Cholesterol Reduction
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Name not given
Posted on: March 7, 1999

What herbs can I take, besides garlic, to help lower cholesterol? I’d like to get away from taking Zocor tablets.

Important basic recommendations for decreasing cholesterol level are:

* reduce the amount of saturated fat in the diet. Saturated fat is harmful since it raises the low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL).

* lose weight if there is any excess

* increase the amount of exercise you are getting

Diet recommendations:

* avoid all animal fats & dairy products - meats (ham, bacon, pork, steak), shell fish, milk (use skimmed), rich sauces, cream, eggs, cheese (cottage cheese is acceptable), ice cream, fried foods, pastry, custards, milk chocolate, alcohol, refined sugars, refined flour products, coconut. Many of these can be substituted with soy products

* acceptable foods are: white fish, lean meat, chicken, skimmed milk, tofu products, cottage cheese, plenty of fruits & fruit juices, raw green vegetables, salads.

* 2 - 3 fatty fish meals per week, fish oils will help lower total cholesterol & LDL levels

* Oats & bran lower cholesterol levels

* Studies have shown that soybeans reduce cholesterol levels

* 3 apples a day have been shown to reduce blood & liver cholesterol

* Olive oil reduces cholesterol. It is best used unheated, on vegetables and salads

Herbal Recommendations:

* Garlic reduces blood cholesterol. The best way to take garlic is by cutting a fresh clove into pill sized pieces & swallowing

* Fenugreek seeds lower cholesterol & help to digest fat. You can get these at a health food store. You can make a tea by crushing the seeds & simmer 15 minutes with 1 cup water per 1-2 teaspoons of seeds, or let the seeds soak overnight & simmer in the morning.

* Ginger, Cayenne and Turmeric are cholesterol lowering and improve blood circulation, so eating a curry with these herbs three times a week would be helpful.

If weight is a problem, or if you find it difficult to reduce the fat content of your diet, Dr. Dean Ornish’s "Eat More, Weigh Less", (Harper Collins Publishers) describes the basic philosophy behind a fat free diet and includes hundreds of delicious recipes.

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