Food that Lowers Cholesterol
An Integral Part of a Cholesterol Treatment Plan
Food that lowers cholesterol, specifically LDL cholesterol, is a key element in a cholesterol treatment plan. Certain types of foods and supplements lower LDL cholesterol and/or raise HDL cholesterol.
Additionally, it has been determined that some foods reduce the oxidation of LDL cholesterol in your arteries. This page refers to all of these types of foods as food that lowers cholesterol.
Should you avoid cholesterol in your diet?
While reducing cholesterol in your diet is a good thing, doing it to excess can deprive you of nutrients found in certain high cholesterol food, such as eggs and coconut oil. Rather than focus on eliminating cholesterol from your diet, it makes more sense to focus on food that lowers cholesterol.
Your body produces between 1,500 and 1,800 mg of cholesterol every day. Most of this is manufactured in your liver, and a smaller amount in your small intestines and body's cells. However, the average American diet contains between 200 mg and 800 mg of cholesterol. If you eliminated all cholesterol in your diet, your body would just end up making more to compensate. Moreover, you would be depriving your body of important nutritional benefits that are in foods that contain cholesterol. Therefore, I advocate moderation - completely avoiding dietary cholesterol is not the answer. However, food that lowers cholesterol is the answer.
Eat Food that Lowers Cholesterol
This list includes supplements and food that lowers cholesterol - that is lowers LDL cholesterol and / or raise HDL cholesterol, or retard the oxidization of LDL cholesterol in your arteries. To help you get find these items, I have found an online store that offers good customer service and wholesale pricing. Each item is linked to the the online store's shopping cart, to make it easier for you to shop. Just go back and forth between this page and their shopping cart, until you have everything you need. Then simply checkout using their shopping cart. The dosages I have recommended are based on the supplements in the provided links.
- Odor Free Garlic Supplements – In 1998, studies at Penn State identified a group of chemicals in garlic that reduce the production of cholesterol by your liver. These tests showed that fresh garlic and aged garlic were both effective at reducing LDL cholesterol levels. This Deodorized Garlic Supplement is so potent that my recommended daily dosage is only two tablets (one in the morning and one in the evening). This compares with other popular garlic supplements where up to 8 tablets would be needed to give you the same benefit. This is especially nice if you hate taking pills.
- Flax – Flax is high in fiber and contains alpha linoleic acid, an Omega-3 essential fatty acid. This essential fatty acid has been shown to increase levels of HDL cholesterol while lowering levels of LDL cholesterol. These benefits may be attained by consuming flax seed oil or ground flax seeds. Consuming ground flax seed provides both fiber and Omega-3 fatty acids to help to reduce your LDL cholesterol and raise your HDL cholesterol. However, based purely on concentrated Omega-3 contribution, it is hard to beat flax seed oil. For example, a single tablespoon of high quality flax seed oil contains approximately 6,200 mg of Omega-3 fatty acid. Flax seed oil is an excellent food that lowers cholesterol. I recommend this Organic Flax Seed Oil. It is rich in the lignans secoisolariciresinol diglycoside (SDG) and secoisolariciresinol (Seco). These potent antioxidants scavenge free radicals, which can damage tissue and are thought to play a role in the pathology of many diseases. Take one teaspoon in the morning and one in the evening.
- Cold water fish and fish oils – As with flax, cold water fish such as salmon, bass, tuna, trout and mackerel contain Omega-3 essential fatty acids and will help to lower your LDL cholesterol and raise your HDL cholesterol. Fish Oil Capsules make it easy and convenient to consume, even if you do not like fish.
- Soluble fiber – Oats and oat products are accepted by the traditional medical community to reduce LDL cholesterol, but other soluble fibers such as chickpeas, grapefruit pectin, apple pectin and psyllium help as well. Here is a fantastic fiber supplement I recently discovered that is proven to lower LDL cholesterol better than oat fiber.
- Soy products – soy products containing soy protein and soy isoflavones have been proven effective in lowering LDL cholesterol. Such products include tofu, tempeh, and soy milk.
