Lowering high cholesterol may be easier than you think. I am not big on the word "diet" but making a change in the type of fat we eat, would be the easiest and cheapest way to start the process of lowering the sludge level in your blood. Low-density lipoprotein or LDL can signal medical problems like cardiovascular disease, it is sometimes called "bad cholesterol, As opposed to high-density lipoprotein or HDL, which is frequently referred to as "good cholesterol" or "healthy cholesterol".
The secret for lowering high cholesterol, is to replace the saturated fat in your diet with unsaturated fat and not increase your calorie intake, while increasing your exercise.Olive oil used in the Mediterranean diet and using the Mediterranean food pyramid are being suggested by the Medical community as being very effective for substituting the bad fat for the good fat.
The FDA has granted the following health claim for olive oil. "Limited and not conclusive scientific evidence suggests that eating about 2 tablespoons (23 grams) of olive oil daily may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease due to the monounsaturated fat in olive oil. To achieve this possible benefit, olive oil is to replace a similar amount of saturated fat and not increase the total number of calories you eat in a day."
Olive oil has climbed to the top of the health heap owing to the fact that it has the highest content of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. But a recent study in the Annals of Internal Medicine (September 5th, 2006) found convincing evidence that olive oils rich in polyphenols have a greater positive health effect than their “ refined” brothers.
According to the study’s leading researcher, Dr. Maria-Isabel Covas, virgin olive oil is the only vegetable oil rich in polyphenols (antioxidant). However, polyphenols are essentially eliminated when the oil is refined, thus positive health effects seem dependent upon the quality of the individual oil.
The study had 200 young and middle-aged men use each of three olive oils for three weeks (25 ml per day) in randomly assigned sequences (and to the exclusion of all other dietary fats). The oils had low (2.7 mg/kg of olive oil), medium (164 mg/kg) or high (366 mg/kg) levels of polyphenols but otherwise were similar (medium was essentially a mixture of high and low). The conclusion: There was a linear increase in HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels (the good cholesterol) and decreased serum markers of oxidation (the process which leads to hardening of the arteries) correlating with the increased level of polyphenols. A triglyceride decrease was noted for each of the olive oils.
So, we can conclude that the quality of olive oil does matter. And monitoring the results of your change in fat intake is very important, that is why I recommend a home cholesterol test kit to monitor your effort. I offer fresh olive oil from my website.
I would suggest visiting www.private-health-products.com for home health test products to monitor your progress and alert you if more medical attention is required.