Elevated blood lipids have usually no symptoms in themselves, but in the long term can lead to diseases. High cholesterol is treated primarily in two ways: through lifestyle changes or medication. Here are some tips for those who primarily focus on the former. A good diet affect your cholesterol and may also reduce other risk factors for cardiovascular diseases such as obesity and high blood pressure.
My Canadian Pharmacy defines high cholesterol
Cholesterol is a vital substance. It is a necessary building block of every cell in your body. It is is required in particular to build up and stabilize cell membranes, the surrounding shell that protects all your cells. In addition, cholesterol is the building block for all your steroid hormones, such as sex hormones testosterone and estrogen. Maybe that explains why cholesterol-lowering medication, on average, have been shown to significantly worsen sex life (more about this and drugs improving sexual function can be found here).
Cholesterol can be transported in the blood, to access the cells in need. The transport takes place in special “package”, with names such as LDL (‘bad cholesterol’) and HDL (‘good cholesterol’). High cholesterol in the blood can be statistically involve a slightly increased risk of heart disease. But it depends very much on. A high level of ‘good’ cholesterol, HDL, on the contrary, considerably lessens risk of heart disease.
High cholesterol – to medicate or to use food as medicine?
One should be aware that some have high cholesterol due to heredity and some get high cholesterol because of unhealthy habits. Through lifestyle changes patients can independently affect their health in a very positive way.
We at Canadian Pharmacy www.mycanadianpharmacyrx.com think that you are going just right when you want to influence your cholesterol through diet rather than taking medicine, although this is up to your physician to decide (we will discuss the options offered by pharmaceutical industry later on in the article). You will also find, to your delight, that anti-cholesterol diet is not at all too restrictive and is even gratifying.
Several studies have shown that dietary changes can bring big changes in cholesterol, sometimes as large as cholesterol-lowering medications. Moreover, even blood pressure, weight and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease are affected favorably by these dietary changes.
In a recent research it has been vividly demonstrated that the saturated animal fats that were previously banned and considered cholesterol-raising are not the most violent culprits! You can safely eat wild meat, fried in real butter, eat cheese and cream sauces, too. But (you knew this was coming), it is the fast carbohydrates that must be removed. Studies have shown that a high intake of refined carbohydrates can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, compared with a high intake of whole grains. Pumping up on the content of complex carbohydrates in your diet is good, because it usually means that refined carbohydrates are avoided.
Culprits you should ban from your eating plan
Trans fats / hydrogenated fats / margarine, processed foods and fast foods, low fat spreads, fast carbohydrates (one of the worst culprits) white bread, cakes, pastries, soft drinks, white pasta, white rice, candy, sugar, etc., Pull down on coffee – 1-2 cups / day should be fine though.
Abstain from alcohol during the time you are going to lower cholesterol and stick to moderate drinking after the treatment course.
Foods to bring down cholesterol
Dark bread, whole grains, etc., a lot of fruits and vegetables, wild game meat and white meat, organic butter, cream, cheese (preferably from sheep or goat if possible).
Olive oil (1 tbsp / day happily on the salad or for cooking – equal parts butter and olive oil) is one of the healthiest fats that there is. Incorporate more oily fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, kippers in your diet, just don’t go for the smoked versions of it.
Oatmeal with 2 teaspoons of psyllium, soy milk, vegetarian soy products will work fine for breakfast.
Oily fish – as well as lean fish and shellfish, but in larger quantities – contains long-chain omega-3 fatty acids that are particularly effective against high cholesterol. Even polyunsaturated fat found primarily in fatty foods from plant sources can help to improve blood lipid values. Including fats from fish and plants not only lowers LDL cholesterol, but it can also increase the amount of healthy HDL cholesterol relative to total cholesterol. Nuts, whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables also contain phytochemicals such as plant sterols and polyphenols, which may contribute to the beneficial effects on cholesterol, blood pressure and blood clotting. Oats, barley, flaxseed and psyllium seeds are particularly rich in soluble fiber that has been shown to lower cholesterol effectively. Including very unrefined foods from the plant kingdom also gives you minerals like potassium and magnesium, which can help lower blood pressure. Even dark chocolate (preferably> 75% cocoa content) is reported to be positive for blood pressure.
