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How to reduce cholesterol?

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Posted on Tue, 5 Feb 2019
Question: How to reduce cholesterol?
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Follow up: Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (0 minute later)
How to reduce cholesterol?
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Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (16 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Information

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome,

There are two types of cholesterol:

LDL cholesterol is sometimes called "bad cholesterol" as it is the one that is attributed to causing problems in the blood vessels.

HDL cholesterol is good cholesterol and is protective for the heart and blood vessels.

Total cholesterol includes both. So it is good to know how much there is of each type.

There is also a lipid called Triglycerides, which you want to keep low as well.

If the LDL is quite high, your doctor may want to start you on a cholesterol lowering medication such as a drug in the family of statins (such as Lipitor). However, first it is good to see if you can lower your cholesterol with lifestyle modifications. Even if you do end up on medication for it, it is important to still have a healthy lifestyle to address cardiovascular risks.

Some people have a familial (genetic) predisposition to having high cholesterol, but for most people, making lifestyle changes can really help to get the LDL and Triglycerides down and HDL up.

A diet high in vegetables and low in simple carbohydrates can help reduce cholesterol. When thinking about simple carbohydrates, think of things made of white flour: white pasta, white bread, and also anything with added sugar. These all are broken down to sugar by the body, too quickly, and then are often stored as fat.

Trying to decrease weight gradually, with increased vegetables, moderate intake of fruits (not fruit juices - again, these are turned to sugar to quickly), and whole grains can help.

If you smoke, quitting this can increase your (good) HDL cholesterol.

Exercising regularly has been found to decrease cholesterol regardless of whether you lose weight from it or not.

Certain foods that contain soluble fiber may help to reduce cholesterol by binding it: oatmeal, kidney beans, Brussels sprouts, apples and pears.

Recent studies suggest whey protein as a supplement can lower LDL.

Decrease saturated fats from meats, and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils which are found in processed snacks.

Now about alcohol - a little may be good, but too much can increase both weight and LDL. I don't know your age, or general health status, but guidelines are that it's ok to drink up to two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger, no more than that.

Some of these recommendations may come more easily - make changes slowly so that you can stick with them. And remember that it isn't all about giving up stuff - you can eat more vegetables and other healthy items listed above to keep yourself from getting hungry from things you may be giving up.

I hope this information helps.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
doctor
doctor
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (0 minute later)
Brief Answer:
Information

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome,

There are two types of cholesterol:

LDL cholesterol is sometimes called "bad cholesterol" as it is the one that is attributed to causing problems in the blood vessels.

HDL cholesterol is good cholesterol and is protective for the heart and blood vessels.

Total cholesterol includes both. So it is good to know how much there is of each type.

There is also a lipid called Triglycerides, which you want to keep low as well.

If the LDL is quite high, your doctor may want to start you on a cholesterol lowering medication such as a drug in the family of statins (such as Lipitor). However, first it is good to see if you can lower your cholesterol with lifestyle modifications. Even if you do end up on medication for it, it is important to still have a healthy lifestyle to address cardiovascular risks.

Some people have a familial (genetic) predisposition to having high cholesterol, but for most people, making lifestyle changes can really help to get the LDL and Triglycerides down and HDL up.

A diet high in vegetables and low in simple carbohydrates can help reduce cholesterol. When thinking about simple carbohydrates, think of things made of white flour: white pasta, white bread, and also anything with added sugar. These all are broken down to sugar by the body, too quickly, and then are often stored as fat.

Trying to decrease weight gradually, with increased vegetables, moderate intake of fruits (not fruit juices - again, these are turned to sugar to quickly), and whole grains can help.

If you smoke, quitting this can increase your (good) HDL cholesterol.

Exercising regularly has been found to decrease cholesterol regardless of whether you lose weight from it or not.

Certain foods that contain soluble fiber may help to reduce cholesterol by binding it: oatmeal, kidney beans, Brussels sprouts, apples and pears.

Recent studies suggest whey protein as a supplement can lower LDL.

Decrease saturated fats from meats, and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils which are found in processed snacks.

Now about alcohol - a little may be good, but too much can increase both weight and LDL. I don't know your age, or general health status, but guidelines are that it's ok to drink up to two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger, no more than that.

Some of these recommendations may come more easily - make changes slowly so that you can stick with them. And remember that it isn't all about giving up stuff - you can eat more vegetables and other healthy items listed above to keep yourself from getting hungry from things you may be giving up.

