You should aim to lower not only total cholesterol but also LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol.
You may do the following to control your cholesterol.
- If you smoke, stop it.
- Lose Weight.
- Start exercise. Do some aerobic exercise (brisk walking, jogging, etc.) every alternate day.
- Avoid high cholesterol food sources such as liver, kidney, brains, etc. Stop eating high fat processed meats (e.g., sausage, hot dogs, bologna, salami) and fatty untrimmed red meats. If you can't stop eating meats, choose only the leanest meats, poultry (chicken, turkey, duck, pheasant, or goose), fish and shellfish (Cholesterol in seafoods).
Remember the following:
- Most fish is lower in cholesterol and saturated fat than meat or poultry. (Cholesterol in meat).
- The leanest meats, chicken, fish, and shellfish have cholesterol and saturated fat. You may sometimes eat skinless, boneless chicken in soups and casseroles.
- Goose and duck are high in saturated fat, even with the skin removed.
- Shellfish have little saturated fat and total fat.
- 3 ounces of steamed shrimp has 167 milligrams of cholesterol.
- You may eat red meat after cutting lean meat into small pieces and cooking them with vegetables.
- Eggs have very high levels of cholesterol and are worse than poultry. Stop eating eggs if you want to have healthy cholesterol levels.
- Avoid trans-fatty acid i.e. hydrogenated oil or vegetable shortening. Hydrogenated vegetable oils are the worst possible fats and are more harmful than the saturated animal fats. These fatty acids are found in many fast foods and French fries, baked goods such as cookies, crackers, pies, pastries, and cakes.
- Vegetarian diet
Vegetarians have lower cholesterol and less heart disease than meat eaters. Those people, who eat no meat, dairy and eggs, have the lowest cholesterol levels. You should eat a low fat diet, high in fiber and high in complex carbohydrates, including whole grains, vegetables, beans, fruits, and salads. This type of diet will not only control your cholesterol, but also your weight will become normal and will prolong your life.
Research has shown that switching to a vegetarian diet with some lifestyle changes can reverse heart disease. Exercise and a proper diet are often enough to keep cholesterol at a safe level, you may not need any medication.
- Soluble fibers : Oats and Beta-glucan
Eat foods rich in soluble fiber such as apricots, apples, beans, citrus fruit, berries, carrots, prunes, cabbage, sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts to lower the LDL cholesterol.
Eating daily 1/2 cup of any bean like kidney beans, black-eye beans, lima beans, or other dried beans will reduce your total and LDL cholesterol.
Beta-glucan is a fiber-type polysaccharide (complex sugar) that has been shown to have miraculous powers to lower cholesterol and triglyceride and strengthen immune system.
Oats, barley, and yeast are rich in beta glucan. Oats have the highest proportion of soluble fiber (about 14% soluble fiber) among cereals.The doctors at Harvard Medical School in Massachusetts recommends, "In addition to decreasing the intake of total fat, saturated fat and dietary cholesterol, blood serum cholesterol can be further decreased by dietary fiber, especially from sources rich in beta glucan such as oats and yeast."Oat bran can reduce risk up to 29%, lowers total cholesterol and LDL, and raises HDL. In one study, two ounces of oat bran per day showed a 16% lowering of LDL and an increase in HDL of as much as 15% in 3 months.
Nutrition experts believe that Beta-glucan, a water-soluble fiber present in oat bran act as an active agent for cholesterol inhibition. Oats are highly nutritious containing soluble fiber. Oats are high in vitamin B1 and contain a good amount of vitamins B2 and E. 40 gram of oat bran roughly contains 3 g fat, 4 g fiber, 27 g carbohydrate, 5 g protein, 0 mg cholesterol.
- Plant stanol
Recent studies have shown that stanol esters and plant sterols block the absorption of cholesterol from the intestines. Margarines such as Benecol, Take Control, Flora Pro-active, Logicol, etc. contain these ingredients.
- Reduce intake of sweets and desserts. Sweeteners of all kinds (honey, maple syrup, molasses, white sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, evaporated cane juice, etc) eaten in excess will raise your total and LDL cholesterol to disrupting our metabolism. [American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 55, 1992, p. 851-6]
- Avoid full fat milk, cheese and cream.
- Alcohol in moderation (one serving - 5 fluid ounces of wine, 12 fluid ounces of beer, or 1.5 fluid ounces of liquor) may raise HDL levels but does not lower LDL cholesterol. Note that drinking too much alcohol can damage the liver and heart muscle, can raise triglycerides, and lead to high blood pressure. Because of these risks, alcoholic beverages are not recommended as a way to prevent heart disease.
Guggul, the gum resin from the mukul myrrh tree from India has been shown to lower cholesterol and triglycerides and raise HDL.
Guggulsterones keep LDL cholesterol from oxidizing and reduce the stickiness of platelets, that lowers the risk CHD. Guggul is an approved treatment for elevated cholesterol in Ayurvedic approach in India. The recommended amount of guggulsterones is 25 mg three times per day.
- Wood PJ. Physicochemical properties and physiological effects of the (1-3)(1-4) beta-D-glucan from oats. Adv Exp Med Biol 1990;270:119-27.
- Bell S, Goldman VM, Bistrian BR, et al. Effect of beta-glucan from oats and yeast on serum lipids. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 1999;39:189-202 , review.
- Crti. Rev. Food Sci. Nutr. 39, 1999, p. 189-202.
- JAMA. Vol 285. 1833-1839, 1991.
- Agarwal RC, et al. Clinical trial of gugulipid new hypolipidemic agent of plant origin in primary hyperlipidemia. Indian J Med Res 1986; 84:626-34
- Singh RB, et al. Hypolipidemic and antioxidant effects of Commiphora mukul as an adjunct to dietary therapy in patients with hypercholesterolemia. Cardiovasc Drugs Ther 1994; 8:659-64