well as the essential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6, the “good” fat), so
it is suggested you take a vitamin supplement at least an hour or so before taking the Chitosan. If you have an allergy
to shellfish do not use Chitosan. Safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or those with severe liver
or kidney disease is not known.
Weight Loss is More Than Diets
Whichever formula you decide will work best for you, to help you reach and maintain your desired weight, there are
some other important things you can do to insure long term success and keeping the weight off permanently. Please
read the free wellness report here: Healthy, Permanent Weight Loss