Choosing the right cold-pressed oils especially refined oils are beneficial for the reason that the oils naturally contain polyphenols which among other things may have antioxidant properties, as well as other antioxidants such as beta carotene and chlorophyll. When cold-pressed olive oil is compared with refined olive oil has, for example, found that oxidized LDL decreased more by consumption of cold-pressed, polyphenol-enriched oil. Some researchers believe that it is precisely oxidized LDL that increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and not necessarily “normal” LDL.
To summarize dietary advice, eat plenty of:
- fish (especially fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, herring and trout);
- cold-pressed rapeseed and olive oil; fatty foods from plant sources such as nuts, seeds, avocados and olives;
- oats (oatmeal, oat bran, oats) and barley (food grain, barley) and dark chocolate (at least 75% cocoa content),
- fruits and vegetables and choose whole grains (100% whole grain) instead of refined grains.
- low-fat dairy products. You do not need to eat light products with additives just because you choose lean.
You can greatly enrich the low-fat dairy products with some cold pressed oil if you want to get a fuller flavor of the sauces and the like. Replacing your piece of meat by soy products and other legumes now and then can also be beneficial. Eggs contain a lot of nutrients so it is a shame to miss out on them, and you can eat an egg a day if you wish, although it contains a lot of cholesterol. The body itself produces a certain amount of cholesterol (equalling approximately 3 eggs) and is adjusted for intake from food in healthy amount.
Below Canadian Pharmacy dieticians will give some suggestions on how your new diet might look like in practice. Add salt to you are satisfied with the taste of the different dishes, but be aware that much potassium can raise blood pressure.
Oatmeal in half a decilitre oatmeal plus a half deciliter oat bran, skim milk, sunflower or pumpkin seeds and berries, fruit or dried fruit (unsweetened). Alternatives to oatmeal porridge can be plain yoghurt with basic müsli and a half deciliter of oat bran plus seeds and fruit. Follow with a large cup of green tea. Should you wish a bigger breakfast, you can include a sandwich on 100% whole wheat bread, preferably whole grains, and one of the following toppings such as: caviar (with or without eggs), mayonnaise with tuna or eggs, mackerel in tomato sauce, herring (with or without eggs), mashed beans with olive oil topped with a slice of tomato or avocado with lemon and chopped onion.
If you increase your consumption of the proposed food properly, it is a great probability that your cholesterol levels will improve. To be on the safe side, you should regularly check your values with your doctor. In addition to dietary advice is good for both cholesterol and blood pressure to increase the amount of physical activity and try to lose weight if you are overweight.
Lunch and dinner suggestions for lower cholesterol
At lunchtime and for the last meal of the day, salmon with salad of food grain, leeks, peppers, olives, toasted almonds, rape oil and vinegar plus possibly a cold sauce on light cottage cheese, cold-pressed oil and plenty of fresh or frozen basil. The sauce may well be flavored with a little Dijon mustard and vinegar or lemon to make a mayonnaise-like taste.
Savour it with a salad of cooked beets, spinach / arugula, red onion, roasted walnuts, cold-pressed olive oil and balsamic vinegar with a piece of grilled chicken added.
Quinoa or brown rice into a pot of chickpeas, mushrooms, cauliflower, crushed tomatoes and a little coconut milk plus lots of lovely spices. For a decent raw vegetable salad with a dressing of cold pressed rapeseed oil and vinegar.
Aroma-rich and easy soup of red lentils, onions and sweet potato or regular potatoes. Gets plenty of the little mixed and flavored with cold-pressed oil. As an accessory, it can be nice with a dollop of cold sauce in the style of the salmon, in the first lunch / dinner proposal.
Dessert ideas for people with high cholesterol
A few pieces of good dark chocolate and a cup of green tea. Fruit baked with grated dark chocolate and crushed nuts and a click of low-fat fresh cheese sweetened with honey. This dessert can also be eaten as a cold fruit salad. Pour over a little fruit juice.
Frozen banana slices mixed in the food processor is a good alternative to ice cream that ideally flavored with cocoa, nuts and / or frozen berries. (Should be eaten immediately because it melts quickly.)
