Reducing High Cholesterol Alternative Remedies

Are you looking for an effective high cholesterol treatment that doesn’t involve prescription medication? In addition to lifestyle changes (such as increasing exercise and reducing intake of saturated fat), evidence exists that some common cooking ingredients and certain oral supplements may help you reduce your LDL, or “bad” cholesterol and raise your HDL “good” cholesterol.

Alternative Cholesterol Treatment Warning

An alternative high cholesterol treatment may help lower your cholesterol, but that doesn’t mean it’s an adequate alternative to statins or any other cholesterol-lowering medication prescribed by your doctor. Some supplements may interfere with the actions of prescription drugs or cause serious side effects, so always talk to your doctor before you begin an alternative cholesterol treatment.

New Ingredients for Your Culinary Adventures

A number of foods may help reduce cholesterol, including:

  • Artichokes, which are hearty vegetables that add bulk and fiber to your stews and sauces.
  • Barley is another potential cholesterol-lowering food, and can be used as a substitute for rice in most rice-based dishes.
  • Garlic, which can be added to pasta and many other dishes.
  • Oat bran, which is found in oatmeal and whole oats, can be added to your favorite cereal or used to bake bread.

Supplements for High Cholesterol

Some people may be able to reduce cholesterol levels by taking supplements, including beta-sitosterol and sitostanol. Both are available in pill form and are also in some margarines.

Omega-3 fatty acids, often sold as “fish oil” pills, have been shown to raise HDL cholesterol and reduce triglycerides (the harmful fatty acids that comprise VLDL cholesterol). Omega-3s are also found in salmon, tuna and flaxseed oil.

Finally, consider adding folic acid, also known as vitamin B9, to your regimen, as it may help reduce the risk of heart disease associated with high cholesterol.

Alternative Cholesterol Treatment: Avoid Red Yeast Rice

Red yeast rice has received some press as an alternative cholesterol treatment. While it’s true that this supplement contains the same active ingredient as a highly effective cholesterol medication, this is what can make it dangerous. Red yeast rice is not an alternative to statins. Instead of trying an unregulated supplement, take a controlled dose of whichever medication your doctor thinks is best.

Resources

Mayo Clinic. (2010). High cholesterol. Retrieved January 12, 2011, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/high-blood-cholesterol/DS00178

University of Maryland Medical Center. (2006). High cholesterol guide. Retrieved January 12, 2011, from http://www.umm.edu/careguides/000242.htm