You cholesterol numbers can be greatly influenced by what you eat. Carrie Bloemers, a personal health advocate with Lee Health, says 25 percent of our cholesterol is produced by our diet. “Surprisingly, we’re now looking at things like sugar. A high intake of sugar can actually increase production of cholesterol. Cholesterol is actually integral to our health. It’s the back bone of many hormones and messengers in our body, so it’s vital to our health.”
Maintaining good cholesterol means eliminating certain foods from our diet, including high processed foods, sweets, and saturated fats. “Foods that you can add would be plant based foods high in fiber, your insoluble and soluble fiber comes with your vegetables, your fruits, some of your whole grains, so that can be helpful with lowering your cholesterol,” said Bloemers.
Managing stress, getting enough sleep, and increasing physical activity can also help improve your good cholesterol known as high density lipoprotein, or HDL. “When we look at increasing your HDL we are looking at your omega threes, your healthy fats, including olive oil, nuts, and seeds, avocado, fatty fresh water fish routinely in your diet,” said Bloemers.
Raising your HDL can help lower your bad cholesterol, known as low density lipoprotein, or LDL. “The LDL, the low density lipoprotein, those are known for being sticky so they might line the arteries and contribute to hardening of the arteries which can lead to heart disease,” said Bloemers.
Health experts say lifestyle changes, including a healthy diet, can help manage both good and bad cholesterol before patients experience any health problems.
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