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How to Lower Your Cholesterol Level Fast / Quickly

Updated on May 22, 2014

If you're reading this I am guessing you have been to your Doctor (GP) and been told that your cholesterol level is too high and that you need to get it back down to healthy levels. This hub aims to give you plenty of information in order to enable you to do just that and quickly get your cholesterol level back to within safe limits.

Before we start it is important you know what levels are normal so that you know what you should be aiming for, and how far you have to go to achieve your goal. Cholesterol levels are measured in milligrams (mg) of cholesterol per deciliter (dL) of blood in the United States and some other countries. Canada and most European countries measure cholesterol in millimoles (mmol) per liter (L) of blood. Consider these guidelines when you get your cholesterol test results back to see if your cholesterol falls in optimal levels.

UK.

Below 5 mmol/L healthy total cholesterol

5 to 6,5 mmol/L slightly elevated total cholesterol

6,5 to 8 mmol/L elevated total cholesterol

Above 8 mmol/L strongly elevated total cholesterol

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US.

Below 180 - your blood cholesterol level is ideal

180-199 - your blood cholesterol level is acceptable

200-219 - your blood cholesterol level is borderline high

220 or higher - your blood cholesterol level is too high

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Please be aware that not all cholesterol is bad, and actually your body requires cholesterol in order to perform many essential functions such as helping your body to make Vitamin D, keeping water from leaving your body too fast, providing the basis of important hormones produced in your adrenal glands, ovaries and testes and helping your cells to build their protective membranes, protecting them from various substances. Very low cholesterol can actually produce serious health problems also.


Good and Bad Cholesterol

  • HDL cholesterol keeps cholesterol in a liquid state liquid and moves it safely through the body. It hangs on to the cholesterol, not letting it get loose and attach itself to your artery walls. In fact, HDL can grab on to and move cholesterol already stuck to your artery walls. This is why HDL cholesterol is often called "good" cholesterol.
  • LDL cholesterol is not beneficial. Oxidized LDL cholesterol can damage artery walls and set the stage for mineral and fat deposits which lead to arterial blockages.

Therefore achieving normal cholesterol levels by reducing your LDL cholesterol and increasing your HDL cholesterol is obviously the recommended way to keep your arteries healthy.

How To Lower Your Cholesterol Levels Through Diet.

The obvious way to lower your Cholesterol levels is through your diet, which is going to mean cutting out completely, or at least cutting down, on certain types of food, whilst at the same time consuming more of other healthier foods. The majority of cholesterol in the body is produced by the liver from certain nutrients and saturated fats. The liver makes all the cholesterol the body needs on its own. Because all animals can make their own cholesterol, additional cholesterol comes from eating animals and animal products. These products include meats, eggs,milk and foodstuffs made from them. This cholesterol is absorbed through the intestines and acts as a supplement to the cholesterol the liver produces. A diet high in saturated fat also increases cholesterol production. Therefore, consuming less dietary cholesterol and fats helps blood cholesterol levels in the body stay within a healthy range.

Foods to Avoid.

Beef

Pork

Shrimp

Alcohol

Chocolate

Butter

Whole Milk

Cheese

Egg Yolks

Fried Foods

Cookies

Ice Cream

Margarine

White Bread


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Foods to Eat More Of.

Avocados

Oatmeal (Porridge)

Cranberry Juice

Pomegranate Juice

Pulses

Green and Black Teas

Vegetables (ideally steamed)

Fruit

Whole Grains

Raw Carrot Sticks (for healthy snacks)

Walnuts

Almonds

Kidney Beans

Vegetable Oil

Pasta

Brussels Sprouts

Olive Oil

Tofu

Oat Bran

Wholemeal Bread

Peanut Oil or Low Fat Peanut Butter

Cottonseed Oil

Fish (such as salmon, tuna, lake trout, herring and mackerel, preferably baked or broiled rather than sauteed or deep-fried).


How To Lower Your Cholesterol Levels Through Exercise.

