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Anon asked...

How to reduce your cholesterol reading...

How to reduce your cholesterol reading (fasting) from 5.8 mols to below 5.2 mols (Required Standard)

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The answer

Thank you for your question. Many individuals are affected by elevated levels of Cholesterol. Causes of increased levels vary but can be influenced by:

  • Unhealthy diet – consuming high levels of unsaturated fat in your diet.
  • Smoking – chemicals in cigarettes can increase cholesterol levels within the body.
  • Having Diabetes
  • High blood pressure (Hypertension).

There is also an inherited condition called Hypercholesterolaemia which can cause elevated Cholesterol levels in an individual who eat healthily.

There are many ways to assist reducing your Cholesterol levels, although you may already be using some of these when posting your question. We have listed these and also some links to websites which you may find useful for further reading. We have also added a list of dietary foods that may assist with reducing cholesterol levels.

Ways to aid reduction in cholesterol levels;

  • Eat a healthy balanced diet – try and keep consumption of fatty foods to a minimum. Increase fruits, vegetables and wholegrain cereals to prevent high levels of cholesterol retuning.
  • Taking regular exercise.
  • Give up smoking.

If reductions are not made using these methods, your GP may want to prescribe a cholesterol reducing medication like a Statin. Your GP will discuss this with you if you cannot reduce your levels by implementing the above changes.

Following some investigation into this subject, it is surprising to find that there is little evidence based research that is supported by The British Dietetics Association (BDA) regarding this matter. There are many claims, but little conclusive evidence. The following options that we have selected for you are backed by the BDA and Heart UK, as helpful measures that could help aid the reduction of Cholesterol in the body:

  • Two portions of fish per week (One oily fish, e.g. sardines, Mackerel), has been noted to improve blood pressure and blood lipids (fats), and reduce the risk of Cardiovascular disease
  • Garlic powder added to the diet has been shown “modest reductions” in high Cholesterol levels. This is also useful to add flavor to foods instead of adding salt
  • Soya foods are low in Saturated fat and can assist the body regulate Cholesterol levels. It may be suggested to choose Soya products as alternatives to milk & Yogurt. Other Soya based products can be used in cooking to substitute other food groups, such as Soya desserts, Soya meat alternstives, soya nuts, Edamame beans and Tofu
  • Oats & Barley contain Beta Glucan which claims to form a gel to help bind Cholesterol and prevent it from being absorbed
  • Plant Sterols & Stanols have been suggestive to assist the blocking of Cholesterol in the intestines. These would include vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruit & vegetables
  • Fruit & Vegetables are low in saturated fat therefore eating more of thee within a balanced diet helps to keep saturated fat intake low.
  • Green Tea & Black tea consumed as a drink or capsule, could assist with the lowering of blood pressure and Cholesterol due to containing “catechins”, although it is not clear how much would have to consume to receive the benefits.

We hope this has been of some help to you. We have listed some internet links which you may find useful for further reading on the subject.

http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Healthyhearts/Pages/Cholesterol.aspx

https://heartuk.org.uk/

http://www.nhs.uk/change4life/Pages/healthy-eating-tips.aspx

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Cholesterol/Pages/Introduction.aspx

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses