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Food products to reduce cholesterol.

(44 Posts)
Redhead56 Tue 05-Jul-22 14:46:56

Has anyone had any of the so-called beneficial drinks etc to reduce cholesterol. Have they made a difference to your results that have been noted. Has there been any side effects from these products a lot of questions I know.
I am trying every way possible to reduce my cholesterol rather than taking tablets. My cholesterol is inherited according to our practice nurse. What I am basically asking is are these products worthwhile.

BlueSky Tue 05-Jul-22 14:58:46

If your high cholesterol is inherited, no amount to low fat dieting or eating cholesterol lowering food and drinks will help. It is one of those cases when you really need to take statins.

growstuff Tue 05-Jul-22 15:33:21

Do you know which of your blood lipid numbers is high? Historically, doctors have wanted to bring down LDL, but there's more emphasis now on triglycerides and HDL, especially the triglyceride/HDL ratio. The best way to improve the ratio is to exercise more and avoid refined carbs and sugary and high fat foods.

Oldbat1 Tue 05-Jul-22 15:43:26

I tried but as mine is familial then statins were the only option. Cholesterol level half what it was but still too high. I have no side effects from taking statins nor from thyroxine medication for under active thyroid.

growstuff Tue 05-Jul-22 15:53:14

An underactive thyroid is linked with high triglycerides and low HDL, so could be the underlying cause of your high cholesterol Oldbat.

GagaJo Tue 05-Jul-22 16:06:56

I use them. They made a difference. I like the yogurts and the yogurt drinks.

You can also buy plant sterol capsules. A lot cheaper I think.

shysal Tue 05-Jul-22 16:06:57

My cholesterol is at the upper end of normal. I eat a balanced diet containing only complex carbs rather than refined where possible, and include Flora Pro-activ spread which claims to lower cholesterol. I used to buy the skimmed milk from the same range but haven't seen it in Asda for ages, don't know whether it is still available elsewhere. Of course I have no idea whether it works or not.

V3ra Tue 05-Jul-22 16:33:38

I take plant sterols and flaxseed oil, both of which are supposed to help.
I don't know what my levels are but I've just had a full blood count and apparently everything's normal.

Oldbat1 Tue 05-Jul-22 16:34:55

growstuff

An underactive thyroid is linked with high triglycerides and low HDL, so could be the underlying cause of your high cholesterol Oldbat.

Thank you for that. Under active thyroid is Hashimotos and my blood is checked yearly. Gp when I asked about link to high cholesterol was dismissive but I haven’t seen a GP face to face for three years. Two years ago blood showed very low vit D which I was prescribed high level of for couple of months then advised just to buy over counter vit D to take every day.

V3ra Tue 05-Jul-22 16:36:27

As for carbohydrate foods, I only eat wholegrain breads, pasta and rice.

growstuff Tue 05-Jul-22 16:58:27

Oldbat I have high triglycerides and low HDL, despite normal overall cholesterol. In my case, it's linked to diabetes. GPs have always been quite dismissive about it, but I have a new GP, who told me my levels are a cause for concern. I've just had my thyroid tested (normal) to rule that out and she took the time to explain why she was doing the test.

Google "thyroid" and "triglycerides" and look at a couple of the mainstream (not cranky) websites for more details.

I already eat a relatively low carb diet, so my next step is to increase my exercise levels to try and mitigate against my insulin resistance. Insulin converts triglycerides into energy.

growstuff Tue 05-Jul-22 16:58:46

V3ra

As for carbohydrate foods, I only eat wholegrain breads, pasta and rice.

They're still carbs.

kissngate Tue 05-Jul-22 17:52:40

Had my cholesterol tested 4 mths ago and it was fine. However I am overweight around 22 lb over the BMI for my height. I eat oats, almonds, walnuts etc everyday for breakfast I believe these help lower cholesterol.

M0nica Tue 05-Jul-22 17:56:56

Redhead, before you take statins, askyour GP/Nurse 2 simple questions.
1) What is the probability of you having a heart attack/stroke in the next 10 years if you do not take statins
2) What is the probability of you having a heart attack/stroke in the next 10 years if you do take statins.

Like you I have genetically high cholestrol. When I asked the doctor these questions. The answer was that based on my age and good health, the difference statins would make to my chances of a stroke etc was very little, couple of % and if I do have a stroke or heart attack, it is far more likely to be one of lifes incidents - I am getting on for 80, rather than caused by npt taking statins.