Whether you are overweight or not exercise can be beneficial in lowering your cholesterol levels. In fact it can help raise the level of the HDL (good cholesterol). Exercise stimulates enzymes that help move LDL from the blood (and blood-vessel walls) to the liver. From the liver the cholesterol is converted into bile (for digestion) or excreted. The more you exercise, the more LDL your body expels. Exercise increases the size of the protein particles that carry cholesterol through the blood. (The combination of protein particles and cholesterol are called "lipoproteins;" it's the LDLs that have been linked to heart disease). Small protein particles are more dangerous because they can squeeze into the linings of the heart and blood vessels where they will stick, so by enlarging these protein particles the health risks are reduced.

Vigorous exercise is more beneficial as it actually does help to lower the Cholesterol levels but even moderate exercise is useful as it appears to prevent cholesterol levels from rising.

Ideal Exercise Includes:

Brisk Walks

Swimming

Bike Riding

Take Up a Sport

Jogging

Using Exercise Machines

Dancing

Skipping

Rowing

How To Lower Your Cholesterol Levels With Drugs.

If all your dietary changes and increased exercise have failed to reduce your cholesterol level sufficiently after about six months your Doctor may well look at putting on to one of the many cholesterol lowering drugs now available on the market. These work by either reducing the amount of cholesterol your body absorbs from your food, or by reducing the amount of cholesterol your liver makes. These drugs should be used in conjunction with the lifestyle changes you have already made in terms of diet and exercise.

Some of the drugs used to lower your cholesterol level may be as follows:

HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors also called Statins, are the newest medications available to lower cholesterol.

Frequently used HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors include:


Atorvastatin (Lipitor)

Fluvastatin (Lescol)

Lovastatin (Mevacor)

Pravastatin (Pravachol)

Simvastatin (Zocor)

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Bile-acid sequestrants. These medications help to limit the liver's production of cholesterol.

Common bile-acid sequestrants include

Colestipol (Colestid)

Cholestyramine (Questran).

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Niacin.

This B vitamin is found in foods and in multi-vitamin supplements. In high doses, available by prescription, niacin lowers LDL (the bad cholesterol) and raises HDL (the good cholesterol).

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Zetia, (generic name-ezetimibe)

Zetia is a new drug recently released to lower cholesterol. Zetia works by minimising the amount of cholesterol absorbed through the intestines after eating. Zetia appears to effect both the bad LDL type cholesterol as well as the good HDL cholesterol by lowering the bad cholesterol and raising the good cholesterol. The overall body cholesterol is also lowered, as are the level of circulating fats (triglycerides) in the blood.

Zetia is commonly prescribed together with one of the statin cholesterol lowering drugs because this combination has a stronger impact on lowering the cholesterol.

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    • AnnaCia profile image

      AnnaCia 7 weeks ago

      Beautiful photos and graphics. A lot to learn.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
      Author

      Cindy Lawson 5 months ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Yikes Manuela, sounds like more drastic lifestyle changes need to be made other than just a low carb diet. Good luck, hope you can get it down quickly.

    • profile image

      Manuela 5 months ago

      Hi Cindy. Ive been on a low carb diet for 3 years now. Been doing good but just found out my cholesterol was at 227!

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
      Author

      Cindy Lawson 6 months ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thank you KUMAR

    • profile image

      KUMAR 6 months ago

      GOOD ARTICLE.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
      Author

      Cindy Lawson 6 months ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thank you Graham, that is high praise indeed :)

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 6 months ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Cindy. What a wonderfully informative hub. So well researched and your presentation is absolutely tip top. Without doubt one of the very best hubs on these pages. Your wonderful illustrations are brilliant Well done indeed.

      Graham.

    • Alan Suzi profile image

      fitnesshealths 15 months ago from California

      I love this. Great job

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
      Author

      Cindy Lawson 23 months ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Glad you enjoyed this and thanks for commenting fisioterapeutas.

    • fisioterapeutas profile image

      Antonio fisioterapeuta 23 months ago from Madrid

      how important information, thanks

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
      Author

      Cindy Lawson 3 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Sounds like you managed to sort it out Alan, and I am pleased to hear it.

