Cholesterol Recommendations and Considerations

Cholesterol Recommendations

Cholesterol recommendations, to protect the heart and the health of your arteries:

❑ Include the following cholesterol-lowering foods in your diet: almonds, apples, bananas, carrots. Cold-water fish, dried beans, garlic, grapefruit, oats, olive oil, salmon, strawberries, and walnuts. Strawberries in particular were shown to reduce damage from oxidation to the bad (LDL) cholesterol. Thereby lowering the risk of heart disease.

❑ Make sure to take in plenty of fiber in the form of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Water-soluble dietary fiber is very important in reducing serum cholesterol. It is found in barley, beans, brown rice, fruits, glucomannan, guar gum, and oats. Oat bran and brown rice bran are the best foods for lowering cholesterol. Whole-grain cereals (in moderation) and brown rice are good as well. Since fiber absorbs the minerals from the food it is in, take extra minerals separately from the fiber.

❑ The FDA granted healthy properties to products containing plant stanols and sterols esters of any plant, especially soy. Any product that contains plant sterols or plant stanols can claim to reduce the risk of heart disease. It is proven that sterols and stanols reduce total cholesterol by 9 percent and bad cholesterol by 12 percent. Adding fish oil to the diet, along with sterols or stanols, had an additional benefit of reducing triglycerides. (Cholesterol Recommendations)

❑ Drink fresh juices, especially carrot, celery, and beet juices. Carrot juice helps to flush out fat from the bile in the liver and this helps lower cholesterol.

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Other cholesterol recommendations

❑ Go on a monthly spirulina fast, with carrot and celery juice or lemon and steam-distilled water. (Cholesterol Recommendations)

❑ Use only unrefined cold- or expeller-pressed oils. Cold-pressed oils are those that have never been heated above 110°F during processing—at this temperature, enzyme destruction begins. Use vegetable oils that are liquid at room temperature, such as olive, soybean, flaxseed, primrose, and black currant seed oil. Olive oil is recommended.

❑ Eat almonds Almonds are rich in the amino acid arginine, and it was found in a study, which reduced cholesterol levels by sixteen points, over a period of four weeks.

❑ Reduce the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in your diet. Saturated fats include all animal fats, as well as coconut and palm oils. Eliminate from the diet all hydrogenated fats and hardened fats and oils, such as margarine, lard and butter. However, margarine containing plant sterols is a relatively healthy option. Do not consume heated fats or processed oils, and fried or fatty foods. You can consume skim milk, cottage cheese, low fat and skinless white chicken meat (preferably turkey), but only in moderation.

❑ Do not consume alcohol, cakes, candy, carbonated drinks, coffee, gravies, nondairy creamers, pies, processed or refined foods, refined carbohydrates, tea, tobacco, or white bread. (Cholesterol Recommendations)

❑ Exercise regularly. Always check with your doctor, before starting any new exercise program. Try to avoid stress and sustained tension. Learn stress management techniques.

See also: “Cholesterol Nutrients and Herbs

Cholesterol Considerations

❑ High cholesterol is directly related to conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, arteriosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, circulatory problems, heart attack, hypertension, and osteoporosis. It is advisable to refer to all of the sections on these interrelated diseases to learn about all aspects of, and contributing causes to, high cholesterol.

❑ Meat and dairy products are primary sources of dietary cholesterol. Grains, vegetables, and fruits are free of cholesterol.

❑ Many people use margarine or vegetable shortening as substitutes for butter because they contain no cholesterol. Now most products are free of harmful trans fatty acids. These are good alternatives to butter.

❑ In large quantities, coffee can raise blood cholesterol levels, more than double the risk of heart disease. The observation revealed that as coffee intake increases. The amount of cholesterol in the blood increases. (Cholesterol Recommendations)

❑ Cream substitutes (nondairy coffee creamers) are actually poor alternatives to cholesterol-heavy dairy products. Many contain coconut oil, which is a highly saturated fat. Soymilk, or almond milk is preferable.

❑ The body does need some fats, but they must be the right kind. Good fats supply essential fatty acids, which are a very important link in our health chain. Fats supply energy, and they stay in the digestive tract for longer periods than proteins or carbohydrates, giving a feeling of fullness. They act as an intestinal lubricant, generate body heat, and carry the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K in the body. The protective myelin sheaths that protect nerve fibers are composed of fats. All cell membranes are composed of fats as well. (Cholesterol Recommendations)

❑ Human growth hormone therapy has been found to decrease cholesterol levels.

More cholesterol considerations

❑ Some fast-food restaurants use beef tallow (fat) to make their hamburgers, fish, chicken, and French-fried potatoes. Not only do these fried foods contain high amounts of cholesterol, but this fat is subjected to high temperatures in the deep-frying process, resulting in oxidation and the formation of free radicals. Heating fat, especially frying food in fat, also produces toxic trans-fatty acids, which seem to behave much like saturated fats in clogging the arteries and raising blood cholesterol levels.

❑ Certain drugs can worsen cholesterol levels. Beta-blockers, often prescribed to control high blood pressure. Can cause unfavorable changes in the ratio of LDL to HDL in the blood, by lowering HDL. Check with your physician if you are taking any medications that you suspect might be affecting your cholesterol levels.

❑ Pure virgin olive oil appears to help reduce serum cholesterol. A monounsaturated-fatty-acid-rich diet that includes olive oil may be the reason for the low serum cholesterol levels found in people living in Italy and Greece.

❑ Studies have shown that diets consisting of grains, fruits, and vegetables result in lower blood cholesterol levels. In the United States and northern Europe, where people consume large amounts of meat and dairy products, extremely high rates of heart and circulatory disease are present. (Cholesterol Recommendations)

Cholesterol considerations: diet and genetics

❑ There are a number of cholesterol-lowering drugs on the market. Available by prescription only, these tend to be costly, and they can have serious side effects. We believe that these drugs should be used only as a last resort. The sensible way to keep the serum fats within a safe range is to follow a diet that excludes animal fats. Including meat, milk, and all dairy products and includes ample amounts of fiber and bulk (whole grains, fruits, and vegetables).

❑ Some people have inherited disorders, which prevent even the healthiest diet from reducing LDL levels. For these people, researchers are working on a device that uses an enzyme to break down the LDL and accelerate its elimination, before it can be fixed on the walls of the arteries, to form plaque. The device is implanted under the skin, to control LDL levels in the blood.