Need advice to reduce Cholesterol, LDL and Triglyceride

Hi there,

Due to my high levels of  Cholesterol, LDL and Triglyceride, I have had light spreads with added plant sterols for more than 2 years.

Still I have problem and now am looking for plants stanols/sterols

.I already heard that and Holland & Barrett provide some stanols products. Any recommendations about quality of their  products ( or other suppliers) are highly appreciated.

43 Replies

  • I think the yogurt drink benecol works I had for 11 weeks and cholesterol reduced 11 . worth to try but they are quite expensive used to 2 for 6 pounds which lasts for 12 days if you use one a day, and need a benecol lower ing cholesterol better as well.

  • Thank you Qingli. I've had  Flora-ProActive light but wish to try something better.I'm not sure but as far as I remember Flora's ingredients was a little better than  a benecol, so I chose it.

    Anyway, yogurt drink benecol is a great idea and I'll try it. Can I have it along with another lowering such as benecol or flora? 

  • Hi, you are welcome.Fred.according to the website benecol, they said you can have with others but they mentioned two products will do the job but we have to take the for long term, you can go on the site to have a look.I hope it helps.take care

  • Thank you Qingli for sharing your info.

  • LCHF food intake, avoiding hidden and free sugar in food with regular exercise can help with reducing cholesterol and healthy life.

  • Thanks bala.

  • I took myself off statins six months ago and replaced them with plant sterols from Amazon.   My doctor has no problem with this and my cholesterol levels have dropped without the horrible side effects of statins.   Hope it works for you as well.

  • Thank you 123congo.Any further info about the supplier, how many times and how  to have plant sterols, ...highly appreciated.

  • The plant sterols from Amazon are Vitastore 800mg and I take two per day,

  • Thanks congo123 for sharing your experience!

  • I have used Healthspan's products for about 15 years now and each one I have tried seems to be of good quality and highly effective.  In my humble opinion taking man made fats with sterols is not a good idea, I try to avoid man made fats, as there is no lobby for us to use olive oil or butter (I know that we have to make butter but not by catyllitic hydrogenation) They say that olive oil does not need to be virgin but I prefer the taste to dip my bread into.

    I tried Benecol when I started watching my cholesterol 15 years ago but looking back over my levels over the years the main drivers of my levels have been life style.  Working away from home resulted in higher levels of alcohol.  When I started out we made our own bread (using benecol as the fat) I would only use benecol as a spread and I would drink a maximum of 1.5 pints of bear a day.  As time went on this all lapsed and my cholesterol was a roller coaster ride which did not seem to be affected by increasing statin doses. 

  • Thank you  /kasibarndoor for sharing your experience.

  • Hi I us Holland & Barrett lecithin & follow LCHF as refuse statins as didn't fancy any more side effect from meds that possibly could do without. All my specialists are aware due interactions with meds have to take & all fine. Didn't tak to long but have continued to do same as don't want risk it going back up

  • Thank you Raksh1964 for sharing your info.

  • Hi Fred. I have been using Holland & Barratt products for years and can highly recommend them. You even get gift vouchers for them, there is a website and you get reward points and discounts regularly. good luck with your diet


  • Thanks Sandra for your kind and great advice. I already have experience of Holland & Barrett for honey, peanut butter and ...Now it's time to try them for this sort of products😃


  • I had a blood test done on 7th January, serum cholesterol 9.1.  Was advised to take statins but chose instead to take olive oil on toast  (re Dr Michael Mosely) and lecithin granules on my cereal.  Also did fast walking with the dog every day and took vit D3.  Next test was on 14th March, serum cholesterol 5.4.    The drinks they sell with plant stanols/sterols which I took previous to the January test did not work for me but we are all different.

  • Well done you Katy and thanks for sharing your great  experience.

  • I read in the papers that  one table spoon of olive oil has 100 calories the same as a small bar of kit kat. Did you put on any weight by having olive oil  on toast? I use both coconut oil and olive oil on toast. Very little weigh loss!

  • My main concern is about Cholesterol and Triglyceride. I've not yet tried oilve or coconut oil on toast as I'm not overweight.Although I've had a healthy diet for a long time,  still  have a high level of LDL and Cholesterol.

  • No weight loss but it did surprise me that my cholesterol reading came down so much in such a short time though Zoe Harcombe mentions it can be higher in the winter months due to lack of sunshine and vit D.  

  • Thank you.

  • Bala, have just read the Daily Mail, Ditching butter for veg oil may not be better for heart.  How confused can we get?

  • I am afraid very confused. I have ignored what has been given as guide line, after doing my research I am eating and drinking what I want when I want within limits.

  • Couldn't speak  specifically for stanols but Healthspan and Holland and Barratt are both well known firms in the UK. Healthspan are a mail order firm and Holland and Barratt are a chain of health shops, quite pricey I think.

  • thank you Gardengnome1942 for your helpful comments.

  • Hi Fred.

    If you are at all overweight, just try to lose some weight, this is more likely to reduce your total cholesterol than anything else. Eat a healthy diet, plenty of fruit and veg, pulses, nuts, oily fish, olive oil and wholegrains.

  • Hi idontbelieveit,

    Thank you for your comments. I'm not overweight and have a healthy diet with at least 7 ( veg & fruit) a day  but still  with a high level of LDL, Triglyceride, ... 

  • what are your LIPID members?

  • Hi bala,

    Serum cholesterol                    5.2 mmol/L

    Total Cholestrol: HDL ratio     5.7

    Serum LDL cholestrol level    3.6 mmol/L

  • Thank you. I take it that you are controlling your LIPID numbers by food intake only.

