Do you wonder which is the best diet to reduce lipid levels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular events?
- There is no true consensus amongst health care practitioners on which individual foods or supplements make the most impact on cholesterol health. However….
- Almost all health care practitioners agree that a diet, which is diverse in the cholesterol-lowering components, is the best approach to lowering lipid levels.
- This is supported by a study, which compared three groups of hyperlipidemic adults (adults with high cholesterol). One group ate a diet in very low saturated fat with low fat dairy foods and whole wheat cereals, the next group ate the same diet but also took lovastatin (a lipid-lowering agent), and the third group ate a diet with diversified cholesterol lowering components which included a diet high in plant sterols, soy protein, viscous fibers and almonds.
- Findings showed all groups had some improvement in LDL however the group prescribed medication and the group with the diversified cholesterol lowering components showed significant improvement. There were NO significant differences in the effects between the group prescribed lipid-lowering medication to the group that ate the diversified diet. Therefore the conclusion is that a diversified diet is as effective as the medication (1).
- Eating a variety of the following foods and dietary supplements are considered helpful to improve lipid levels
- Flaxseed, flaxseed lignans and flaxseed oil
- Fish oil and Omega 3 fatty acids (fatty fish such as salmon)
- Red Yeast Rice (contains monacolin K which is the active ingredient in lipid-reducer lovastatin)
- Almonds alone or in combination with dark chocolate
- Walnuts, hazelnuts and other nuts (2)
- A Mediterranean style diet (known to include olive oil, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds and small to moderate amounts of fish, poultry and dairy products) is known to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Estrogen has a positive effect on cholesterol levels (3). Replacement has shown to decrease LDL and increase HDL. If you have started your Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) with us, you know what your cholesterol levels are because we discussed this at your consultation. With ongoing therapy and the discussed dietary changes, we expect your levels to improve!
- Effects of dietary portfolio of cholesterol-lowering foods vs. lovastatin on serum lipids and C-reactive protein. Jenkins DJ et al. JAMA 2003;290(4):502
- A possible effect of nut consumption on risk of coronary heart disease. The Adventist Health Study. Fraser GE, et al. Arch Intern Med. 1992; 152(7):1416
- Estrogen replacement therapy and the prevention of coronary heart disease in postmenopausal women. Contreras, I & Parra, D. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2000;57(21)
In my practice, I am committed to help you make healthy choices to achieve optimal health. If diet is an effective alternative to medicine or is found to be preventative to a medical condition, I will always promote it! Schedule a consultation today to discuss your health goals!
Kimberly Marshall FNP-C