Mint Chocolate Milkshake on the frozen banana slices mixed with skim milk, dates, cocoa and a drop of peppermint oil. Peppermint oil can be purchased at the pharmacy. Remember that a small drop gives strong flavor so happy to share it by diluting it in a teaspoon of milk.
Cholesterol-lowering snack idea
In between meals, opt for natural nuts, preferably mixed with unsweetened dried fruit (apricots, figs, raisins and dates are often unsweetened). In your case, dried apricots and figs are more appropriate because they contain carbohydrates that are slower than raisins and dates. Other good snacks are fresh fruits, vegetables or a sandwich (see breakfast suggestions). Sometime during the day, happy to drink a large glass of psyllium seeds soaked. You can, for example, allow two tablespoons of seeds to soak in a large glass of water overnight, so that you can drink it first thing when you wake up. Many believe, however, that the mixture is an unpleasant slimy texture and prefer not to drink it all at once.
My Canadian Pharmacy Rx cholesterol toolbox
We have already mentioned that if your physician’s ruling is that you start receiving cholesterol drugs, this is what you should by all means abide by. To give you a general idea as for the pharmaceutically available options for cholesterol lowering, here is the nitty-gritty on anti-cholesterol squad.
It does not necessarily have to be statins or other chemically formulated meds; in some cases, supplementing on vitamin B3 (niacin) with a drug called Niaspan or Omega-3 (fish oil capsules) with an OTC solution like Lovaza will get you all set. These drugs are prescribed for high triglycerides that are associated with HDL, or ‘bad’ cholesterol, levels.
A step-up from there is the class of drugs called sequestrants, or bile acid-binding drugs. Their function is drawn to hitching up the level of bile excretion and binding to its molecules, creating new chemicals in the intestine that prevent cholesterol from absorption. This is the very first of anti-cholesterol drugs in the history of pharmacology. These first-gen medicines are very moderate in action, with very few side effects. They are normally prescribed as a first-line defence for individuals with insignificantly elevated cholesterol levels. Questran and Questran Light (cholestyramine), Welchol (cholesevelam), Colestid (colestipole) are some of the drugs in this category.
Statins are the most commonly prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs. Statins are produced by many manufacturers and have different names, the most common is Simvastatin. Nearly all medicines have side effects and the risk must always be weighed against the benefits. Statins tend to work well for most people. Studies have shown that statins can reduce the risk of, for example, heart attack and stroke in a higher degree than the other drug groups. There is also evidence that statin therapy can reduce overall mortality slightly.
If you do not get sufficient effect of statins can get another type of blood fat-lowering medicines instead, or you can get combining a statin with another drug. The same applies if you get side effects of statins. Combining drugs may be an option instead of taking a very high dose of a statin. Another option is to switch from one statin to another, you might tolerate better.
Sometimes it is not a suitable statin treatment. It can be if you can not tolerate statins or if you have certain types of lipid disorders. For example, you can get fibrates if you have high levels of triglycerides. Resins usually used in hereditary forms of lipid disorders.
Aggrenox and Vytorin are combination therapy drugs with double effect, addressing the problem of blood’s stiff consistency caused by excessive aggregation of blood platelets and reducing inflammation in the body.
A hypercholesterolemia in the advanced stages calls for medicating with pharmaceutical products from the class of drugs called fibrates, or fibric acid derivatives. This class is represented by Tricor (fenofibrate). Drugs from this class have little effect on the levels of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol, that is why is is a common medical practice to appoint fibrates in conjunction with statins.
Lipitor and Crestor are the two heavyweights of cholesterol therapy. Both of them are statins, and they are used to address the problem of excessive levels of triglycerides which are, however, below the mark of 1000 mg/dl.
Coumadin (warfarin) is appointed in patients with significantly elevated blood-clotting tendency. Its main medicinal component is a blood-thinning agent that helps treat and prevent such complications of hypercholesterolemia as embolism, thrombosis and, consequently, stroke and myocardial infarction.
All medicines may cause side effects. Some have side effects of a drug treatment, others do not. Sometimes reduces side effects after some time. If you have troublesome side effects you should contact your doctor. The dose may need to be modified or you can get to try a different medication or perhaps a completely different type of treatment.
Canadian Pharmacy Dieticans – www.mycanadianpharmacyrx.com