High cholesterol or hyperlipidemia, is defined as elevated circulating lipids in the blood. High concentrations of cholesterol or triglycerides, which mainly occur due to saturated fat consumption, can lead to increased risk of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. Hyperlipidemia is typically asymptomatic, and is discovered during routine screening blood work. Foods high in saturated fats often come from animal sources – whole milk, butter, cheese and meat. Additionally, tropical oils such as palm and coconut are also high in saturated fats. These oils are commonly used in processed foods.
The Mediterranean diet is one of the most recommended diets for cardiovascular health. It is the traditional diet consumed in Greece, Spain, Portugal, Turkey and Southern Italy. It is traditionally high in the consumption of: fruits and vegetables, legumes and plant proteins, whole grains, fresh fish, nuts and olive oil. It has been proven beneficial in the reduction of high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, some cancers, blood sugar levels and cognitive decline.
Dr. Anne Hermann is double-board certified in internal medicine and nutrition. Dr. Hermann maintains offices in Tampa and St. Petersburg Beach, Florida. Please contact the office at 813-902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.