High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips
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Too much cholesterol can block your blood vessels. It makes you more likely to have heart problems or a stroke. There are several known ways to lower your cholesterol, with some studies suggesting the consumption of certain foods and drinks.
Lingzhi, also known as reishi, is a type of mushroom often lauded for their alleged medicinal properties.
One 12-week study of 26 people showed that reishi mushroom may increase “good” HDL cholesterol and decrease triglycerides, according to a study published in PubMed.gov, the online journal.
In the study patients received 1·44 g Lingzhi daily or matching placebo in a randomised, double-blind assessment.
Body weight, blood pressure and antioxidant status were measured.
What is known as “good cholesterol” is called HDL, and makes you less likely to have heart problems or a stroke.
Whereas “bad cholesterol” is called LDL and non-HDL, and makes you more likely to have heart problems or a stroke.
Triglyceride levels should also be measured when you have a cholesterol test as they can also contribute to your risk of developing heart disease, and other diseases of the heart and blood vessels.
In this study researchers said triacylglycerols decreased and HDL cholesterol increased with Lingzhi, but not with placebo in the first treatment period.
“Results indicate that Lingzhi might have mild antidiabetic effects and potentially improve the dyslipidaemia of diabetes, as shown previously in some animal studies,” the researchers noted.
Nonetheless, evaluable subjects showed no changes in BMI or blood pressure when treated with Lingzhi or placebo.
There are many established ways to potentially lower your bad cholesterol levels.
These include eating a healthy diet and doing regular exercise, according to the NHS.
If your GP has advised you to change your diet to reduce your blood cholesterol, the most important thing to do is to cut down on saturated fat.
It’s also a good idea to increase your intake of fruit, vegetables and fibre, the health body states.
Doing 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every week can improve your cholesterol levels.
Moderate aerobic activity means you raise your heart rate and break a sweat.
Reducing the total amount of fat in your diet can also help reduce your risk of heart disease.
For most other people, the first way to tackle high cholesterol is by making changes to your diet and getting more active.
Nonetheless, statins are medicines that can help lower your cholesterol.
They’re usually offered to people who have been diagnosed with coronary heart disease or another cardiovascular disease.
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