HomeArticlesIssue 7: Cholesterol reduction

Issue 7: Cholesterol reduction

Cholesterol numbers not where they should be? Roughly 29 million Americans are in the same boat. Check out our science-backed tips on lowering cholesterol without medication.

Edwina Clark, MS, RD, CSSD
2 mins
Elevated cholesterol is one of the most common issues among Elo members. And it's no surprise, really. Almost 29 million Americans have cholesterol levels above the normal range.
And cholesterol isn't just about total cholesterol. LDL, HDL, VLDL, and triglycerides levels all fall under the cholesterol umbrella and provide important insight into your metabolic health and heart disease risk.
If your cholesterol levels are normal now - great - but that doesn't mean they will stay there forever. Cholesterol levels tend to increase with age so solidifying healthy habits now can help you avoid wonky readings in the years to come.
Here are a couple of pieces on cholesterol worth reading...

1. 15 cholesterol-lowering foods, backed by science.

No single food will magically slash your cholesterol levels however, fatty fish, oats, barley, green tea, and dark chocolate (yes, dark chocolate!), might help bring your numbers down. 

2. Does eating keto lower cholesterol?

Studies on keto and cholesterol levels have yielded conflicting results. Some people benefit while others see their lipid levels rise on this very low carb, high-fat diet. 

3. High LDL? Plant sterols might help.

Research shows that consuming 2g/day of plant sterols - found in nuts, whole grains, sesame oil, and legumes - can lower LDL cholesterol by 8-10%.

4. Anti-inflammatory HDL: The new biomarker with big promise.

Emerging literature suggests that evaluating the anti-inflammatory capacity of HDL particles may be more helpful than looking at HDL quantity. 

5 tips for cholesterol control 

🍎 Eat enough soluble fiber. Soluble fiber binds cholesterol in the gut. Aim for 5-10g of soluble fiber per day to lower LDL (aka "bad" cholesterol). 
🥑 Choose the right fats. Go for plant-based fats such as olive oil, nuts, and seeds. Limit saturated fat intake from processed foods, butter, margarine, and fatty cuts of meat.
⚡️ Move often. Get 30-60 minutes of exercise most days of the week to bump up HDL (aka "good cholesterol"). Sprinkle in high-intensity activity for the biggest benefit. 
 🥗 Incorporate plant sterols. Aim for 2-3g/day plant sterols from fortified foods, sesame oil, nuts, and seeds, to help reduce total cholesterol and LDL levels. 
🌾 Eat minimally processed carbs. Choose mostly whole grains and limit refined carbohydrates. Swapping high GI carbs for low GI choices can lower triglyceride levels by 15-25%.
Disclaimer: The text, images, videos, and other media on this page are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended to treat, diagnose or replace personalized medical care. 
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