Low Cholesterol Foods: Heart Health Alert! What You Must Know

by Athlyn Green - Date: 2006-12-20 - Word Count: 624 Share This!

Low cholesterol foods may have been recommended to you by your doctor. If your cholesterol is too high, you may need to make dietary changes in an attempt to lower blood levels.

Although our bodies make most of our cholesterol, about 20% is derived from certain fats and foods we eat. Incorporating cholesterol lowering foods into your diet is a first step.

A diet low in saturated fat and low in cholesterol will help to reduce blood cholesterol levels, thereby decreasing your risk of developing heart disease, experiencing future heart attacks, or developing heart-related complications.

Certain foods are high in saturated fats or in cholesterol and these should be eaten sparingly or should be avoided. What are these? Sausages, bologna, salami, hot dogs, and fatty meats; liver or organ meats, egg yolks, and full-fat dairy products make the list.

What are good low cholesterol foods? Lean meats, fish and shellfish, skinless poultry, fat free or 1% dairy products, whole grain foods, fruits, and vegetables.

For spreads, look for soft margarines that are low in saturated fat and trans-fats (which can raise cholesterol levels). Egg whites can be substituted for eggs in recipes. Fat free and 1% milk have just as much or more calcium and other nutrients as whole milk.

Cholesterol lowering foods that are high in soluble fiber (oats, oranges, pears, brussels sprouts, carrots, dried peas and beans) or that contain plant sterols (cholesterol lowering margarine or salad dressing) can lower undesirable low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels.

Low cholesterol foods can be prepared to tempt the palate. Make sure you broil, bake, grill or roast, so that fat drips away from meats. Stir-frying with cooking spray reduces fat while retaining color and crispness. Adding fresh herbs can impart flavor to foods.

Eating cholesterol lowering foods does not mean depriving yourself of tasty and satisfying meals. As public awareness grows concerning health and how dietary choices impact upon it, many are switching over to healthful foods that help with weight management and that are heart-healthy.

If your blood levels of cholesterol are high, your doctor may recommend drug therapy that will most likely include a class of drugs called statins. These drugs are effective in lowering cholesterol.

However, statin drugs come with known, potentially severe or life-threatening side effects. These drugs cause cancer in laboratory animals. Use of statins has also been linked to heart failure and erectile dysfunction. People taking statins have suffered from severe muscle weakness and pain, from cognitive impairment and memory loss. Statins were once perceived as miracle drugs but now researchers are urging caution. Evidence is mounting that their use poses grave risks.

If you have been told to eat low cholesterol foods and to add a statin drug to reduce your cholesterol levels, there are safer alternatives available.

We know that cholesterol lowering foods are beneficial, so it only makes sense that other plant-based substances could also render important health-enhancing benefits. Bio-scientists have researched the efficacy of natural substances and found them to be as effective or surpassing statin drugs.

Policosanol is derived from sugar cane and beeswax. It decreases total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and increases high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Lecithin oil is another substance that renders an inhibitory effect on absorption of cholesterol. Beta-sitosterol, as the name suggests, is a plant sterol. It reduces blood levels and inhibits intestinal absorption of cholesterol. Oryzanol rice bran oil contains important constituents-gamma oryzanol and tocotrienols-that have been found to reduce total cholesterol and triglycerides. D-limonene is a natural compound in orange peel oil. It reduces cholesterol and dissolves gallstones.

Implementing necessary dietary changes by consuming low cholesterol foods and using natural substances is an effective two-pronged approach. Using a natural formula containing clinically proven ingredients that target high cholesterol levels makes good sense. These powerful substances reduce cholesterol levels safely, without unwanted side effects.

Related Tags: low cholesterol foods, cholesterol lowering foods

Athlyn Green is an avid health enthusiast with an interest in natural remedies for treatment of health disorders. She has contributed to Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis, a section of http://www.beat-your-depression.com dedicated to natural treatments and prescription drug alternatives for this disorder. Your Article Search Directory : Find in Articles

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