Supplements for lowering bad cholesterol

We are going to answer the questions: ‘ Do we have supplements for lowering bad cholesterol’ and, ‘what are the good fats and the bad fats’. Well,the good news first! There are good fats! Yes, those that you can eat without feeling guilty. The fats that are healthy and delicious at the same time. How good is that! 

So why does the word ‘fat’ get such a bad vibe?

As scientific studies in the mid-1900s began to show a link between diets high in fat and heart disease, individuals, under the guidance of their doctors, began to move toward lower-fat diets—even those who were not at high risk for heart disease. As a result, by the late ’80s, the low-fat diet became almost an ideology, with devotees subsisting on fat-free yogurt, margarine, and carbohydrates. For example, some studies have shown that heart disease is actually more closely linked to extra calories and weight gain than to saturated fat (15Trusted Source).

In the recent years however, research has shown that the body actually needs certain healthy fats to function properly. For example, fats are necessary to construct cell membranes, insulate nerves, and ensure that many vitamins, including A, D, E, and K, work the way they should. This is important because it means many foods high in saturated fat are safe as long as they are eaten in moderation in a diet that does not cause weight gain. 

The good……fat! What is considered good fat?

Unsaturated fats, also labelled as healthy or good fats are divided into three categories as follows:


Monounsaturated Fats (MUFA)

Supplements for lowering bad cholesterol

Why would you want to want to switch to these fats?

Your heart’s health– Monounsaturated fats help protect your heart by maintaining levels of “good” HDL cholesterol while reducing levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol in your blood. 

Avoiding Inflammation and obesity-According to a 2021 reviewTrusted Source, evidence links MUFAs to anti-inflammatory states and less obesity. Conversely, saturated fats are inflammatory and can contribute to excess weight and obesity.

Reducing the risk of diabetes type 2 – According to a 2016 systematic review and meta-analysisTrusted Source, diets high in MUFAs may benefit people with type 2 diabetes.

The review suggested that compared to high carbohydrate diets, high MUFA diets reduced the following risk factors:

  • fasting plasma glucose
  • triglycerides
  • body weight
  • systolic blood pressure

Monounsaturated fats are plentiful in olive and canola oils and avocados. We can also find them in tree nuts including:

  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Pecans
  • Hazelnuts
  • Cashews
  • Rapeseed

Polyunsaturated Fats

Supplements for lowering bad cholesterol

Used to build cell membranes and the covering of nerves. They are needed for blood clotting, muscle movement, and inflammation.

Polyunsaturated fats are potentially even better than monounsaturated. In one study, replacing foods high in saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat sources reduced the risk of heart disease by 19% (21Trusted Source).Polyunsaturated fats are found primarily in vegetable and seed oils.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids – you have heard about these ones

Omega-3 fatty acids, a specific type of polyunsaturated fat, are found in seafood, especially fatty fish like

  • Salmon
  • Herring
  • Bluefin tuna 
  • Albacore tuna. 

The bad and the ugly……fat! Trans fats vs Saturated fats

These are the ones that have the potential to take you down slowly like a slow puncture. They are the delicious kind that most of us have cravings for.

They are in two categories; trans fats and saturated fats.

By raising bad cholesterol, this in turn can cause our blood vessels to narrow and prompt blockages to form in the arteries. High triglyceride levels increase the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart problems.


Saturated fat: Use sparingly

Supplements for lowering bad cholesterol

Most saturated fats are animal fats and generally take a more solid form.  Eating too much saturated fats in your diet can raise “bad” LDL cholesterol in your blood, which can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.

How can i know the maximum amount of saturated fat to consume daily so as to remain on the safe side?

The American Heart Association recommends aiming for a dietary pattern that achieves 5% to 6% of calories from saturated fat.

For example, if you need about 2,000 calories a day, no more than 120 of them should come from saturated fat.

That’s about 13 grams of saturated fat per day.

Remember the big picture, your overall eating pattern. Apply this general guidance regardless of where your food is prepared or consumed:

  • Balance calorie intake with calorie needs to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Choose whole grains, lean and plant-based protein and a variety of fruits and vegetables.
  • Limit salt, sugar, animal fat, processed foods and alcohol.

They include, but not limited to:

  • fatty cuts of beef, pork, and lamb
  • dark chicken meat and poultry skin
  • high fat dairy foods (whole milk, butter, cheese, sour cream, ice cream)
  • tropical oils (coconut oil, palm oil, cocoa butter)
  • lard

Trans fat: Avoid when possible. Look/walk away

supplements for lowering bad cholesterol

TRANS FAT: These are the worst fats for you. Trans fats are made industrially by “hydrogenating” vegetable oil in a process that involves bombarding it with hydrogen gas. This transforms the liquid unsaturated fats into solid or nearly solid saturated and trans fats.

The FDA is forcing food companies to phase them out. They are made when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil, usually to create a certain consistency or increase shelf life, and they are also called partially hydrogenated oils. Oils that are “fully hydrogenated” become indistinguishable from saturated fats, and are treated as saturated fats by the body.

Hint: Watch out for products that are labelled “hydrogenated” or ” partially hydrogenated” and avoid them or use them very sparingly.

Many of them have already been phased out, but foods that are more likely to contain trans fats are:

  •  pie crusts
  •  ready-to-use frosting
  •  coffee creamers
  •  some microwave popcorn and frozen pizza
  •  some cakes, crackers and cookies
  • fried foods (French fries, doughnuts, deep-fried fast foods)
  • margarine (stick and tub)
  • vegetable shortening
  • processed snack foods (crackers, microwave popcorn)

 We also have some naturally occurring trans fats from meat and dairy sources, but the artificial types make up most of what is in the food supply.

HINT: Foods that are high in unsaturated fats(good fat), such as olive oil, are usually liquid at room temperature, whereas foods that are high in saturated fats, such as butter and coconut oil, are usually solid at room temperature.

Supplements for lowering bad cholesterol

We know we like tasty stuff. And we have been eating it in an uncontrolled fashion so we may have accumulated a bit more than the desirable amount of cholesterol along the way. There is help. It’s not to be abused though. 

Taking Vitamin B3 supplements has been shown to reduce bad cholesterol as well as promote good cholesterol significantly. Also referred to as niacin/ niacinamide, research shows that it can reduce bad cholesterol by as much as 30% while boosting good cholesterol levels at the same time. It does this better than any other supplement currently available in the market.

It’s not recommended however, for diabetic patients as it may not interact well with diabetes medication. 


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