    MY GP has been suggesting for me to go back on statin, so far I am controlling the numbers by food intake only. Only time will tell.

  • Hi Fred. I think you will find that plant sterols and stanols are best taken directly from the plant and are the cheapest and most nutricious way of doing so. I do not believe that Benecol and Flora reduce cholesterol in any way and the best way to lower cholesterol is to avoid putting excess lipids into your blood via what you eat. Removing fats from your diet should reduce cholesterol. Fats are not just on meats but also processed oils, butter and other dairy products. I personally do not use any type of oil in my cooking nor do I eat any dairy products however that for some is difficult. Remember... you are what you eat, that should make the problem a little less difficult for you.

  • Thanks marcus911. Yes, I want to avoid  Benecol and Flora via having plant sterols and stanols directly.

  • Hi Fred

    I don't know your age but you sound pretty savvy so check out the connection between high cholesterol and low thyroid.  Untreated this can lead to dysfunction in the liver, which in turn raises cholesterol levels.

    Your body doesn't rely upon absorbed cholesterol from your diet it makes it all of its own accord - the less you eat, the more it makes.  High levels can be an indication that there is some underlying issue that isn't being addressed.  'Modern thinking' is now coming around to realising that higher levels of cholesterol are protective, rather than destructive, as we get older and our bodies start to show the ravages of time.  It is really only more of an issue for those just starting their life journey.

    This report from the times explains the changes in thinking  Despite it being a piece of journalism it is well researched and says it all on one page :) 

    Statins are a big money spinner for Big Pharma so it is in their interest for them to perpetuate the myth that all cholesterol is bad.  For an in depth analysis of why we think that cholesterol is bad read The Cholesterol Myths by Uffe Ravnskov MD PhD

    Though LCHF and other diets certainly work well for some (even if they don't need to lose weight) they don't work for everyone.  A good exercise program can help enormously but, if you are already doing that, changing it might not be the answer.  Some research indicates that kefir might help lower LDL and improve the HDL ratio  Ghee (clarified butter) has also been shown to help  Alternatively drinking green tea might be the answer :)

  • Clarified butter, (ghee, vegetable or animal)?

    Though eight types of ghee are mentioned in Ayurvedic classics, ghee made of human breast milk and cow's ghee are claimed to be excellent among them. Further, cow's ghee has medhya (intellect promoting) and rasāyana (vitalizing) properties. Ghee is also used in Ayurvedas for constipation and ulcers.[13]Vechur cow Ghee produced using Vechur cow’s milk, is famous for its high medicinal values due to the presence of A2 beta-lactalbumin protein and higher arginine content which is good for the health of convalescing people.[14]

    In Sri Lankan indigenous medical traditions (Deshīya Cikitsā), ghee is included in pas tel (five oils: ghee, margosa oil, sesame oil, castor oil, and butter tree oil).

  • I would go for grass-fed cow's milk, it is a bit hard to get hold of mother's milk 😉 and commercial vegetable ghee is largely made from hydrogenated vegetable oils.

    a comparison of the beneficial fats in coconut oil and ghee thhe.austusmediallc.netdna-...

  • Hi Iinlow.  You've delivered  a great list of key concerns about high cholesterol. Thank you.

    I'm in my early 50 and my thyroid  is Ok. Perhaps lack of a  good exercise program is the main cause . Something  not easy for me due to my job!

    I think there is no choice and I have to do something... 

  • I agree that exercise plays an important roll in our general health but, in terms of your concern, I think that you would be better served looking at diet.

    Here is another link to look at't-to-blame that explains the complicated nature of cholesterol and why it isn't, perhaps, as dangerous as we have been led to believe.  And how diet can be used to reduce/reverse any negative impact it does have.

    Take a look at the Mediterranean diet but don't go for the low fat version touted by so many health authorities, eat foods rich in omega 3 and reduce your consumption of omega 6 - these should ideally be in a ratio no greater than 1:4 but modern diets are closer to 1:40!!

  • I stick to real butter , won't use these man made spreads . Low fat meals and plenty of green veg, skimmed milk , homemade bread ( no chemical additives) , plenty of water . Stopped taking statins for cholesterol levels after heart attack - levels are fine so why shove more tablets down your throat that you don't need . 

    I sometimes think the consultants and doctors prescribe tablets to much , exercise , exercise , good diet will go such a long way to helping you.

  • It is now being acknowledged that cholesterol actually helps prevent heart attacks and that statins are not the wonder drug they were once thought to be but it is going to be a long time before this feeds down to local practice.  But it is the carbs you need to avoid.  It is now also being recognised, though very slowly, that carbs are contributing to the type 2 diabetes epidemic that is sweeping the western world (and those adopting the same diet).

  • Yes   timus41, exercise , exercise and exercise!

  • Hi,

    You can try to reduce the cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides through a change in your diet. Making a few modifications in the diet can reduce the cholesterol levels.

    There are different foods which lower the cholesterol in various ways. Some which are high in soluble fibre bind with the cholesterol and its precursors in the digestive system, thereby dragging the cholesterol out from the body before they finally go into the circulation. Some foods have polyunsaturated fats which lower the LDL directly. Some foods have plant stanols and sterols which do not allow the body to absorb the cholesterol.

    Here are some foods which you can include in your diet: Oats, wholegrain, beans, eggplant, nuts, okra, vegetable oils, fruit like grapes, apples, strawberry and citrus fruit, soy, and foods fortified with sterols, stanols, fatty fish and fibre supplements.

    Diet is just one of the many ways by which high cholesterol can be controlled, but many people need medication.

  • Thank you Shunhra for your great and detailed comments.

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