NutritionFacts.org

cholesterol

A plant-based diet high in fiber appears to lower bad cholesterol (see here, here, here, here). The new USDA Dietary Guidelines (see also here, here, here, here) even recommend a more plant-based diet to lower cholesterol intake. Dr. Ornish has long promoted such a diet for its health benefits. Unfortunately, many doctors may not be aware of this essential life-saving information.

Cholesterol-lowering drugs, on the other hand, have been found to have some attendant health risks. The current standard for the optimal level of cholesterol may not be low enough; 75% of heart attack patients were in the optimal range (see also here, here). Recent data suggests that cholesterol levels can never be too low.

High cholesterol has been linked to the following: heart disease, lower back pain, erectile dysfunction in men (watermelon may be a helpful treatment for this problem), sexual dysfunction in women, and gallstones. Foods that appear to increase cholesterol include: meat (see also here, here), eggs & chicken (see also here, here, here, here, here, here), brains, fast food, coconut milk, coconut oil, cow’s milk, and coffee (although a paper filter will remove the compounds that raise cholesterol).

Foods that have been linked to lower cholesterol include: Ceylon cinnamon , kale, beans (see also here), Indian gooseberries (see also here), dried apples, red yeast rice (which contains the drug Lovastatin), alkaline water (which can be made by simply adding baking soda to tap water), avocadoes (see also here), nuts, almonds, oatmeal, flax seeds (see also here, here), kiwis, green tea, raisins, soy, and cocoa. Bowel movements, both in terms of food mass transit time and size, may be relevant to cholesterol levels because this is how cholesterol is flushed out of the body. Cholesterol-free sources of vitamin B-12 are fortified plant foods and supplements.

See also the related blog post: Amla: Indian gooseberries vs. cancer, diabetes, and cholesterol

Topic summary contributed by Denise.
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Watch videos about cholesterol

  • Raw Veggies Versus Cooked for Heart Disease
    Raw Veggies Versus Cooked for Heart Disease
    Fruit and vegetable consumption is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, but which is more protective, raw or cooked?
  • The Safer Cinnamon
    The Safer Cinnamon
    There are four common types of cinnamon: Vietnamese, Chinese (cassia), Indonesian, and Ceylon (true) cinnamon. Which is safest in terms of the level of coumarin, which may damage the liver at toxic...
  • Watermelon as Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction
    Watermelon as Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction
    Watermelon is a rich source of citrulline, which has been found to improve erection hardness in men with mild erectile dysfunction (impotence).
  • Cholesterol and Lower Back Pain
    Cholesterol and Lower Back Pain
    High cholesterol can lead to atherosclerosis in the vertebral arteries that nourish our spine and result in disc degeneration and lower back pain, a leading cause of disability.
  • Cholesterol and Female Sexual Dysfunction
    Cholesterol and Female Sexual Dysfunction
    The buildup of cholesterol in pelvic arteries can lead to sexual problems among both men and women via a similar pathway (erectile dysfunction).
  • Smoking Versus Kale Juice
    Smoking Versus Kale Juice
    The effect of kale juice on LDL and HDL cholesterol and the antioxidant capacity of the blood.
  • Soy Worth a Hill of Beans?
    Soy Worth a Hill of Beans?
    Are soybeans better than other types of beans for heart disease prevention, or does the soy industry just have more money and clout to tout?
  • Daily Source of Vitamin B12
    Daily Source of Vitamin B12
    Fortified foods such as some breakfast cereals and types of nutritional yeast can provide another cholesterol-free source of vitamin B12.
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