42 million Americans have high cholesterol and another 63 million have borderline high cholesterol.
High cholesterol is a major risk factor for the development of a heart attack or stroke due to plaque formation in your arteries (atherosclerosis).
Here are some simple ways to reduce your cholesterol that are ‘non prescription’ to start lowering your risk for heart attack and stroke:
- Portion control: use your hand as a guide to the size of portions of meat (palm), fruit (fist), and veggies (cupped hand).
- Serve up mostly heart healthy foods: 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
- Go to the sea twice a week: eat fish twice a week, good for omega-3 fatty acids.
- Whole grains: oatmeal or whole grain cereal to start your day and brown rice, quinoa or whole wheat pastas/breads.
- Go nuts: a handful of almonds daily.
- Unsaturated fats: you need 25-35% of your calories to come from fat, use only canola, olive and safflower oils.
- Beans, beans: eat fewer potatoes and more beans.
- Exercise: 30 minutes of vigorous activity 5 times a week and walk or take the stairs instead of driving or elevators.
- If you are ‘eating out’ at a restaurant: pick a dish that is broiled, baked, steamed, or grilled, not deep fat fried.
- Reduce your stress.
- Lose weight.
- Follow your Doctors’ advice.
Diet, exercise and weight loss are always ‘sure fire’ ways to help lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.
Here is also an extensive list of foods and other products known for lowering cholesterol:
Mayo Clinic Likely Effective List:
- Beta Sitosterol-from certain margarines and ‘Promise’
- Blond Psyllium-from seed husks and ‘Metamucil’
- Oat Bran-from oatmeal and whole oats
- Sitostanol-from certain margarines and ‘Benecol’
- Others-Fish oil, flaxseed (ground), green tea extract, red yeast rice
WebMD Effective List:
- Niacin (Vitamin B3)
- Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)
WebMD Likely Effective List:
- Beta Sitosterol
- Blond Psyllium
WebMD Possibly Effective List:
- Alfalfa –Macadamia Nut
- Artichoke –Magnesium
- Avocado –Olive
- Barley –Pectin
- Beta Glucans –Red Yeast Rice
- Black Psyllium –Rice Bran
- Calcium –Safflower
- English Walnut –Soy
- Flaxseed –Soybean Oil
- Green Tea –Sweet Orange
- Guar Gum –Yogurt
- Others: Red Wine, Almonds, Cashews, Beans, Chocolate, Spinach