Tips for Reducing High Cholesterol

Healthy Vegetables

Vegetables have numerous health benefits, including helping to control high blood pressure.
Vegetables have numerous health benefits, including helping to control high blood pressure. | Source

Have you been Diagnosed with High Cholesterol?

I decided to write this article because I've been researching the subject for myself. I was diagnosed with high cholesterol and wanted to get ideas on what I can realistically do to get my bad numbers down. Getting my bad numbers down to a healthy level has been a combination of different factors. I try to eat healthy and limit my fat intake, I exercise at least five times a week, take supplements and chose to get on a statin medication. I hope in the future I can quit taking the statin drug by making better life-style changes. Hopefully, these simple tips can help you if your struggling with high cholesterol.


High Cholesterol

Do you Have High Cholesterol

  • Yes-Unfortunately
  • No-So far so good
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What is Cholesterol/High Cholesterol

The Mayo Clinic defines cholesterol as a waxy substance that can be found in the fats in your blood. We all need cholesterol to help build healthy cells but high cholesterol levels can lead to a high risk of heart disease.

LDL cholesterol can build up on the inside of artery walls and this is what can lead to blockages and heart attacks. LDL is the cholesterol we want to stay low.

HDL cholesterol is what many like to call, the Happy or Good cholesterol. This type of cholesterol prevents arteries from getting clogged. We all want to shoot for a high number with this cholesterol.

Although some of us may have a genetic predisposition for high cholesterol, most of us have it because of life-style choices. The good news, we can change our unhealthy choices and habits to help against the fight of high cholesterol levels.

Causes of High Cholesterol Levels

According to WebMD, these are the main causes for high cholesterol levels:

  1. Certain foods you eat. Eating too much saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol can raise your cholesterol.
  2. Being overweight. This may lower HDL ("good") cholesterol.
  3. Being inactive Not exercising may lower HDL ("good") cholesterol.
  4. Age. ...
  5. Family history


How to Get High Cholesterol Under Control

For those of us that don't have the genetic risk factor for high cholesterol, here are some basics to help you:

  • A healthy diet can help in lowering your cholesterol.
  • Exercise-At least 30 minutes of cardio-five days a week.
  • Medication-A simple blood test will reveal if you need to get on medication.
  • Supplements-Many opt to take supplements to help reduce high cholesterol; either in conjunction with medication, or on it's own.

Diet-Just a reminder: Ice cream, Fatty Meats and Butter are big no no's when struggling with high cholesterol.

Here is a list of foods that are healthy for you:

Fiber-Any foods high in fiber are good for your diet. Foods such as: Oatmeal, oat bran, kidney beans, apples, pears, barley and prunes.

Omega's-Fish and omega-3 Fatty Acids are a healthy food choice. Just remember that broiling, baking and grilling are the best cooking methods. Frying fish in butter or fatty oils is an unhealthy cooking choice. Doctor's recommend having two servings of fish a week.

Nuts-Almonds, walnuts, peanuts and pistachios are some of the healthy choices. One handful a day can reduce your risk of heart disease.

List of Cholesterol Lowering Foods:

  • Oatmeal/Oat bran
  • Whole Wheat Bread, Crackers and Pasta
  • Brown Rice
  • Barley
  • Legumes such as Kidney Beans
  • Green Leafy Vegetables
  • Onions
  • Fruits such as Apples, Pears, Blueberries and Prunes
  • Olive Oil
  • Fish
  • Nuts such as Almonds/Walnuts
  • Skim Milk
  • Chicken and Turkey


High Cholesterol in the United States:

  1. 73.5 million adults (31.7%) in the United States have high low density lipoprotein(LDL), or “bad,” cholesterol.1
  2. Fewer than 1 out of every 3 adults (29.5%) with high LDL cholesterol has the condition under control.2
  3. Less than half (48.1%) of adults with high LDL cholesterol are getting treatment to lower their levels.1
  4. People with high total cholesterol have approximately twice the risk for heart disease as people with ideal levels.
  5. Nearly 31 million adult Americans have a total cholesterol level greater than 240 mg/dL.1





High Cholesterol Quiz

Healthy Food Choices are Key for Reducing High Cholesterol

Salad is a healthy choice if you don't use too much salad dressing.
Salad is a healthy choice if you don't use too much salad dressing. | Source

Apples are a Healthy Food Choice

Fruit is a healthy food choice
Fruit is a healthy food choice | Source

Stay Away or Limit Foods High in Fat

Desserts high in fat are not good choices for high cholesterol
Desserts high in fat are not good choices for high cholesterol | Source