The GP said I was the first person to ask these questions and she was quite disconerted to find that statins would actually have so little effect on my life expectancy.

Obviously this will vary from person to person and if you have underlying morbidities, that will affect the figures, but ask, get the figures and then with the information at your finger tips make your own decision.

growstuff Tue 05-Jul-22 18:05:07

kissngate

Had my cholesterol tested 4 mths ago and it was fine. However I am overweight around 22 lb over the BMI for my height. I eat oats, almonds, walnuts etc everyday for breakfast I believe these help lower cholesterol.

But they're also packed with calories! Eating too many calories causes triglycerides to increase and lowers HDL. Check your triglyceride/HDL ratio, which should ideally be below 2.

kissngate Tue 05-Jul-22 18:19:22

Growstuff- it was just under 2. I don't eat cake, biscuits, pastry, crisps, pasta, eat bread rarely and only eat meat occasionally mainly follow a Mediterranean diet with lots of fish. I'm overweight because I consume a lot dairy products and can't do much exercise due to an injury.

V3ra Tue 05-Jul-22 18:50:40

"V3ra

As for carbohydrate foods, I only eat wholegrain breads, pasta and rice.

They're still carbs."

Quite, and I do limit the amount. I was replying more to your comment about avoiding refined carbs 👍

BlueSky Tue 05-Jul-22 18:59:08

Agree with M0nica I had a similar conversation with the GP and she agreed.

growstuff Tue 05-Jul-22 23:56:58

kissngate

Growstuff- it was just under 2. I don't eat cake, biscuits, pastry, crisps, pasta, eat bread rarely and only eat meat occasionally mainly follow a Mediterranean diet with lots of fish. I'm overweight because I consume a lot dairy products and can't do much exercise due to an injury.

If your ratio is just below 2, it's only borderline high.

I'm finding this thread a bit difficult because I don't know which cholesterol figures people are talking about. Ideally, people should ask for a complete breakdown of total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, triglycerides and HDL/triglyceride ratio. Total cholesterol on its own isn't all that meaningful.

Redhead56 Wed 06-Jul-22 00:03:04

Thank you for the advice it is appreciated. I did reduce my cholesterol by eating more citrus fruits it went from 5.8 to 5.1 However the citrus ruined the enamel on my teeth!
Our practice nurse was surprised about the questions I asked similar to MOnica. I had a phone consultation with a doctor who said the decision about the medication is up to me.
I don't eat many fats or carbs my diet is considered healthy. I cook fresh food from scratch each day apart from Saturday it's a meal out or take out.
I grow salad veg and seasonal fruit. I eat omega rich foods I am not over weight and physically active even though I have arthritic joints.
I decided to try the cholesterol reducing foods. I have requested another test to see if there is a reduction in the figures. I told the nurse I will then decide about the medication if necessary. Thanks again.

growstuff Wed 06-Jul-22 00:03:33

Incidentally, the algorithm for risk changes as people get older because it's assumed that older people are more likely to die anyway. Taking statins is supposed to be about reducing long-term risk, but if people aren't that likely to live that long, there's little point in subjecting them to the known risks from statins. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but it's how the current thinking works. Currently, statins aren't advised for people over 75 without a medical history of diabetes and/or heart problems.

growstuff Wed 06-Jul-22 00:25:03

Redhead Ask for a full profile of your results, so you can make an informed decision.

M0nica Wed 06-Jul-22 07:28:59

I think GPs get incentivised to prescribe statins, so there is pressure on them to prescribe statins if your cholesterol is above a certain limit.

I was prescribed statins around the age of 75, even though I have no history of diabetes or heart disease, nor an obesity problem. As I said GPs are incentivised to prescribe them.

BlueSky Wed 06-Jul-22 08:42:22

I was prescribed (but didn’t take them) at 70 with no previous heart/diabetes, and was horrified to read in the leaflet “Not recommended for people over 70”! The fact they were prescribed by a young locum doctor rather than my usual GP didn’t help. Hence the conversation with my doctor and the decision not to take them.

Redhead56 Wed 06-Jul-22 09:03:14

I will be 66 this year no diabetes but I have had high blood pressure since going on the pill at 22. I was on a low pill but had to stop taking it a year later. I do take low dose beta blocker and sensible diet to control the high blood pressure.
I don’t usually take very well to medication apparently it’s my metabolism. I have been on every pain relief medication for arthritis but now take none as they caused kidney disease according to my doctor.
I think doctors are reps for drug companies as they seen to eager to give out tablets. This is why I am sceptical about going on more medication.