Fight fatigue & tiredness

 Control your weight
 Tips to help you sleep
 Exercise your brain 
 Exercise your body
 Avoid constipation
 Supplements benefits/risks?
 Avoid cancer 
Lower cholesterol 
 Lower blood pressure
 Micro-nutrient testing
Receive our monthly lifestyle research newsletter
    Emails never forwarded

Lower your cholesterol  

What is Cholesterol

Cholesterol is an unhealthy saturated fat which can be measured in the blood stream. There is strong evidence that unhealthy fats and calorie excess adds to the risk of developing many chronic illnesses. Evidence is particularly strong with saturated fatty acids which increase cholesterol levels.  For example the Medical Research Council, UK, presented data in 2003 to show that women who ate more than 90g of fat a day had twice the risk of developing breast cancer than those eating 40g per day. The bad effects of a high cholesterol depend on other lifestyle factors such as smoking, exercise levels, blood pressure family history of cancer or heart disease. Some of the conditions which can be caused by an increased cholesterol

  • Cancer

  • Heart disease

  • Strokes

  • Arthritis

  • Erectile dysfunction and other sexual issues.

  • Macular degeneration

  • Dementia

The underlying mechanism by which bad, saturated fatty acids influence cancer is not completely clear but several mechanisms are implicated. A dietary experiment in men with prostate cancer suggested that a saturated fat diet correlated with higher testosterone and Insulin-like Growth Factor-I levels – a hormone also linked with obesity and lack of exercise, which has been shown to influence breast cancer development and progression. The most important factor, however, is that individuals who eat a lot of saturated fats tend not to eat the healthy unsaturated fats and hence do not get the benefit from adequate omega 3 fatty acid levels.

Advice to reduce your cholesterol

We should be aiming to cut down on unhealthy fats, particularly trying to replace saturates with unsaturated fats. A particularly harmful group of fats are the trans-fats or hydrogenated fats. Hydrogenation is one of the processes that can be used to turn liquid oil into solid fat. The end product of this process is called hydrogenated vegetable oil. It is used in some biscuits, cakes, pastry, margarine, processed foods, and particularly the fast food industry. The trans-fats found in food have no known nutritional benefits, and emerging evidence suggests that they may be worse than saturated fats. As a result Denmark, Canada and the USA have started labeling foods with their trans-fat content.

  It is worth asking your family doctor to check your blood fat levels. If your cholesterol and unhealthy fat level are high (>4) it is very likely you are eating the wrong types of fat and an extra effort needs to be made. As mentioned above, the lifestyle to reduce the serum fat level is more important than simply reducing the fats with a statin, so a trial of lifestyle is always worth a go before starting statins. Repeating the blood test after 6 months of healthy living is a good measurable benchmark to see how well you are doing. If the cholesterol still remains high, even with improved diet and exercise, there is evidence for the benefits of statins to reduce blood cholesterol to help lessen the incidence of heart disease and stroke, so it is certainly worth considering them. The evidence that they reduce the incidence of cancer is less sound. Almost certainly the lifestyle measures to bring the cholesterol down are more important than the level itself. It is also worth considering a more advanced measure of your fats particularly testing your omega 3:6 ratios.

A common mistake when embarking on a low fat diet is that individuals tend to reduce all fat intake. It is only the unhealthy fats which need reducing. In fact the intake of healthy fats should be increased. It takes a healthy fat to dissolve an unhealthy fat, so cutting out all fats will lead to a tasteless diet with no change in the cholesterol levels. The other thing to remember is that fats are stored in the body, as they are a good source of energy. Very useful if you are a caveman off to catch your next meal but hardly relevant in our society where most of us have well-stocked fridges and fast food outlets are found on every street corner. To stop fats being stored we therefore need to increase our energy consumption by exercising regularly, more strenuously and more frequently. (find exercise facilities in your area)

Other food thought to help reduce cholesterol levels include those rich in antioxidants and low in calories, sugar and fat. Good examples are  herbs and spices such as turmeric, green tea, broccoli and pomegranate seed


Measure for essential fatty acids

A deficiency or an excess of micro nutrients such as
 - Vitamins,
- Antioxidants
- Enzymes
- Essential minerals 
- Fatty acids
can lead to an increase risk of cancer and chronic illnesses. You can now measure you body's levels and empower yourself you correct your levels through diet or if necessary selected supplements
 ...read more / order

The 2011 edition of Lifestyle and Cancer is available in as a colour illustrated book, pdf or Kindle


Summary – tips to help you lower cholesterol:

Exercise regularly

  • What ever you eat unless you are underweight, expend more energy that you take in

  • Be more physically active on a daily basis

  • Avoid period of little movement (unless sleeping)

  • Exercise vigorously for > 3 hours a week

Do not over eat 

  • If you are exercising regularly you can eat more

  • If you are sedentary eat less

  • Do not be afraid to skip a meat

  • Try not to snack between meals

  • Try not to eat 3 hours before bedtime

Reduce unhealthy fat intake

  • Avoid biscuits cakes, sweets and muffins

  • Avoid hard cheese, cream and butter

  • Avoid processed meat pies, pork pies sausages pastries and burgers

  • Avoid processed fatty foods containing coconut or palm oil

  • Choose lean cuts of meat and chicken without skin

  • Cut the fat off meat

  • Use semi-skimmed, skimmed or soya milk, rather than full-fat or condensed

  • Choose low-fat yoghurt and cheese

  • Cut down on deep-fried snacks – crisps, pakoras, samosas, bhajis

  • Cut down on fatty chips

  • Eat less bread and more rice, quinoa etc

  • Don’t eat hash browns or batter on the fish from fish & chip shops

  • Cut down on, desserts, creamy foods and chocolates

  • Avoid curry dishes containing ghee

  • Consider nutritional testing as you may have an associated micro-nutrient imbalance

Increase healthy fat intake

  • Oily fish

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • Avocados

  • Walnuts

Eat more antioxidant rich foods

  • Green tea

  • Turmeric

  • Broccoli

  • Pomegranate


Read more about preventing, coping with and surviving cancer: Lifestyle and Cancer - the facts addresses the evidence behind practical lifestyle choices which confront us on a daily basis.  It is only based on published facts, dispelling myths and hearsay guiding readers to a natural healthy and fulfilling lifestyle. This edition  has been extensively updated in response to new international research and positive feedback from readers and is now supported by a foreword from Paula Radcliffe ...read more / order online
Protect you lips and nails:  natureMedical skin and nail balm was designed in response to the increasing health concerns of traditional cosmetics. This cream is hand made from completely natural products with no hydrocarbons, parabens, aluminum, preservatives or colours - only pure essential oils carefully selected for their anti-inflammatory,  and anti-infective properties. Ideal to prevent and soothe chapped lips, moisturise and condition nail beds and help stubborn patches of dry flaky skin. The olive oil is also known to have DNA stabalising properties ideal to prevent damage from sun damage. It is available directly from the manufacturers at a fraction of high street prices ... read more  / order online


    Health Education Publications  |  Contact us  |  Our newsletter  | Prostate cancer