Cholesterol Lowering Diets

The problem is not having cholesterol in your body, it?s having too much of the wrong type of cholesterol that can affect your health.


cholesterol-lowering.jpgHigh cholesterol is very common in Australia. Having high cholesterol in your body can lead to narrowing of the arteries by fatty plaque deposits, this is known as atheroscleroisis. Having fatty plaques in your body may increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke, therefore it is important to have regular checks and be under the guidance and treatment of a healthcare professional.

Cholesterol: Too Much of a Good Thing

Cholesterol is a type of fat that can be found in certain foods such as meat, eggs and dairy. It is also made in your body by your liver. You actually need cholesterol to live - your body makes hormones and other important biological molecules from cholesterol. The problem is not having cholesterol in your body, it's having too much of the wrong type of cholesterol that can affect your health.

The Good and Bad

There are two main forms of cholesterol: LDL and HDL. LDL is the "bad" cholesterol and when too much of this form of cholesterol is in the blood, it can clog up your arteries, increasing your risk of heart attack or stroke. HDL is the "good" cholesterol: HDL actually helps lower your risk of developing heart disease.

There are many diet changes that can help improve your cholesterol levels:

  • Eat foods high in the good monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, from foods such as avocados, lean meats and oily fish, as these are all sources of "good" fats.
  • Reduce foods high in "bad" saturated and trans fats, including cheese, butter, fatty meats and fried food, as these are all sources of "bad" fats.
  • Lose weight. Being overweight is a major risk factor for heart disease, as it raises cholesterol and blood pressure.
  • Increase foods high in soluble fibre, including oat bran, soybeans and baked beans, as these have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease by reducing cholesterol reabsorption.

As well as diet strategies you may also benefit from natural medicines which help prevent and manage cholesterol levels, such as Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids and Sugar Cane Wax Sterols. Discuss with you naturopath the right treatment plan for you.