( home )

Food That Lower Cholesterol

The first thing that you should do to reduce your bad cholesterol and triglycerides is to cut down on your consumption of saturated fats, simple carbohydrates and sugar. You should also limit your intake of dietary cholesterol and avoid food that contains trans fats.

Next increase your in your intake of food high in fiber such as fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts and grains and complex carbohydrates such as pasta and oatmeal.

Finally avoid fried food, drink plenty of water, stop smoking and get some exercise.

Do the above and you should see some results. Need more help? Here are some food, supplements and herbs that can help you in your quest to reduce your cholesterol.

Try garlic. Studies show that garlic can help reduce cholesterol in your blood. In a study involving 220 patients, those that took 800 mg of powdered garlic for four months experience a 12 percent drop in cholesterol and a 17 percent drop in triglycerides. The other group that was given a placebo had little change.

Replace meat with cold water fish. Cold water fish contains Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA), an omega 3 fatty acid. EPA helps to thin down the blood and reduce the tendencies to develop a blood clot which is the cause of 90+ percent of heart attack. It also lowers triglycerides, if high.

Consume soy protein. The New England Journal of Medicine publish a paper summarizing the finding of over 30 well control studies on soy protein and heart attack. On average there was a 9 percent reduction in total cholesterol and a 13 percent reduction in bad cholesterol.

May researchers now believe that the built up of plaque in the arteries may involve the oxidation of LDL by free radicals. Soy protein seems to decrease the production of oxidized LDL and helps to prevent the development of atherosclerotic diseases.

Unless you eat an excessive large amount of fruits and vegetables, you are likely to be still short on fiber. So take a fiber supplement e.g. psyllium. In a study reported in the American Journal of Cardiology, participants in a fiber intake study loss an average of 15 percent of total cholesterol and 22 percent of LDL or bad cholesterol after just 4 weeks!

The enzymes that digest fats are water soluble. Water and fats do not mix and this is where bile comes in. It is released by the gallbladder into the small intestines and it enables the enzymes to mix with fats and do its job. The bile cholesterol mixture is then reabsorbed into the bloodstream further down the small intestines. Sometimes too much is reabsorbed and serum cholesterol level increases.

Soluble fiber helps to bind bile acids (laden with cholesterol) and prevent them from being reabsorbed. The good thing about soluble fiber is that it targets bad LDL cholesterol but leaves the good HDL cholesterol alone.

Studies show that a 1 percent drop in total cholesterol reduces your heart attack risk by 2 percent. So a 15 percent drop in total cholesterol means an amazing 30 percent decrease in heart attach risk. The results are even better than taking some of the LDL cholesterol lowering drugs. And there is no side effect!

A shortage of vitamins and minerals can put some lipid factors out of balance. It is a good idea to take a multi-vitamin/mineral supplement to supplement any nutrients that may be missing from your diet.

More attention should be given to vitamin C and E as studies that they work on reducing oxidation in the cells. B complex has been shown to lower blood cholesterol and triglycerides, increase HDL cholesterol as well as widen the blood vessels. Calcium works with soluble fiber to bind cholesterol and take it out of the system while lecithin has been shown to decrease serum cholesterol.

A very small percentage of people are genetically pre-disposed to high blood cholesterol. For these people changing your diet and lifestyle may not be sufficient to bring their cholesterol level down. If you are one of them you should seek advice from a doctor who may prescribed a cholesterol lowering drug.

Recommended Reading

More Cholesterol Articles