© 2011 Linda Rogers

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Comments 48 comments

marellen 5 years ago

Thanks for the good tips....I have always felt that exercise and eating right is the way to go but its very hard to stick to this schedule.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota Author

Hi Marellen-I don't have a problem with my walking consistently but it's the eating right that I struggle with. I now have my list of foods and plan to try harder on this piece. Thanks for coming by :)


Glen619 profile image

Glen619 5 years ago from Camden, New Jersey

Really very helpful i did not know there are two sorts of cholesterol present in our bodies.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Excellent tips. My husband a few years back found out that his cholesterol count was too high and I quickly had to educate myself on what do to with his diet. I wish your article had of been written back then. :)


Healing Touch profile image

Healing Touch 5 years ago from Minnetonka, MN

Great article on this important info. I tweeted it all over, stumbled it and more....


vijayanths 5 years ago

useful information.


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland

Hi MT,

Congratulations on getting your 'bad numbers' down you're obviously going in the right direction. This hub was really interesting and good advice for us all whether we have high chol., or not. I also like the choice of foods - for a change there is nothing on the list that makes me want to go yuck! I do have a passion for any kind of nuts so it's good to know I can have some! voted up!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

Good advice and a good reminder for all of us. Continued success with your battle against high cholesterol.


thougtforce profile image

thougtforce 5 years ago from Sweden

I haven’t yet tested my cholesterol so I don't know if it is high or not. Your advices here sound good and reassuring because they feel natural. Somehow it feels a bit strange that everybody must take medicine for high cholesterol even if they feel good. I will remember this and try this first if I have too! Thanks for a useful and interesting hub!

Tina


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

Sound advice and great tips, well done on keeping your numbers down and thanks for sharing.


GreenGardenGuy profile image

GreenGardenGuy 5 years ago from Fort Myers, FL

Great Hub!

I lowered my cholesterol by changing my diet to a healthier one, but I also started taking L-Lysine and vitamin C together. That combo gives a good boost to a healthy diet. My doctor was amazed that my numbers came down so fast. Getting plenty of sun will help also. Your body makes vitamin D from cholesterol when you are in the sun.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota Author

Thanks Glen and I'm glad to hear it was helpful for you.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota Author

Hi Susan-I didn't know much about what not to eat or what to eat either. I figured since I was researching it, I might as well share the information. Thanks for reading, I appreciate it:-)


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota Author

Thanks sis for tweeting it and all those other sites your on. I really appreciate it and I know that it can be helpful for many who have this condition.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota Author

Thanks Vijayanths and I hope this can be helpful.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota Author

Hi Seeker-Your right, that even if you don't have high cholesterol, it's still healthy food which is good for all of us. I too was VERY excited to learn that my fave nuts(almonds)are good for me. Yae! :-)Thanks for taking time to stop by :-)


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota Author

Hi Peggy and thanks for coming by. It's gonna be kinda hard to get use to making better food choices but I'm ready for it. I'm thinking of ALL the benefits I'll get from it, not just lowering my cholesterol.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota Author

Hi Tina-When I was told I had high cholesterol, they told me it was my choice to go on meds. I tried the supplements but wasn't doing so good on my food choices, so then I decided to get on medication. Now, I'm really trying hard to get it down by eating right too and so far, so good. Nice to see you friend :-)


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota Author

Hi Movie Master and thanks for your encouragement. I can't wait for the next blood test to see the change in my numbers.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota Author

GreenGardenGuy-I take vitamin C everyday too but not the lysine. I did see them talk about it as I researched this topic. Is Lysine a mediation or supplement? I can't remember. I am on Simvastatin. I loved hearing about how the sun can help because of the vit.D. thanks for that tidbit. I can handle doing that-LOL :-)


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 5 years ago

Thanks for the advice. As a matter of fact, I am going to the lab tomorrow to have my levels tested.


Truckstop Sally profile image

Truckstop Sally 5 years ago

I have high cholesterol -- and it seems I passed it on to my kiddos. We're working on eating healthier as a family!


GreenGardenGuy profile image

GreenGardenGuy 5 years ago from Fort Myers, FL

L-Lysine is an amino acid. Quite a few of the amino acids are great to supplent a healthy diet.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota Author

Here's to healthy numbers breakfastpop :-) Good timing on reading my hub. Good to see you here.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota Author

Glad I'm not alone Sally. It can be so tough to make the changes in a healthier diet. I already broke down today and ate some chocolate chip cookies my niece made. They were calling to me Sally :-0


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota Author

That's interesting Garden Guy. I should talk to my doctor about it. Thanks for the information :-)


Truckstop Sally profile image

Truckstop Sally 5 years ago

Something must be in the air. I just ate 2 chocolate chip cookies myself! They were small. Ha!


