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Searching For A Diet For High Cholesterol?

Dec 11, 2007
Seven out of 10 people over 45 have high cholesterol, so if you're looking for a diet for high cholesterol you're not alone. Cholesterol levels in the blood rise as we age, so if your cholesterol level is still within normal limits, averages are they won't be for long.

At first blush, looking for a diet for high cholesterol is easy, right? If you've been searching for a 'nano-instant' you've heard the refrain - Eat a low-fat diet!

However, recent research has proven this statement to be out of date. It seems it's not the amount of fat you eat it's the type of fat that's important. In fact, in a recent eight year study done with 49,000 women, eating a low-fat diet did little or nothing to prevent heart disease, breast cancer, or colon cancer.

What mattered was the type of fat on the diet. It turns out it was saturated and Trans fats, that increased the risk for certain diseases, while good fats, (read monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) lower the risk. The key it seems is to substitute good fats for bad fats.

Cholesterol has been one of the most vilified and misconstrued elements of this century. Cholesterol is naturally present all through the body, including your brain, your nervous system, muscles, your skin, liver, intestines, and of course your heart.

Cholesterol is needed for the production of certain hormones including testosterone and estrogen, and is essential to the synthesis of vitamin D which is necessary for healthy bones as well as being utilized to repair the membranes around our cells. Cholesterol is very important for our wellbeing.

Cholesterol is a soft, waxy substance which is transported around the body in the blood attached to lipoproteins. But what is not commonly known is that the average person makes about 75% of blood cholesterol in his or her own liver, while only about 25% is absorbed from food. The biggest influence on your cholesterol levels (HDL and LDL) is the mix of fats in the diet.

Saturated fats raise total cholesterol levels and tend to boost both good HDL and bad LDL cholesterol. Trans fats however, tend to raise bad LDL and lower good HDL. But some fats are good because they can improve cholesterol levels. For instance, Omega-3 fats actually help to improve blood fats like cholesterol.

If you're worried about the type of the fat in foods you eat, you are wise to do so. Diet changes are usually the first step in lowering cholesterol before medicines are added. You can expect to lower your cholesterol numbers by as much as 20% with diet improvement.

There are several other things you can do to improve your cholesterol numbers. Quitting cigarettes and other forms of tobacco help to increase HDL levels (good cholesterol), and depress LDL levels (bad cholesterol). Increasing vitamin C intake (ascorbic acid) will also encourage the body to produce less cholesterol, particularly LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol). And last but not least (you knew it was coming) exercise will also help lower your overall cholesterol level.

So if you're looking for a diet for high cholesterol, there are several which will help you improve the type of fats you're taking in and lowering your cholesterol.
About the Author
B.J. Gordey is the owner of Top10-diets.com. Are you looking for a diet for high cholesterol and ways to lower your cholesterol? You can learn a lot more about how a successful diet can help you at Top10-Diets.com.
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