A generation ago the health experts considered all cholesterol to be unhealthy, and thought we raised our cholesterol through our poor diets. It is now known that there is a distinction between good cholesterol (HDL) and bad (LDL), and that diet does not seem to be the real culprit with cholesterol problems.
The dietary link to cholesterol is confusing because the connection is not direct. Reducing the cholesterol in the food will do little if a person is still unhealthy; the body seems to manufacture or retain the bad cholesterol that it already has. Living a healthy lifestyle, including a good diet, will significantly help cholesterol. It is the overall health that appears important, not a single food factor.
While eating cholesterol rich foods may not significantly raise your cholesterol levels it is believed that eating foods with Phytosterols will help reduce them. Phytosterols are similar enough to cholesterol so that they compete for absorption in the intestines. Simply put, if you eat more Phytosterols you absorb less cholesterol from bile and dietary sources. Avocado, flax seed and peanuts are good sources of Healthy phytosterols.
It is possible to increase good cholesterol through aerobic exercise, weight loss, increasing consumption of soluble fibre and decreasing simple carbohydrates; but this matter is not that simple. Healthy bodies do have higher levels of HDL, but just raising HDL alone does not improve health. Dietary and exercise improvements are still recommended for general health, and this will indirectly help the cholesterol situation.
Policosanol, like foods containing Phytosterols, helps the body realign cholesterol levels. This is a fairly natural product derived from sugar cane plants. Supporting the effectiveness of policonsanol Cuban researchers found it has no unwanted side effects. It effectively lowers cholesterol and fights cardiovascular disease in the process.