Some of the most important tips to manage hyperlipidemia include the use of dietary fiber, salmon, olive oil, wine, nuts, soy, reducing saturated fats, increasing polyunsaturated fats, and exercising regularly, among others.
For extreme cases, or where cardiovascular function is already compromised, doctors recommend more aggressive treatment with statins and fibrates, as well as plant sterols, and this can be effective. However, these treatments can also have other undesirable side effects. If you want to reduce your serum lipid content and manage hyperlipidemia then cutting back on lipids and triglyceride-raising foods is key! There are plenty of ways to get you back on track to better health. Let’s take a closer look at these 15 tips to manage hyperlipidemia.
15 Tips to Manage Hyperlipidemia
- Dietary Fiber: One of the most common recommendations to manage high cholesterol and lipid-based conditions, like hyperlipidemia, is increased fiber intake. A great deal of research has shown that dietary fiber is able to help balance cholesterol levels in the body and boost heart health, in addition to regulating digestive processes. It can control the release and uptake of nutrients and body substances, like insulin, helping to prevent onset conditions of hyperlipidemia, such as diabetes.
- Olive Oil: The Mediterranean diet has long been praised as a wonderful way to improve heart health and balance cholesterol levels. Olive oil is rich in oleic acid, which can help to eliminate “bad cholesterol” from the bloodstream and protect from high-density lipoproteins accumulating in the arteries and blood vessels. This also prevents atherosclerosis and the likelihood of strokes.
- Salmon: Oily fish, like salmon and tuna, are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are the “good” type of lipid that your body actually needs. Cholesterol is not all bad, and your body actually needs a healthy balance to function properly. Ensuring that it comes from good sources like fish oil is a great way to manage hyperlipidemia or prevent it from developing in the first place.
- Wine: As it turns out, a glass of wine a day does keep the doctor away, in addition to lowering oxidative stress and the contributing factors of hyperlipidemia. Wine contains certain antioxidants and tannins that prevent accumulation of lipids in the body, and studies with wine added to a high-cholesterol diet showed a decrease in triglycerides and “bad” cholesterol.
- Nuts: Research studies have shown that a diet high in nuts resulted in generally lower LDL cholesterol levels in a six-month follow-up period for study subjects. Nuts in small portions, perhaps five times a week, also have dietary fiber, which cleanses the body and helps improve cholesterol balance.
- Soy: Decreasing your intake of red meat is a good way to lower your cholesterol and lipid levels, and soy is a perfect substitute. Soy has been shown to lower overall lipid serum profiles, thereby helping to manage and prevent hyperlipidemia.
- Less Saturated Fats: Saturated fats are the primary cause of hyperlipidemia, so eliminating them and trans fats from your diet is essential. That can be next to impossible, however, so cutting them down to under 10% of your total fat intake can help manage hyperlipidemia and prevent flare-ups and cardiovascular complication.
- More Polyunsaturated Fats: On the other hand, you want to increase your intake ofpolyunsaturated fats, which are the “good” types of cholesterol that are essential for the normal functioning of the body. Foods like soybean oil and sunflower oil are high in polyunsaturated fats, and can replace butter or other traditional cooking oils, for example.
- Regular Exercise: As with almost every health concern, proper exercise is a necessary complement to the right diet. By increasing your metabolism’s speed and efficiency, exercise can also help to prevent obesity and diabetes, which are both common precursors to hyperlipidemia.
- Stay Hydrated: Besides the normal importance of remaining hydrated for high functioning of the body and mind, remaining hydrated also helps to stimulate urination. This is the body’s easiest way of eliminating excess toxins, salts, fats, and water, so keeping your body free of toxins and excess “bad” fats is never a bad thing – so drink up!
- Green Tea: The catechins and other antioxidants in green tea have been proven highly effective at preventing chronic disease, improving metabolism, detoxifying the body, and closely related to lower levels of overall cholesterol. This is definitely good news for those who want to avoid hyperlipidemia, or keep it under control.
- Kefir: Although the research has been inconclusive, in traditional medicine, kefir has been used to lower cholesterol and improve overall heart health, effectively improving the lipid serum profile in animals and anecdotal patients. Studies are ongoing as to the exact pathway that this fermented milk drink.
- Psyllium: Numerous studies have now linked psyllium with lowering lipid profiles in the blood of men and women who are suffering from hyperlipidemia. The seeds of psyllium, which are often ground into a mucilage, are directly related with improving cardiovascular health.
- Less Dairy Products: By reducing your dairy intake, you can lower the total “bad” cholesterol being added to your diet. Drinking different kinds of beverages, like almond milk, is a great way to reverse the negative impact of dairy by adding those beneficial omega-3 fatty acids to your diet, rather than more saturated fats.
- Vegetables: This seems simple enough, but vegetables are some of the most basic and important dietary elements you can choose for hyperlipidemia. Vegetables tend to be rich in fiber, particularly cruciferous vegetables, which helps to balance cholesterol levels, and they are also low in fat, depending on how you prepare them, that is!