High Cholesterol

Cholesterol is an essential component for every cell membrane in the body and is also required for the synthesis of hormones and protection of the nerve fibres. It can be either introduced into the body from dietary sources (exogenous) and also manufactured (endogenous) within the body. It is needed in the digestive system to breakdown fats, lipids and oil from foods. About 30% of the body’s cholesterol content is derived from dietary sources although it is actually not necessary to consume it in the diet as enough is produced within the body. Your bodies levels of Cholesterol can be taken from a blood test and healthy levels are approximately <3.5mmol/ litre for LDL (low density lipoproteins) and >1mmol/ litre. for HDL (high density lipoproteins)

High cholesterol levels in the body are an indicator for an increased risk of developing heart disease, and not a disease in itself.

Deciding when cholesterol levels are an health issue and when to treat these levels can be based on two factors: lipid levels (total cholesterol, LDL, and HDL,) and the presence of additional risk factors, as follows.

  • cigarette smoking
  • diabetes
  • hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • low HDL cholesterol
  • family history of premature heart disease


  • All grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables are void of cholesterol.
  • Increase fibre: certain forms of fibre such as oat bran, slipperyelm powder, flax seed and psyllium seeds encourage cholesterolexcretion.
  • Eat mainly a vegetarian diet with plenty of grains, fruits and vegetables.  Reduce the amount of animal fats consumed.
  • Apple pectin has an affinity to cholesterol, it binds to it andfacilitates the excretion of it.  Grate an apple onto your porridge inthe morning.
  • Garlic, Ginger and Onions should be used as much as possible incooking as it can reduce blood cholesterol and triglycerides.
  • Reducing saturated fats (oils) and transfatty acids, refinedcarbohydrates and sugar. 95% of the average daily consumption oftrans-fatty acids is in the form of partially-hydrogenated vegetableoil products such as easy-spread butters, margarine (which contains20% trans-fatty acids) and vegetable shortenings.  Trans-fatty acidsare hidden in many processed foods that use partially-hydrogenatedvegetable oils in their manufacture (e.g. doughnuts, biscuits).  Mostcommercial dietary oils have been subjected to partial-hydrogenationand therefore contain large amounts of trans-fatty acids.
  • Avoid fried and fatty foods.
  • Increase Omega 3 essential fatty acids in the form of deep sea oilyfish (Salmon, Snapper, Mackeral, Anchovies, Cod, Sardines, Halibut).
  • Decrease Omega 6 such as Corn oil, Safflower oil, vegetable shortenings, margarine, processed foods, tinned foods.
  • Lose weight if necessary, exercise regularly and manage stress.
  • Reduce alcohol intake.
  • Manage stress as it alone can make quite a significant impact on cholesterol.
  • Psyllium (a type of mucilage) lowers total serum cholesterol levelsby up to 15% by inhibiting the absorption of dietary Cholesterol.
  • Use antioxidants such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, CoQ10 and a B Complexformulation.  These offer a counter attack to the damage caused by freeradical activity on the artery wall. Free radicals can damage bloodvessel walls long before blockages develop in the coronary arteries.
  • Achieve your ideal body weight, not only will you look and feelbetter, but you will reduce your risk of heart disease andother  serious health problems.  If you need help in this area, yourpractitioner is able to help you with a sensible approach to weightloss.
  • Always use cold pressed oils such as Virgin Olive Oil.
  • Lecithin sprinkled on your food, cereal, in a smoothie helps toemulsify fats, lipids and oils and the break down of cholesterol in thedigestion.
  • Avoid processed and refined foods
  • Herbal treatment of high cholesterol focuses on liver health:  Herbssuch as Globe Artichoke, Golden Seal, Dandelion and Milk Thistlesupport and protect liver function and are indicated for the treatmentof cholesterol.  Bitter herbal preparations such as Dandelion Root tea are also traditionally used to support liver function.
  • Herbal teas which increase liver detoxification and cholesterol elimination – Dandelion Root, Chicory, Burdock
  • The scientific and medical evidence in support of vitamins isincreasing and much of this information is covered in the book, Highway to heart health:antioxidants and you written by RossWalker.  His program is based on fresh foods which are rich inantioxidants and similar to those found in the traditionalMediterranean diet, plus extra doses of vitamins, extra virgin oliveoil, green tea, fruit and vegetables, red wine and supplements ofVitamin C, Vitamin E and a B Complex.
  • Stop smoking if you are a smoker and manage stress levels.
  • Start each day with a half a lemon squeezed into some warm waterfirst thing in the morning.  This stimulates liver and gall bladderfunction, cleanses the bowel and primes digestion for the day.


