Cholesterol levels lowering in US: 5 foods to help keep it low

heart healthy food

A study recently published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology revealed that levels of LDL (low-density lipoproteins, or the “bad cholesterol”) are trending lower in the United States.

The study attributes the decreased levels to a change in treatment guidelines recommended by the American College of Cardiologists and American Heart Association in 2013.

As a result, cholesterol levels in adults taking cholesterol-lowering medications have decreased from 122 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter) in 2005-2006 to 101 mg/dL in 2015-2016.

What’s a healthy cholesterol level?


A high level of LDL cholesterol is a significant risk factor in the development of heart disease, as it’s cholesterol that can lead to build-ups in the arteries.

A health cholesterol level is considered below 100 mg/dL.

100 – 129 mg/dL is acceptable in those people who do not have other health conditions.
130 – 159 mg/dL is bordering on high and should be discussed with a physician.
160 – 189 mg/dL is high and those with this elevated level should see their physician to begin taking steps to lower it.

5 foods to help keep cholesterol low


Diet plays a very important role in one’s cholesterol level – both in raising it, and as an aid to help lower it and maintain a healthy level. Here are some common types of food that play a role in the body’s cholesterol level.

Less saturated fats
These can be found in red meats and full-fat dairy products.

No trans fats
A nutrition label might list these as “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, and it’s often found in margarines and most manufactured baked goods.

More omega-3s
Many types of fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids as well as walnuts and flaxseeds.

More soluble fibers
These are found in many fruits (apples, pears, strawberry, citrus), oats and beans.

Try whey
A safe byproduct from the production of milk and other dairy products, whey is most commonly found and consumed in powder form and mixed into a health shake.

Additionally, keeping a regular exercise routine can help maintain a healthy level of the “good” high-density lipoprotein cholesterol.

 

Are you in need of a primary care physician?

Schedule an appointment online with a McLaren Macomb family physician.

Click here

What’s your risk for heart disease?

Learn more about McLaren Macomb’s $50 7-test program to determine your risk.

Click here