Cholesterol is a natural and necessary type of fat in your blood. However when there is too much cholesterol, it will lead to hardening of arteries. Hardened arteries lead to reduced blood flow to vital organs which can lead to heart attack, stroke, kidney failure and dementia.
The first step to lower cholesterol is through diet.
- Avoid animal fats, especially present in red meat & whole milk dairy products
Avoid “trans-fat” additives in processed foods. Labeled as “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil”
- Increase oats and whole grains in your diet
- Reduce sugar intake in drinks, candy and deserts
- Increase fiber rich foods: whole grains, beans, apples, pears
- Increase foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids: salmon, walnuts, flax seed
Additional steps to improve your artery health are
- Stop Smoking (the number one step to better health)
- Maintain proper weight
- Do some sustained activity (exercise) most days
- Limit alcohol use to seven drinks a week
If all else fails, despite what you may hear of read, taking medicine to lower your cholesterol is a safe and research proven way to prevent heart attacks and strokes.
If you have questions about your cholesterol or diet, please message your IMA Provider through the Patient Portal.
By: Dr. Roger Thompson