I hope this information helps.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (1 hour later)
My cholesterol 310mg/ dl
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Follow up: Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (0 minute later)
My cholesterol 310mg/ dl
doctor
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (4 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Information

Detailed Answer:
Given the severity of your elevated cholesterol, your doctor will likely want to start a cholesterol lowering drug such as ezetimibe. If you have cardiac risk factors to be considered in, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, your doctor may want to add an additional medication.

But lifestyle modifications, such as weight loss if you are overweight, stopping smoking if you smoke, exercise, and dietary changes will be very important.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
doctor
doctor
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (0 minute later)
Brief Answer:
Information

Detailed Answer:
Given the severity of your elevated cholesterol, your doctor will likely want to start a cholesterol lowering drug such as ezetimibe. If you have cardiac risk factors to be considered in, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, your doctor may want to add an additional medication.

But lifestyle modifications, such as weight loss if you are overweight, stopping smoking if you smoke, exercise, and dietary changes will be very important.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (21 minutes later)
Is my colestrol level high? 310 mg /dl
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Follow up: Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (0 minute later)
Is my colestrol level high? 310 mg /dl
doctor
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (15 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Information

Detailed Answer:
A total cholesterol level of 240 or higher is consider high.

An LDL cholesterol level of over 180 is considered high.

So yes, your cholesterol is high.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
doctor
doctor
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (0 minute later)
Brief Answer:
Information

Detailed Answer:
A total cholesterol level of 240 or higher is consider high.

An LDL cholesterol level of over 180 is considered high.

So yes, your cholesterol is high.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (28 minutes later)
What should be the diet? I'm a vegetarian.
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Follow up: Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (0 minute later)
What should be the diet? I'm a vegetarian.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (21 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Information

Detailed Answer:
That is good that you are a vegetarian, as meat has saturated fats that can increase cholesterol.

I see that you are in XXXXXXX so I will recommend some foods that are common to XXXXXXX cuisine that can be helpful.

Here are things that are good to eat:
Beans like kidney beans (rajma), bengal Gram (chana) and chick peas (kabuli chana) and soybeans.
Walnuts, almonds, and cashews (of these, walnuts are best).
Eggplant, okra, and all other vegetables. You can eat as much as you want of all vegetables.
Fruits - in moderation.
Methi seeds, have the ability to lower total cholesterol, LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglyceride level in the blood. Also, corriander can lower cholesterol too.
All spices and ginger and garlic are fine.
Green Tea
Brown rice

These are all beneficial. You can also have coffee, black tea, etc, but they do not "help" - but they don't increase cholesterol either, so in moderation, they are ok.

Avoid:
sweets, heavily fried foods, white rice, chapatis or naan made with white flour

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj
doctor
doctor
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (0 minute later)
Brief Answer:
Information

Detailed Answer:
That is good that you are a vegetarian, as meat has saturated fats that can increase cholesterol.

I see that you are in XXXXXXX so I will recommend some foods that are common to XXXXXXX cuisine that can be helpful.

Here are things that are good to eat:
Beans like kidney beans (rajma), bengal Gram (chana) and chick peas (kabuli chana) and soybeans.
Walnuts, almonds, and cashews (of these, walnuts are best).
Eggplant, okra, and all other vegetables. You can eat as much as you want of all vegetables.
Fruits - in moderation.
Methi seeds, have the ability to lower total cholesterol, LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglyceride level in the blood. Also, corriander can lower cholesterol too.
All spices and ginger and garlic are fine.
Green Tea
Brown rice

These are all beneficial. You can also have coffee, black tea, etc, but they do not "help" - but they don't increase cholesterol either, so in moderation, they are ok.

Avoid:
sweets, heavily fried foods, white rice, chapatis or naan made with white flour

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (52 minutes later)
Thanks for the help you helped me
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Follow up: Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (0 minute later)
Thanks for the help you helped me
doctor
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (4 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Best regards

Detailed Answer:
I am glad if I can help. Good luck to you. With a change in diet, exercise, and if needed, weight loss, you should see at least some improvement in cholesterol. It can take a few months though.

Have a good day.

Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh, MD
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
doctor
doctor
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (0 minute later)
Brief Answer:
Best regards

Detailed Answer:
I am glad if I can help. Good luck to you. With a change in diet, exercise, and if needed, weight loss, you should see at least some improvement in cholesterol. It can take a few months though.

Have a good day.

Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh, MD
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
doctor
Answered by
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Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3138 Questions

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How to reduce cholesterol?

How to reduce cholesterol?