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Dyslipidemia – High Cholesterol And/Or Triglycerides Overview, Causes, Treatment And Diet

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Fats are essential nutrients, and cholesterol and triglycerides are fat fractions coming from animal products. Cholesterol products are a major constituent of blood cells, cholesterol being the basic component of the cell wall. Cholesterol is involved in precise body functions, such as formation of bile which helps with the digestion processes. Cholesterol is used to synthesize vitamin D in the skin, also essential for proper brain functioning, for hormone synthesis and transport of vitamins. Cholesterol represents an excess of energy storage and also provides mechanical protection of vital organs (the fat that surrounds certain organs). Cholesterol and triglycerides are not in plants, but produced only by the human or animal body. We do not need to consume cholesterol, because the body can synthesize it in sufficient quantities in the liver from  vegetable fat, sugar and alcohol.

There are several types of cholesterol, a form is “bad” cholesterol that is deposited in artery walls, causing atherosclerosis, it is called LDL cholesterol. The other form is “good” cholesterol or HDL cholesterol and it is called “good” cholesterol because it can be “removed” from the arteries walls and other tissues and from the body.

Normal Values

  • Total cholesterol below 200 mg/100 ml
  • LDL-cholesterol below 130 mg/100 ml
  • HDL-cholesterol more than 35-40 mg/100 ml
  • Triglycerides below 150 mg/100 ml

In normal a normal person blood, there is about four times more LDL cholesterol than HDL cholesterol. If this ratio increases, atherosclerosis process begins. Dyslipidemia, hypercholesterolemia (high blood cholesterol) are names for the same disease, the cholesterol found in the bloodstream, the excess is deposited in artery walls where it forms over time “plates” of fat (atheroma), which leads to narrowing of the arteries, or the plaque can break off and clog arteries suddenly. The next stage of the disease caused by high blood cholesterol is atherosclerosis that can lead to a myocardial infarction or stroke. Smoking, hypertension and diabetes aggravates and speeds the atherosclerosis process.


Causes Of High Cholesterol / Triglycerides

There are two main causes: an inherited predisposition and an unhealthy diet. Very often the two conditions coexist, inherited predisposition  and unhealthy diet, which leads to particularly serious consequences during the modern era, characterized by inactivity, stress and pollution. Diets low in cholesterol and triglycerides decrease the risk of heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, certain forms of intestinal cancer, prostate cancer and breast cancer.

Dyslipidemia Treatment

The objective of treatment is to maintain cholesterol and triglycerides at the lowest possible level. This objective is achieved by dietary changes, exercise (at least 30 minutes each day), normalizing or maintaining normal weight, moderate alcohol consumption (a glass of red wine each day is considered healthy), stress reduction and smoking cessation . Drug treatment applies when non-pharmacological treatment of dyslipidemia has bad results (with correctly kept diet). The ideal dyslipidemia drug should decrease both cholesterol and triglycerides, without side effects and  low cost ( it is used often for life) . Talking with your doctor is very important in order to prevent and / or treat dyslipidemia complications .

Dyslipidemia Diet

Cholesterol is found mainly in: animal fat, fatty meats, egg yolks and dairy fats (butter, cream, cheese etc). But not all fats lead to high cholesterol and triglycerides levels. Conversely, there are some fats that tend to lower cholesterol and triglycerides. Cholesterol-lowering fats: These are unsaturated fats that are found primarily in plants, especially walnuts, flax, soy, avocado, olive seed and vegetable oils (olive, sunflower, rapeseed, corn, etc.).



Tips to reduce Dietary cholesterol and triglycerides

  1. Avoid frying meat in oil or fat
  2. Avoid pastries, biscuits, cakes, donuts and chocolate.
  3. Do not eat more than one yolk a week.
  4. Do not use butter, margarine, mayonnaise but occasionally
  5. Avoid fat meats, sausages.
  6. Avoid processed foods
  7. Drink only low-fat milk.
  8. Eat lean meat, beef, chicken, fish.
  9. Replace meat with some vegetables (beans, peas, lentils) a few times a week.
  10. Replace fatty products with green leaves, spices, lemon juice, vegetable, powders to flavor food.
  11. Whole wheat, fruits and vegetables
  12. Read the food labels properly before you buy pre-packed food and look especially for grams of total fat, saturated “bad” and unsaturated “good”, cholesterol.
  13. Use spices that can significantly decrease cholesterol: garlic and thyme. Among fruits, apples are the best choice.
  14. Fish can lower the risk of plaque. Eat fish instead of meat, but not fried fish.

The daily cholesterol need of a healthy man, is between 200 and 400mg, depending on the daily physical activity. For those with increased cholesterol levels 50mg/day maximum is allowed. Cholesterol content of  food is expressed in mg per 100 g or ml:

  • Egg albumen – 1 mg
  • Bread 1 mg
  • Skim milk  4 mg
  • Whole cow milk 10 mg
  • Condensed milk  35 mg
  • Yogurt 10 mg
  • Camembert cheese 70 mg
  • Cheddar cheese 70 mg
  • Cottage cheese 15 mg
  • Mayonnaise 8 mg
  • Macaroni and cheese 17 mg
  • Cooked beef 80 mg
  • Cooked chicken 90 mg, 100 mg fried
  • Chicken breast (without skin) 73
  • Rate 160 mg
  • Lamb 110mg
  • Pork 110 mg
  • Fried turkey 80 mg
  • Pork liver 420 mg,
  • Organs 300 mg,
  • Egg-yolk 500 mg
  • Parmesan 90 mg
  • Butter = 260 mg (1 teaspoon ~ 31)
  • Margarine between 0 and 5 mg
  • Crab 65 mg
  • Lobster 70 mg
  • Canned salmon 90 mg
  • Sardines in preserve 80 mg
  • Raw oysters = 40 mg
  • Tuna in oil = 90 mg
  • Ice cream = 45 mg, (1 cup ~ 29)
  • Chocolate milk = 90 mg
  • Fried brain = 1697 mg
  • Fried eggs  2000 mg.


Prohibited food due to high cholesterol and / or triglycerides are fatty meat (pork, mutton, meat sauce, chicken fat, liver, brain, stomach, kidney, bone), shellfish ( shrimp, crayfish, crawfish), snails, shellfish, egg yolks, whole milk, concentrated (condensed or powdered), sour cream, cream, milk-based products, cheese, sheep cheese, crackers, pastries , fat soups, french fries, butter, fat dishes (bacon, scrambled eggs, lard), sauces oil, margarine, alcoholic drinks, fruit juices from commerce, fruit concentrates, sugar, honey, jam, candy, chocolate , syrup, sweets

Recommended foods allowed in dyslipidemia:  lean meat (beef, veal, chicken breast, rabbit) grilled or cooked without fat, low-fat unsmoked ham, fresh fish or frozen (but not cooked ) grilled or baked, 1 egg / week, skim milk, low-fat yogurt, white cheese (cow), white bread, black, fried (in limited quantity if there is excess weight), weak broths, soups with vegetables, boiled potatoes mashed without butter, vegetable oils (corn, soybean, olive, sunflower), fresh fruit, mineral water, tea, weak coffee, vegetable juices, fibers (flakes / grains) of any kind in moderation (especially oats).