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5 Foods to Improve Your Cholesterol Naturally

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Abnormal cholesterol levels are a main concern for the individuals we work with every day. We test for these cholesterol levels, we treat them naturally (with diet and supplements) and we fix the root of the problem. 

Luckily, there are many things you can do to begin to improve your cholesterol naturally. One of the most important things is your daily diet. We will be discussing the 5 best foods to normalize your cholesterol in this article. 

What can I do to optimize my cholesterol? 

There are many aspects of lipid management. Physical activity, stress reduction, detoxing, healing the gut, fasting and diet all play critical roles. However, one of the most important aspects is nutrition.

Nutrition must be geared at lowering inflammation, reducing oxidative stress, correcting insulin dysfunction and lowering blood sugar, in order to begin to correct cholesterol levels. 

The Paleo diet is the best for improving cholesterol levels. It is why we recommend Paleo nutrition to all of our cardiac patients. 

Top 5 foods to improve your cholesterol levels:

  1. Avocados
    • Avocados are one of the most heart-healthy foods. They are rich in good monounsaturated/ polyunsaturated fats, abundant in fiber and rich in minerals, vitamins and antioxidants that support optimal cholesterol levels.  A study compared a moderate fat diet to a moderate fat diet with one avocado per day. The researchers found that the moderate fat diet with one avocado per day resulted in a more favorable lipid profile, including increased reduction in ApoB and LDL particle number. Interestingly, only the diet which included a daily avocado resulted in a decrease in small, dense LDL (the harmful type of cholesterol).  
    • Try this Paleo recipe with avocado: Avocado chicken salad
  1. Aged black garlic
    • Aged black garlic, an ancient food, has potent cholesterol-lowering effects. Research has shown that aged black garlic can significantly lower levels of ApoB and can reduce cardiovascular risk in individuals with abnormal cholesterol levels. Due to the unique fermentation process of aged black garlic, black garlic is also rich in a sulfur-rich compound called s-allylcysteine, which helps to optimize cholesterol levels by affecting liver production of cholesterol. 
    • Try this Paleo recipe with aged black garlic: Black garlic sauce
  1. Wild-caught salmon
    • A higher intake of fatty fish (like salmon) is linked to higher ApoA-1 levels and lower ApoB levels, making it very cardioprotective. The science has shown that omega 3 fatty acids, including EPA/ DHA, can significantly lower ApoB and therefore could reduce atherosclerotic plaque progression. Research has also revealed that omega 3 fatty acids are effective in increasing reverse cholesterol transport, a mechanism for which the liver removes excess cholesterol from tissues. 
    • Try this Paleo recipe with salmon: Superfood baked salmon 
  1. Pasture-raised eggs
    • Pasture-raised eggs are rich in quality protein, micronutrients, omega 3 fatty acids and other cardiac nutrients like choline that protect the heart. One 2018 study found that a higher intake of eggs (at least three eggs per day) resulted in an increase in ApoA-1, which is cardioprotective and helps to reduce CVD risk. The study also found that dietary intake of cholesterol from eggs plays a role in regulating internal cholesterol synthesis, which helps to optimize all cholesterol levels. 
    • Try this Paleo recipe with eggs: Baked eggs with spring vegetables 
  1. Extra virgin olive oil
    • Olive oil is abundant in good fat and nutrients that benefit the heart. The fat content in olive oil can help to improve cholesterol, while the antioxidants can help to lower inflammation and oxidative stress (both of which further contribute to “bad” cholesterol). A 2011 study showed that a diet rich in olive oil could improve cholesterol levels, specifically by lowering ApoB, increasing ApoA-1 and improving the ApoB/ApoA-1 ratio. Research has also shown that the polyphenols in olive oil can prevent damage (“oxidation”) to cholesterol, reduce oxLDL and increase reverse cholesterol transport. 
    • Try this Paleo recipe with olive oil: Balsamic olive oil braised green beans

Supplements can also help to normalize cholesterol levels:

If you are concerned about your cholesterol levels, we first always recommend advanced cholesterol testing. We believe in testing, not guessing. Know your levels of ApoB, ApoA-1, your ratio, know your level of oxLDL and then treat accordingly. The following supplements are very effective in targeting your cholesterol and improving your cholesterol markers. 

  1. Omega DHA
    •  3-4 caps per day with food
    • Omega 3’s, including EPA and DHA, have been shown to help normalize cholesterol levels. This is our high-dose fish oil aimed at targeting and optimizing your cholesterol markers. 
  2. Optilipid
    • 1 cap 2x per day 
    • Optilipid contains key nutrients to control cholesterol levels and bring them to optimal levels. It is our favorite go-to for correcting cholesterol, lowering inflammation and protecting the heart.
  3. Garlic Force
    • 1-2 tabs per day with meals. 
    • Garlic is helpful in improving cholesterol markers. If you aren’t getting enough in your diet daily, consider adding in this supplement for further support. 

If you have questions about testing, diet or supplements, always feel free to schedule a free health coaching consult here

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