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota Author

Sally-Your making me feel so much better about myself. LOL - I am so not alone in this fight :-0 My cookies were big yet thin and I ate 4. :-0 Yikes


opusmith profile image

opusmith 5 years ago

Hi - well I have familial cholesterol (inherited from mother, my siblings also have it) and have been told the only way to reduce it is through statins. I am a vegetarian so do not eat fish or any animal, I do not like butter and am not fond of cheese. When reviewing my diet the dr said there was nothing I could cut out that would make a difference; so statins it was. This presented another problem. I have Lupus and the statins exacerbated the cramps I endure; so this month I have an appointment to have a doppler scan of the arteries and to see a specialist to see what he can do. My cholesterol rate was 9.6 :-( On top of all of this I have also inherited osteoporosis (again from the wicked witches side of the family)so I need extra calcium for my bones, but not for the cholesterol. It has become a nightmare. I have appointments with three different specialists who then have to consult one another to discover the best treatment plan for me. Ironically I look slim and healthy (I work out when the lupus is in remission). It gets worse because I am allergic to peanuts and walnuts so have to avoid those too. And finally, I have battled cancer for over four years now. I first had cervical cancer (on my mothers side) then breast cancer (fathers side) and now I have been having rt for conjunctival melanoma in my eyes (first left then right). Written down it sounds horrendous, however I deal with each thing individually and things like the osteo p and the cholesterol are hidden so no one knows about them, the cancer I keep to myself until once again chemo steps in to say hi and rids me of my long red curly hair (it is shoulder length at the moment, having taken a long time to regrow, I am hoping to keep it this time). So really I am a mess despite having been a vegetarian since 9 yrs of age and exercising and never smoking and drinking so rarely that I cannot recall the last time I did. Life is totally unfair sometimes but it is what it is and all I can do is keep fighting each individual illness and carrying on. My friends tell me I glow and always look so healthy -except when the lupus is in flare up, then I do look unwell -if only they knew the daily battle I have with my stupid body that is determined to make me pay for owning it!!! Hmmm, this was not meant to be a rant against my body, sorry. It was meant to be a thank you for posting your article and to say it has made me think about researching each of my 'problems' and see if there is a common group of foods that I can adapt into my diet. Enjoy the cookies this time, avoid them next time and the time after, then enjoy them again. We need some fat in our diets and if we deprive ourselves of the smallest of treats, what is the point in living!!!


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 5 years ago

It's a Battle worth winning...but sometimes not so easily. I do exercise, and my weight is good, so occasionally I cheat on certain foods...But we are always walking. Thanks for a very timely and Informative Hub on Reducing High Cholesterol, Minnetonka Twin.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota Author

Dear Opus-I feel a little ashamed as my cholesterol issue is the choices I make and not an inherited condition. I am sad to hear of all your health battles and hope they can figure out some meds that help you. I too have faced many challenges: overweight, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, lung cancer survivor (never smoked) and open heart surgery as I'm an identical twin and was born with a hole in my heart. We are both survivors and have to keep cheering each other on. Life is great and worth living, even when faced with adversity. I admire that your a vegetarian and so smart with your eating choices. I am trying to make life style changes and your comment here inspires me more to do it. Thanks for coming by and sharing your story with me. We have a lot in common.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota Author

b.Malin-I'm glad to hear you say how tough it can be. I LOVE FOOD and that's one of my biggest issues. I am a life time Weight Watchers member, though havn't been on it for many years. It did teach me better habits. I use Smart balance instead of butter, olive oil instead of other oils, skim milk in place of whole milk or 2%, Hard Cheese in place of processed cheese, etc...I do some things really right and other things really wrong. I know it's going to be a life long battle but I know I can do it.


opusmith profile image

opusmith 5 years ago

Never feel ashamed. At the end of the day the foods were laden with fats and sugars and presented to the word in wonderful packaging, with words chosen to entice us. It has taken so long for governments to insist on warnings and fat contents etc on packaging. Sadly the damage has been done for many and without our elusive friend 'Willpower' we are stuck. I am fortunate in that I do not have a sweet tooth, but fall weak at the knees for home-made pastry mmmm. I use carotino oil for cooking. It contains natural antioxidants, vits a & R and Omega 3 & 6 is vegetarian and most importantly for us - NO cholesterol. Try www.carotino.co.uk for further info and recipe ideas. I also find grapefruit is excellent at helping to reduce cholesterol and drink a glass with main meals or eat half a fresh grapefruit before a big meal. You say you do some things right and some wrong, but if we got it all right all the time, oh life would become such a bore:-) Oh and I agree, we do sound very alike. I am sorry to hear of the health issues that surround you and your sister. You both sound strong :-)

