High Cholesterol Treatment -- What Works?
Safe, effective treatment for high cholesterol isn't hard -- but it can be confusing. Get the facts.
Eating Right as a High Cholesterol Treatment
We've all heard that diet has an effect on cholesterol, but there's much
confusion about what you should or shouldn't eat. Here's a rundown of the
Fat. If you have high cholesterol, you should cut down on saturated
fat -- found in fatty meats and whole milk dairy products like cheese, ice
cream, and butter. You also need to reduce your intake of trans fats, a
man-made fat found in many processed foods, like stick margarine.
But the message isn't as simple as "fat is bad." There are a number of
foods with healthy unsaturated fats that will actually improve your
cholesterol. They include fatty fish like tuna and salmon, walnuts, and
almonds. Since even good fats are high in calories, you should still eat them
Calories. According to Wong, the importance of counting your
calories is often overlooked by people with high cholesterol. No matter how
much or how little fat or cholesterol is in a food, its calories still add up.
Eating too much of it can lead to weight gain, and that increases your risk of
High cholesterol foods. Experts have long urged people with high
cholesterol to shun foods loaded with cholesterol, like egg yolks, shrimp, and
organ meats. While some recent evidence suggests eggs may not be quite as
harmful as once thought, experts still generally recommend you limit all high
cholesterol foods. Also, don't assume that a food labeled
"cholesterol-free" is necessarily good for you.
So what sort of diet works as a high cholesterol treatment? Ask your doctor
for specific recommendations. Some experts recommend a Mediterranean-style
diet, which cuts down on saturated and trans fats, while boosting intake of
healthy unsaturated fats from fish and nuts.
If an improved diet doesn't help your cholesterol, don't feel like a
failure. Because of their genes, some people just don't respond as well to this
Weight Loss & Exercise as a High Cholesterol Treatment
Being overweight or obese ups your odds of having high LDL (bad cholesterol)
and triglyceride levels and low HDL (good cholesterol) levels. It can also lead
to other serious risks like high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.
So it's crucial to keep a healthy weight.