      Cindy

    • profile image

      almorr 3 years ago

      My cholesterol was a bit on the high side when I was tested, however with the doctor giving me low dosage Statins which I have to take for ever and me now taking Skimmed milk and brown brown bread it is now a lot lower than it was. I exercise a lot and have a BMI of 24

      Alan

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
      Author

      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Delighted to be of help Di, and good luck with your cholesterol levels :)

    • profile image

      Di Hollow 2013 4 years ago

      Hello Misty,

      I just found out that my cholesterol total was high (219) and I needed to lower it. I was freaking out until I read your hub. Your hub puts me at ease because I now know the foods to avoid and the food that I should eat to help lower my cholesterol. Also the list of exercises was motivating and helpful too. Thanks so much for your help. With the wonderful information that you have shared I know I can lower my cholesterol . :-)

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
      Author

      Cindy Lawson 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks Abi, really pleased you have found the tips helpful. I am sure you are on the right track if you continue to follow them :)

    • profile image

      Abi 4 years ago

      Thanks for the info put so succinctly. I have used the advice here and my levels have gone down; not dramatically but still moving the right way. Thanks again.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
      Author

      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Sadly wine is still alcohol, but like they say, 'everything in moderation' so drink a healthy amount without pushing the boundaries and you should be fine (in combination with an otherwise healthy diet). Red wine is probably healthier than white due to the resveratrol content if you have to choose.

      https://hubpages.com/health/Can-Resveratrol-Make-Y...

      Generally speaking all alcohol is the same, and it is a myth to think wine is better than spirits etc.

    • profile image

      elleng 5 years ago

      Just clarifying - when you say to avoid "alcohol" I assume, given your lovely picture, that you do not mean wine? Is only red wine OK, if any, or is white OK too? Does "alcohol" include all types of alcoholic beverages?

      Thanks.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
      Author

      Cindy Lawson 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Hi MikeB1965, that is great news. I am really pleased that you are okay now and that as you said you 'are living proof this is spot on advise'.

      Keep up the good work :)

    • profile image

      MikeB1965 5 years ago

      Thanks for the excellent hub. I am living proof that this is spot on advise. I had a medical 6 weeks ago and had a cholesterol level of 6.9. Not hugely bad but a worry all the same. I did my own research which confirmed exactly as the blog says: what food groups to avoid and which to increase. For the last 6 weeks I have been eating a much healthier diet and drinking more water. Initially I missed the fatty stodge but that feeling soon goes away and it has just become a normal way of life now. Over the last 6 weeks I have lost weight and my cholesterol level is now at 4.7 I feel better physically and mentally, have more energy and sleep more soundly.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
      Author

      Cindy Lawson 6 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks Michael, that is great :)

    • profile image

      Michael 6 years ago

      hey, sorry for not responding sooner; I just read this. Here's the link http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com/

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
      Author

      Cindy Lawson 6 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      PS Michael, the link you suggested doesn't work and just leads to a general search page. Can you post the full link to the Chris Masterjohn Blog please? Thanks

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
      Author

      Cindy Lawson 6 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks Michael, I am grateful you have contributed to this article here, and am equally grateful you have read a few of my articles and are clearly a decent person. I am touched you care about my well-being and want to 'kick the crap' out of my ex LOL. Trust me, I feel the same way :) My research with regards to the Palm oil and Coconut oil must have been flawed at the time I wrote this article, so I have now removed them from the list. Thanks for pointing out this error :)

    • profile image

      Michael 6 years ago

      Hey from the U.S., I actually happened upon your blog on the Jersey vs Geurnsey milk and A2. I then read the ex-boyfreind stuff which made me feel physically ill as well as making want to just kick the crap out of this guy; anyways, regarding cholesterol, you are mistaken in a few ways. To start with, Coconut and Palm oil are actually extremely healthy. While they are technically Saturated fat, and 1/2 saturated-1/2 mono-unsaturated respectfully, the kind of saturated fat they contain is actually Medium chain fatty acid as opposed to short chain of other saturated fats, palm oil also contains one of the highest levels of Tocotrienols of any food. Instead of me rambling on a long list here I think you would benefit from the blog cholesterolandhealth. com - it is written by a molecular biology phd candidate (Chris Masterjohn) and every bit of information and argument is amply referenced and footnoted with the literature to back it up. Anyways, I wish you and your husband all the best and may God bless you and your family.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
      Author