Congratulations on beating the cancer, I assume you are in total remission and rid of this insipid disease. Long may it stay that way:-)


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota Author

I'm seven years cancer-free Opus and lovin life. I wish I could do the grapefruit thing but I'm on an anti-depressant and you can't do grapefruit with this med. Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I am starting to eat oatmeal for breakfast which I hear is very helpful. Ya, sis and I are strong and you are too. Have a great day :-)


Sneha Sunny profile image

Sneha Sunny 5 years ago from India

this was a very useful one.... thanks for sharing......

And I'm your 801-st follower....:-)


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota Author

Ok, how cool of you to tell me what number follower you are. Your awesome. I feel blessed to have so many creative fans following me. I just love your profile pic:)


acaetnna profile image

acaetnna 5 years ago from Guildford

A fantastic article on such an important subject. Thank you so much.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota Author

Thanks for reading my article acaetnna. Hopefully it can help others with high cholesterol.


molometer profile image

molometer 5 years ago

Hi Minnetonka Very useful hub. I have had high cholesterol and managed to get it down with the ideas you mentioned in this hub. I am commenting to let everyone know that the advice that you are giving actually does work if you take it on-board. You have to be diligent and stick to it and you will get results. I really don't want to take pills everyday when there is an alternative as outlined above. Voted up UI Well done


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota Author

Thanks moloeter for your nice comments. Hopefully this hub and your comment can give people the confidence that it is truly possible to get the high cholesterol down if you do the right things. Way to go on getting yours down.


kimh039 profile image

kimh039 5 years ago

I came in from twitter looking for your hub on bullying, and couldn't find it; thought it might be a good idea to learn a little more about reducing cholesterol since I really don't want to take the statins unless absolutely necessary. thanks for the info....and if you could give directions to the bullying hub that would be good! thanks minnetonka twin:)


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota Author

Thanks Kim and I am so sorry you couldn't find my bullying hub. Usually you can just hit the link from twitter. I wonder why it isn't working :-0 Taking statins is the last step but it was something I knew I had to do as I worked on losing weight. Many other ways to reduce cholesterol. Here is the link to my story on bullying and thanks for your interest in it.

http://hubpages.com/education/The-Day-I-Asked-Forg...


molometer profile image

molometer 5 years ago

Thanks Minnetonka Twin. It's an everyday battle to find the right food but it is doable if you stick to the basic's and really avoid highly processed products.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota Author

Hi Molometer-Yes, your so right that if you stay patient, you can eat well and healthy. I also let myself eat fun stuff now and then so I don't go nuts. LOL :-)


nina64 profile image

nina64 4 years ago from chicago, Illinois

This is a great hub. I was somewhat confused as to what is good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. Your hub gives me all the information I need. I recently had to cut out butter from my diet due to problems with indigestion and nausea. Every time I bake any type of meat, I make sure that I drain as much of the fat as I can; they make me feel sick as well. I've been including nuts of all kinds in my diet; I've starting to eat more fruits and vegetables to help lower my cholesterol. Thanks again for such a wonderful hub.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 4 years ago from Minnesota Author

I am so glad I could help you out on the cholesterol questions. I freaked out when I first found out I had high cholesterol but there is so much you can do to help it. I just love nuts and they are very good for you. I especially like the raw almonds and they sell them pretty cheap at the store. Thanks for reading my article, I appreciate it.


crazybeanrider profile image

crazybeanrider 3 years ago from Washington MI

I have been looking for ways to lower my cholesterol as well. I was surprised it was even high. I immediately changed a few things in my diet. And started walking. I hope a little weight loss and diet brings it down. I liked your list of good foods to eat. I also started on Fish oil tablets. Thank you for a very informative article, it helped steer me in the right direction. Tweeted!


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 3 years ago from Minnesota Author

Thanks so much for tweetng this cbrider. I too take fish oil tablets in addition with being on Pravastatin. Now that spring is here I will be walking more which helps a lot. I also find it easier to eat healthy during the summer with all the wonderful fruits and vegetables that are available. Good luck on lowering your cholesterol. Even a few changes can reduce your numbers.

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