- Raw onions – A study at Tufts University showed that eating a raw onion a day increased HDL levels an average of 30%. Eating a half a raw onion per day over a 3 month period seems to provide similar benefits. Unfortunately, a common side effect to eating too much raw onion is an adverse impact on your social life.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Consuming 2-3 tablespoons of virgin olive oil per day has been shown to decrease LDL cholesterol levels in the blood and also reduce oxidation of LDL cholesterol, and increase levels of phenols (an antioxidant) in the blood.
- Orange juice – A study conducted in November 2000 showed that consuming 750 ml of orange juice daily over a 4 week period increased HDL levels by over 20%. However, consuming less orange juice (250 ml and 500 ml) did not show a dramatic increase in HDL cholesterol.
- Red wine in moderation – Earlier studies showed that red wine contains resveratrol, an anti-oxidant that is linked to prevent LDL cholesterol from oxidizing in your arteries. Newer studies have found another compound in wine called saponin that helps lower LDL cholesterol. While saponin was identified in certain plant foods, red wine is now thought to be a significant dietary source. Red zinfandel and syrah have shown to contain the highest concentrations of saponin.
- Cayenne – contains a compound called capsaicin, which helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
- Eggs (in moderation) - that's right, I said eggs - the ultimate high cholesterol food. Remember, dietary cholesterol is only a small fraction of the cholesterol your body produces. Although eggs are rich in cholesterol, they also contain choline, a component of lecithin, which acts like a fat and cholesterol dissolver. Amazing - the ultimate high cholesterol food is actually a food that lowers cholesterol.
- Selenium – a potent antioxidant has been shown to directly prevent arterial sclerosis. Selenium works best when combined with vitamin E. Take 200 mcg of Selenium per day.
- No Flush Niacin – Research has shown that Niacin helps reduce total colesterol and helps raise HDL cholesterol. Use "no flush niacin" because regular niacin supplements can make your skin flush and cause skin eruptions, when taken in high dosages. Take one to four capsules per day, on a full stomach. Work your way up by starting with one capsule per day and increasing by a capsule per day every 3-4 days. Consult your doctor before undertaking Niacin therapy.
- Folic Acid – Folic acid helps your body maintain normal homocysteine levels. Homocysteine accelerates oxidation of LDL cholesterol in your arteries. Take one capsules per day.
- Vitamin C – helps promote HDL colesterol levels and conversion of cholesterol into bile. It is also credited with helping your body repair arteries through production of collagen, thus reducing cholesterol and plaque buildup. Refer to Vitamin C Therapy for more information on using Vitamin C to help fight coronary artery disease.
- Tocotrienols – Antioxidant that helps decrease LDL cholesterol oxidation.
- Quercetin – This bioflavonoid helps stop oxidation of LDL cholesterol in your arteries.
- L-Arginine – An amino acid that you body produces. Oral doses of L-arginine have been shown to lower cholesterol levels. Take two capsules, 3 times per day. Do not take this supplement if you have herpes or a tendency to get cold-sores.
- Circumin – A component of turmeric, this compound helps prevent oxidation of LDL cholesterol in your arteries.
- Lecithin - Helps make cholesterol soluble, allowing it to flow more easily through your body. I recommend Lecithin Granules because they taste good and are eaily absorbed by your body. Take 1-2 tablespoons per day. You can sprinkle it on your morning cereal or other food.
Avoid Food that Raises Cholesterol
In addition to eating food that lowers cholesterol, avoid food that raises cholesterol. This list includes foods that are known to increase your cholesterol or contribute to oxidization of LDL cholesterol, thus damaging your arteries. Avoiding these foods, and eating food that lowers cholesterol will help you get your cholesterol levels in balance.
- Trans Fats and Saturated Fats - hydrogenated fats or partially hydrogenated fats.
- Deep Fried Foods - Even the best oils become saturated when heated.
These lists are evolving - as additional information becomes available on food that lowers cholesterol, it will be added – please come back frequently for updates.
I am genetically pre-disposed to having high cholesterol. Although all of the items above help to control cholesterol levels, I found that a few key things made the most difference. Here is what I learned through my experience lowering cholesterol.
Food that lowers cholesterol as part of a cholesterol treatment plan is The Natural Path to good health.
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