      Cindy Lawson 6 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks for the comment and tip off Singular Investor. I shall remove that link. Cheers :)

    • Singular Investor profile image

      Singular Investor 6 years ago from Oxford

      Hey Misty - very informative hub but your 'French Paradox' clickbank link din't work :-)

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
      Author

      Cindy Lawson 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks GarnetBird, the information on your experience with Zetia is useful to others considering it too. I really hope you feel better soon.

    • GarnetBird profile image

      Gloria Siess 7 years ago from Wrightwood, California

      Zetia can cause horrific side effects. I am still sick, and I quit taking it 3 days ago. It caused severe burning pain in my lower body and fatique, not to mention chest pains. I found a site called Ask the Patient with so many complaints lodged against Zetia, it made me feel sad that my Doctor prescribed it so readily,when Lipitor had already given me nerve damage years ago. Good Hub--not many Doctors warn their patients about these side effects.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
      Author

      Cindy Lawson 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks Sage, I really hope this is useful to you and does lower your cholesterol count quickly. It should do if you follow the guidelines as closely as possible (within reason of course as you can't do and eat everything on the list).

    • Sage Williams profile image

      Sage Williams 7 years ago

      Wow! This is one of the best articles I have ever read in regards to lowering you cholesterol. Very informative with a ton of helpful hints. I struggle with high cholesterol and will be referring back to this hub.

      Thanks so much for all your information. Great job!

      Sage

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
      Author

      Cindy Lawson 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Cheers Ocbill, thanks for the comment. Avocado is okay as it is the "right" kind of cholesterol, so don't worry on that score.

    • ocbill profile image

      ocbill 7 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

      good stuff. I never knew chocolate and shrimp are high in cholesterol. At least I only ea them once in a while like a cheeseburger, avocado.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
      Author

      Cindy Lawson 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks Paradise, I hope you can put this information to good use :)

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Great hub to bookmark and save for frequent reference! Thanks!

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
      Author

      Cindy Lawson 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks Beautybaby, I hope this is helpful to your Sister. Let me know ho she gets on.

      Thanks Cojaq, I hope this info helps your gilfriend too.

    • cojaqmarketing profile image

      cojaqmarketing 7 years ago from Carmel, Indiana

      Going to share this with my girlfriend...she was recently told hers was high!

      Jeremy

    • profile image

      beautybabe 7 years ago

      Hi Misty,

      My sister has a big problem with high cholesterol. I will give her this information and I am sure she will be eternally grateful. Thanks for sharing all of this very useful information. It is very much appreciated. BB

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
      Author

      Cindy Lawson 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks VioletSun, I am certain these guidelines will help if you follow them :)

    • VioletSun profile image

      VioletSun 7 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      Cindy: I have bookmarked this hub, its so well written and informative, and visually appealing. I don't eat as much high fat foods these days, and if I do, its on occasion, as I lost 15 pounds over 5 months ago and want to keep my weight down, yet there is room for improvement in terms on nutrition.

      Thumbs up!

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
      Author

      Cindy Lawson 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks Quill, glad you enjoyed it :)

    • profile image

      "Quill" 7 years ago

      Great Hub Misty...its great information as we are all need to watch what we eat...

      http://yukonrolly.com/

      Many Blessings

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image
      Author

      Cindy Lawson 7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      LOL William, yes, you really must "do better" or I shall put you in detention.

    • William F. Torpey profile image

      William F Torpey 7 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      Good information, misty. Unfortunately, virtually everything you call "Foods to Avoid" make up 90 percent of my diet. No wonder my cholesterol is so high! I'll try to do better. Thanks.