It is beneficial to reduce dietary sources of cholesterol andsaturated fats to 20-30% of your overall calorie intake.  This involvesavoiding animal fats (meat and full-fat dairy products), increasingfish in your diet, and eating more fruits, vegetables, and grains,which are cholesterol-free, virtually fat-free, and rich in fibre.

Below is a list of foods and the amount of Cholesterol they contain (mg of Cholesterol per 100 grams).

Dairy Products:
Butter  240               Cream Cheese  103              Ice Cream  45

Cream  109              Cottage Cheese  15               Milk  33

Yogurt  12.2             Parmesan Cheese 68           Cheese  115

Ricotta  124            Feta Cheese  52                     Swiss Cheese  32

Dietary Oils:
Peanut Oil  13         Coconut Oil  12

Eggs – Chicken  550     Egg – Yolk  1,500

Lard  95          Margarine  80

Brain – Sheep  2,200   Beef  65                 Kidneys – Sheep  375

Liver – Sheep  300      Leg of Lamb  98     Chicken  60

Pork  65                       Heart  150            Mutton  65

Veal  90                       Bacon  225           Turkey (leg)  75

Shoulder Ham  82       Spare Ribs  65     Lamb Chops  107

Sausages  52              Corn Beef  62       Steak 79

Round Steak  75         T-Bone Steak  93  Venison  127

Oysters  50              Caviar  300          Lobster  200                  Shrimp  125
Crab  125                 Cod  50                 Salmon  35                       Herring  90
Snapper  Nil           Trout  60                Tuna  63


Breakfast ideas

  • oat porridge with yoghurt, LSA (linseed,sunflower and almond meal) and fresh fruit such as grated apple, banana or berries.
  • sourdough toast with avocado, tomato and tahini
  • sourdough toast with jam (no butter)
  • raw muesli, fresh fruit (banana or berries) with small dallop of yoghurt or milk
  • start each day with a small glass of warm water with 1/2 lemon squeezed into it
  • fruit smoothie – add your favorite frozen fruit to some ice, milk,nuts and add honey and cinnamon.  If you want to be adventurous andhealthy add some spirulina or flaxseed oil.
  • fruit frappe – add your favorite frozen fruit to some ice and blend.
  • Free-range egg omelette on wholemeal toast; grilled tomato and mushroom
  • Wholemeal toast with baked beans (no butter)

Lunch ideas

  • make a nice green salad using bitter greens such as rocket, kale, endive and raddichio lettuces with tuna in brine
  • rice or corn crackers with green salad, red onion, tomato, avocado and salmon (no mayonnaise)
  • sushi
  • Wholemeal sandwich/roll with turkey & salad
  • Rice cakes with cottage cheese & grated carrot
  • Wholemeal sandwich/roll with skinless chicken, beetroot, tomato and lettuce.

Dinner ideas

  • home made minestrone soup, chicken and vegetable soup with barley, pumpkin soup or miso soup
  • Chickpea and vegetable curry and rice ( no coconut milk)
  • Roast vegetable salad with grilled chicken breast
  • Couscous salad with roast vegetables & marinated lamb fillets
  • Fresh cod cutlet grilled with steamed vegetables
  • Pasta with skinless chicken & vegetables (avoid creamy sauces)
  • Salmon & vegetable patties with garden salad
  • Grilled perch and garden salad

Snack ideas

  • fruit or fruit salad
  • nuts and seeds
  • Chopped carrot, celery, cucumber with hummus, eggplant dip or cottage cheese