This is from a handout that I give to my patients that could be relevant regading this question:
These factors may raise blood pressure or cholesterol levels, as well as triglyceride levels:
1. Eating cholesterol, which is only found in meat, dairy, & eggs, may contribute to elevated blood pressure or lipids.
2. Eating saturated fats, which are common in coconut and animal products, may contribute to elevated blood pressure or lipids. Eating oils, nuts, seeds, avocado, and coconut products may contribute to blood pressure or elevated lipids in genetically susceptible individuals.
3. Being overweight may contribute to blood pressure or elevated lipids.
4. Caffeine, either in chocolate, cacao, or beverages, may contribute to elevated blood pressure or lipids.
5. Eating wheat, especially when flour is ingested, may contribute to elevated blood pressure or lipids.
6. Not eating beans (or lentils) and greens twice a day may contribute to elevated blood pressure or lipids.
7. Eating too much fruit may contribute to elevated lipids, especially in the form of smoothies, juices, or sauces. Eating dried fruit such as raisins may contribute to elevated lipids in genetically sensitive people who are carrying more body-fat than they need.
8. Taking in more calories than one can metabolically process may contribute to elevated blood pressure or lipids, especially when those calories are eaten after 5:30 PM. Eating later than 6 PM raises levels of cholesterol, & especially triglycerides, in genetically susceptible people.
9. Not exercising daily may contribute to elevated blood pressure or lipids.
10. Not getting to bed prior to 10 PM may contribute to elevated blood pressure or lipids. Sleep that is interrupted by frequent awakenings (from pets, time zone changes, children, or restless sleep-partners) may contribute to elevated lipids.
11. Having sleep-disordered breathing may contribute to elevated blood pressure or lipids, whether that airflow is obstructed by the sagging of the throat and tongue muscles due to aging, or whether the airflow is compromised by sinus issues such as allergic swelling or prior nasal trauma.
12. Drinking alcohol in any form may raise blood pressures, cholesterol levels, and especially triglycerides.
To preserve your optimum health, you need to know every 3 months that your cholesterol levels are coming down into a safer range, & that is why a fasting lipid panel is recommended as a fasting blood test, drawn 4 times per year. As you continue improving your eating and exercising habits, I will discuss your blood test results with you here in my office several days after your fasting blood draw. Fasting for 12 hours by not eating after 7 PM the night before the blood draw means that you continue to drink plenty of water while fasting.
Eating an oil-free whole foods plant-based diet low in fat may save money at the grocery store (& by helping you to not need the pharmacy, hospital, and surgery center as much) and can also help you to enjoy your best possible health!
A breakfast of lentils, greens, sweet potatoes, other vegetables, and whole grains like millet will help you to losing cravings for sweets, poultry, meats, & cheese. Avoid high fat foods, as well as refined sugar & refined flour products such as those in most desserts & baked goods, choosing instead a product whose first word in the ingredient list is WHOLE, Cracked, or SPROUTED. The soluble fiber found in legumes (beans, lentils, etc) & whole grains, like quinoa, steel cut oats, & brown rice pasta will help lower your cholesterol when combined with 8 glasses of water, drunk in between meals each day before 5:00 PM.
Choose fresh whole fruits for supper at 5:00 PM instead of fruit juice or baked desserts. Include more variety of vegetables each day, not just those found in salads of spinach or romaine lettuce, although we should all be eating at least 1 green salad each day.