When you find out you have a high cholesterol, what can you do to help yourself?
1. Apples: A study was conducted in Finland to determine whether or not eating apples can lower cholesterol. The results of this study determined that eating three apples a day for three months can help you drop your cholesterol level by twenty points. This is a result of apple's high amount of pectin, which is a source of dietary fiber that will draw LDL out of your system. Also, quercetin, an antioxidant, helps to inhibit the amount of LDL in the bloodstream. As autumn is a time for apples, be sure to take advantage of all of the tasty varieties that the season offers.
2. Spinach: Spinach, along with other green leafy vegetables, contains a carotenoid known as lutein. Lutein has been associated with the prevented buildup of cholesterol in the blood. With a little help from one or two helpings of fresh spinach, you'll be on your way to low cholesterol levels in no time!
3. Oats: There are few things as satisfying as a warm bowl of oatmeal in the morning. Whole grain oats, like whole wheat, are a high-fiber grain. While whole wheat is helpful in lowering cholesterol, oats contain more soluble fiber and therefore are more likely to reduce the levels of LDL cholesterol in your system. When eating foods containing oats, however, be sure to always eat whole grain oats, because the oats found in processed foods like granola bars often don't contain soluble fiber.
4. Homemade orange marmalade: Who would guess that this delicious fruity spread would also be good for lowering LDL cholesterol? Orange marmalade includes orange rind - which contains compounds known as polymethoxylated flavones (PMFs). PMFs are found in the pigment of orange peel and are responsible for lowering bad cholesterol -yet not reducing good cholesterol. You can use orange rind in your cooking as well.
5. Green tea: Green tea is beneficial for many conditions and ailments, and LDL cholesterol is no exception.
6) Soy products help lower cholesterol levels due to their isoflavone content.
7) Include garlic, onions, avocados, salmon, almonds and walnuts in your diet.
8) Omega-3 oils such as flax seed oil and fish oil helps lower cholesterol.
It's a good idea to continue to check in with your doctor and keep checking your cholesterol levels. Ask the doctor what your number are so you can set goals and make sure your numbers are going down. Expect it to take time. The main goal in treating high cholesterol is to lower your LDL level. Studies have proven that lowering LDL can prevent heart attacks and reduce deaths from heart disease in both men and women.
Less that 200 mg/dL - Desirable
200-239 mg/dL - Borderline high
240 mg/dL and above - High
Less than 100 mg/dL - Optimal (ideal)
100-129 mg/dL - Near optimal/ above optimal
130-159 mg/dL - Borderline high
160-189 mg/dL - High
190 mg/dL and above - Very high
Less than 40 mg/dL Major heart disease risk factor
60 mg/dL and above - Gives some protection against heart disease