Dr. Mehmet Oz and Cedric the Entertainer discussed cholesterol lowering diet and weight loss tips on Friday's episode of the Dr. Oz Show.
Dr. Oz said LDL, or "bad" cholesterol, is the number you should most be concerned with. LDL cholesterol contributes to plaque, which is a thick, hard deposit that can clog arteries and lead to heart attacks and strokes. HDL cholesterol is considered “good” because it helps remove LDL from the arteries, according to the American Heart Association.
Dr. Oz said a 10-pound weight loss can reduce your LDL cholesterol by 10 percent, which is a huge step toward improving your overall health. Cedric the Entertainer admitted it's difficult to lose weight, and confessed he had no idea what his LDL cholesterol number was.
Oz said a simple blood test can help you find out your cholesterol numbers, and performed a quick blood test on Cedric before his live studio audience. The blood test revealed Cedric's LDL number was 126. Dr. Oz said his LDL cholesterol was 102.
Dr. Oz said an ideal LDL cholesterol is less than 100, while fair is 101 to 160. If your LDL is between 161 and 300, it's considered "poor," and you should proactively take steps to reduce your LDL.
Dr. Oz said your diet plays the biggest role in lowering your LDL, and said a cholesterol-reducing diet features healthy fats such as extra virgin olive oil, avocados and salmon, as well as dark chocolate, grapes, bananas and garlic. Other ways to reduce your bad cholesterol is to quit smoking, limit alcohol consumption, and exercise regularly.
While statins are often prescribed to people with high cholesterol, Dr. Oz said lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise should be the first line of defense, and not drugs, since they have been proven to work. "For the vast majority of people, statins should not be the first line of defense," he said.