~ Health Advice from PMGH – High Cholesterol – Part 3 of 3 ~

Work with your doctor to determine your risk and the best approach to managing your cholesterol level. In all cases, lifestyle changes are important to reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. For some people, diet and lifestyle changes are not enough. High blood cholesterol levels often have a genetic component. Some people inherit altered genes that cause high cholesterol, and this cannot usually be changed sufficiently by lifestyle or diet. If you are at risk of coronary heart disease and your LDL cholesterol level doesn’t drop after scrupulous attention to diet, your doctor may recommend medications to force your blood LDL levels down.  However, diet and exercise will still be important, even if you are taking medication.
Top Foods To Lower Cholesterol –
Oatmeal, Oat Bran and High-fiber Foods – Oatmeal contains soluble fiber, which reduces your low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the “bad” cholesterol.
Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Eating fatty fish can be heart-healthy because of its high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce your blood pressure and risk of developing blood clots.
Walnuts, Almonds and Other nuts – Walnuts, almonds and other tree nuts can improve blood cholesterol. Rich in mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids, walnuts also help keep blood vessels healthy. Eating about a handful a day of most nuts, such as almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, some pine nuts, pistachio nuts and walnuts, may reduce your risk of heart disease.
Avocados – Avocados are a potent source of nutrients as well as monounsaturated fatty acids. According to a recent study, adding an avocado a day to a heart-healthy diet can help improve LDL levels in people who are overweight or obese.
Olive Oil – Another good source of MUFAs is olive oil. Try using about two tablespoons of olive oil a day in place of other fats in your diet to get its heart-healthy benefits.
Tip – Talk with your doctor about assessing your risk for a heart attack or stroke. Cholesterol levels are an important factor in estimating your personal risk.
Remember – The best starting point for a healthy diet is to eat a wide variety of foods from each of the five food groups, which helps maintain a healthy diet, and provides a range of different nutrients for the body which can reduce the risk of disease.