Cholesterol lowering diet

Cholesterol is a natural product found in the body, but is also found in some foods. For this reason, there can be an overabundance of cholesterol, thus having a negative impact on the body. While high cholesterol is a serious issue that can lead to even more serious and life-threatening problems, there are important steps to take to significantly reduce this probability. The diet is the most important risk factor to be modified to prevent many diseases, and the case of high cholesterol is no exception.

Risks Associated With High Cholesterol
When the term “high cholesterol” is used, it refers to the type of cholesterol that is harmful; more specifically, LDL cholesterol, with the good form being HDL cholesterol. That said, it is ideal to have healthy levels of both. High levels of LDL lead to thickening of the arteries, which can then lead to heart disease or possibly stroke. As heart disease is the most common cause of death in the United States, it is greatly stressed to reduce all risks associated with this disease. Fortunately, high levels of HDL are suggested to counteract the effects of the same in LDL, but reducing levels of the bad cholesterol will provide maximum benefits.

Eat Less Of This, More Of That
The best way to lower cholesterol is to lose weight, exercise, and watch intake of certain foods. Losing weight and exercise should go hand in hand because it is rare to have success with one while excluding the other. As for the intake of certain foods, don’t just focus on elimination, but also incorporation. The only foods that contain cholesterol are animal products; the absence of cholesterol in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains makes these ideal choices to incorporate when trying to lower blood cholesterol. Fats in general should be consumed moderately, but two specific types of fats, saturated and trans fat, should be kept at minimum levels; both of these fats enhance the production of bad cholesterol. Total fat should be less than 25% of total calories; saturated fat should be less than 7% of that total; and trans fat should be eaten sparingly.

Eat more “heart healthy” foods, such as those that contain high-fiber and/or high-complex-carbohydrates. Soluble fiber is said to reduce the amount of LDL cholesterol, and complex carbohydrates are not associated with any significant increases. Therefore, they are safe to eat as part of a cholesterol-lowering diet.

Part Of A Healthy Diet
Every food contains nutrients that have an impact on some function or process when it enters the body, whether that impact is big or small. The importance of any diet is to emphasize the impact that will be beneficial. Cholesterol has been explained. Its importance has been highlighted. Now the question is, “so what should I eat?”

The National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) is a program designed to provide sufficient information about a cholesterol-lowering diet. This diet compared to that of the average American diet shows that people are consuming inadequate levels of nutrients for reasons that cannot be explained. Fat and dietary cholesterol consumption is too high; protein and carbohydrate intakes are too low. Finding the proper balance for all of these nutrients is essential, especially in reducing cholesterol.

PROTEIN—Lean red meats in general are excellent sources of protein because they contain the same vitamins, minerals, and nutrients as the regular, but less saturated fat. Chicken and (ground) turkey are an even better alternative.

CARBOHYDRATES—Stick to carbohydrate foods that don’t have refined sugars, or at least limit your intake of refined sugars. Whole grain products, fruits, vegetables, and beans are excellent sources that do not contain any added sugar.

FAT—High fat foods contribute to weight gain because they have more calories per gram than protein and carbohydrate. However, just because a food is low fat does not mean it is low calorie. For a cholesterol-lowering diet, pay close attention to the consumption of saturated/trans fats, and reduce those as much as possible. For example, eat low fat dairy products instead of regular.

DIETARY FIBER—Fiber is found in a variety of foods, including oat products, beans, nuts, barley, flax seed, fruits and vegetables.

Do It!
The idea of this article is not to simply give information, but to relate it to the reader in a way that can be followed and acted upon. If you’re serious about lowering your cholesterol, these are the best ways to do it.

Last updated on Mar 6th, 2011 and filed under Cardiovascular Disorders. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed