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High Cholesterol

Also indexed as:Cholesterol (High), Dyslipidemia, Hypercholesterolemia, Hyperlipidemia, Hypoalphalipoproteinemia, Low HDL Cholesterol, LDL Cholesterol Damage, HDL Cholesterol Damage
Take control of your cholesterol to lower your heart disease risk. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.

The right diet is the key to managing many diseases and to improving general quality of life. For this condition, scientific research has found benefit in the following healthy eating tips.

RecommendationWhyGet started
Add some olive oil Monounsaturated fats, such as the fats in olive oil, lower LDL ("bad") cholesterol, especially when the olive oil replaces saturated fats, such as many fats from meat and dairy, in the diet.
Avoid sugar Eating sugar has been reported to reduce HDL ("good") cholesterol and to increase other heart disease risk factors.
Eat canola oil and flaxseedPeople who eat diets high in alpha-linolenic acid--found in canola oil and flaxseed products--have high blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which may protect against heart attacks.
Eat more fishEating fish has been reported to increase HDL "good" cholesterol and is linked to a reduced risk of heart disease in most but not all studies.
Get good omega-6 fatty acids Many vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds contain omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids that improve the ratio between "bad" and "good" cholesterol. (When choosing oils, avoid partially-hydrogenated oils, which increase heart disease risk.
Get your garlicEating garlic has helped to lower cholesterol in some, but not all, research. It is also known to act as a blood thinner and may reduce other heart disease risk factors.
Go nutsResearch consistently shows that people who frequently eat nuts have a reduced risk of heart disease, possibly because eating nuts lowers cholesterol.
Reduce risk with fiberAdd whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables to your meals to reduce heart disease risk.
Choose coffee carefullyDrinking boiled or French press coffee increases cholesterol levels, but drinking paper-filtered coffee does not, as paper coffee filters keep the offending chemicals from entering the cup.
Eat smaller, eat oftenWhen people eat a number of small meals, studies have shown that serum cholesterol levels fall compared with the effect of eating the same food in three big meals.
Enjoy a drinkPeople who have one to two drinks per day appear to live longer and are less likely to have heart disease.
Go easy on the eggsUntil more is known about the link between eggs and heart disease, limiting eggs to one per day may be a good idea for people with diabetes.
Replace meat with soySoy protein has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels. And if soy replaces animal protein, the cholesterol-lowering effect is even more pronounced.
Try a vegetarian dietVegetarians have lower cholesterol than meat eaters, in part because they avoid animal fat. Vegans (people who eat no meat, dairy, or eggs) have the lowest cholesterol levels.
Cut the bad fatsFoods that contain saturated fat, hydrogenated fat, and cholesterol can raise cholesterol.
Watch the margarineMost margarines contain high levels of trans fatty acids and are linked to high cholesterol and heart disease.

Copyright 2015 Aisle7. All rights reserved.

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2016.

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