Registered dietician, Vivian Tiegen, often is asked what to eat to raise good cholesterol (HDL) and lower bad cholesterol (LDL). Her advice is to consume little high fat dairy products and red meat. Keep milk to 1% fat or preferably skim milk and try not to consume more than three egg yolks a week. Try to eat at least 10-20 grams of soluble fiber a day (the kind that comes from fruits, veggies, and legumes, whole grains) which helps reduce the bad (LDL) cholesterol. Also, increase the amount of nuts, fatty fish, and monounsaturated fat you eat. According to Benjamin Lewis, M.D and the Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at Columbia University, Cholesterol drugs were created to accompany a healthy lifestyle and diet, not replace it. He advises before trying medication, to alter your diet and engaging in some form of aerobic exercise. If that does not suffice, then talk to your doctor about medication therapy. According to Gerald Lemole, M.D. and associate medical director of Christiana Care Center for Heart and Vascular Health in Wilmington, Deleware, to lower your bad cholesterol (LDL) and raise your good cholesterol (HDL) before taking the medication route, try, for a minimum of six to eight weeks, a vegetarian diet with a lot of oatmeal and very little trans fats. Chris Conway, founder of healthyhumans.com takes the supplemental approach to cholesterol woes. She claims that red rice yeast is effective in treating bad cholesterol levels (high LDL) and omega-3 fish oils
reduce triglycerides. She also claims that niacin in the form of supplements helps to break down the bad fats found in the bloodstream. She warns though that there are possible side effects with these supplements and to be sure and take them under a physicians care. According to Dr. Roizen & Dr. Oz, who answer health Q & A questions for Readers Digest, what it really comes down to, especially for women, is that its not so much the total cholesterol number that counts, but more your ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol (AKA HDL Vs. LDL). Moderate exercise, even walking just 30 minutes can raise your HDL as much as any medication.