Elevated blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels lead to plaque-filled arteries, with impeded blood flow to the brain, kidneys, genitals, extremities, and heart. High cholesterol levels are among the primary causes of heart disease, because cholesterol produces fatty deposits in arteries. High cholesterol levels are also implicated in gallstones, impotence, mental impairment, and high blood pressure. Colon polyps and cancer (especially prostate and breast cancer) have also been linked to high serum cholesterol levels.
Cholesterol levels are greatly influenced by diet. The consumption of foods high in cholesterol and/or saturated fat increases cholesterol levels, while a vegetarian diet, regular exercise, and the nutrients niacin and vitamin C can lower cholesterol.
Include in the diet the following foods, which aid in lowering cholesterol: apples, bananas, carrots, cold-water fish, dried beans, garlic, grapefruit, and olive oil.
Make sure to take in plenty of fiber in the form of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Water-soluble dietary fiber is very important in reducing serum cholesterol. It is found in barley, beans, brown rice, fruits, glucomannan, guar gum, and oats. Oat bran and brown rice bran are the best foods for lowering cholesterol. Whole-grain since fiber absorbs the minerals from rice good as well. Since fiber absorbs the minerals from the food it is in, take extra mineral separately from the fiber.
Drink fresh juices, especially carrot, celery, and beet juices. Carrot juice helps to flush out fat from the bile in the liver and this steam-distilled water.
Use only unrefined cold-or expeller-pressed oils. Coldpressed oils are those that have never been heated above 110 F during processing at this temperature, enzyme destruction begins. Use vegetables oils that are liquid at room temperature, such as olive, soybean, flaxseed, primrose, and black currant seed oil. Olive oil is recommended.
Do not eat any nuts except for walnuts, which can be eaten in moderation. Eat walnuts only if they are raw and have been kept tightly sealed or refrigerated, do not eat them if they have been roasted (or otherwise subjected to heat) or exposed to air (such as those found in open bins in shopping mall kiosks and candy stores.
Reduce the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in your diet. Saturated fats include all fats of animal origin as well as coconut and palm kernel oils. Eliminate from the diet all hydrogenated fats and hardened fats and oils such as margarine, large, and butter. Consume no heated fats or as margarine, lard, and butter. Consume no heated fats or processed oils, and avoid animal products (especially pork and pork products) and fried or fatty foods. Always read food product labels carefully. You may consume nonfat milk, low-fat cottage cheese, and skinless white poultry meat (preferably turkey), but only in moderation.
Do not consume alcohol, cakes, candy, carbonated drinks, coffee, gravies, nondairy creamers, pies, processed or refined foods, refined carbohydrates, tea, tobacco, or white bread.
Avoid gas-forming foods such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, and sweet pickles.
Get regular moderate exercise. Always consult with your health care provider before beginning any new exercise program.
Try to avoid stress and sustained tension. Learn stressmanagement technique.