Hypercholesterolemia can be inherited, result from lifestyle choices, or both. When the foods you eat cause high cholesterol, you can reverse the effects by changing your diet.
Hypercholesterolemia occurs when you have elevated levels of cholesterol in your blood and can lead to an elevated risk of developing coronary artery disease, a form of heart disease. When deposits of cholesterol form into clumps, plaque, on the walls of your blood vessels, this plaque can build up over time and increase your chances of having a heart attack.
A diet aimed at reducing your cholesterol must do two things: include foods that will lower LDL, harmful cholesterol, and eliminate the foods that boost LDL levels.
Foods to Lower LDL
Foods that lower your cholesterol will do so in a variety of ways. Some will provide the fats necessary to lower LDL or prevent your body from absorbing cholesterol, while others with soluble fiber will physically remove the cholesterol from your body before it can make its way to your blood. In general, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and plant proteins is recommended.
Recommendations suggest five to ten grams of soluble fiber per day. An easy way to get this is by adding barley, oats, and other whole grains to your diet.
Beans are also rich in soluble fiber, can make you feel full longer, and help lower your risk of heart disease.
Eating just two ounces of nuts per day can lower LDL.
You can also lower your LDL by replacing solid cooking fats such as butter, lard, or shortening with liquid vegetable oils such as canola, sunflower, or safflower oil.
Swapping out meat for fatty fish two to three times per week can lower your cholesterol by eliminating the saturated fats found in red meat and by providing omega-3 fats, which lower LDL and protect the heart in other ways.
Fats to Avoid
When hypercholesterolemia has been caused by diet, there are certain types of fat to avoid so you can prevent harmful cholesterol from elevating.
Saturated fats typically come from animal products such as red meat, eggs, and whole-fat dairy products, but can also come from palm oil, coconut oil, and cocoa butter. It is suggested to limit your intake of saturated fats.
Trans fats are created by turning liquid vegetable oils into solids, for stability. They are known to raise LDL and lower your good cholesterol levels. It is recommended that you cut back on trans fats altogether and replace them with monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats.
While some causes of hypercholesterolemia may be out of your control, you can make changes to your diet by adding foods that lower LDL and eliminating foods that increase LDL.
DM Clinical Research conducts clinical studies to help bring necessary treatments to patients for hypercholesterolemia and other health issues. Contact us if you are interested in joining one of our clinical studies.