A Low Cholesterol Diet Reduces Risk Of Heart Disease.
A low cholesterol diet is the first step in reducing blood cholesterol levels whether you have high cholesterol due to diet or hereditary factors. There are two types of cholesterol, the low density lipoprotein (LDL) commonly known as the “bad” cholesterol and the high density lipoprotein (HDL) or “good” cholesterol. High levels of bad cholesterol can accumulate in blood vessels to form plaques and may result in strokes and heart attacks. It is therefore important to reduce the overall cholesterol level and more particularly the bad cholesterol.
What Does A Cholesterol Test Measure?
Total cholesterol level. This is the overall level of cholesterol in the blood, and should be under 200 mg/dL, and preferably below 150 mg/dL to protect yourself from heart disease. Anything above 200 is considered high.
LDL, or low density lipoprotein. LDL cholesterol is associated with higher risk of heart disease. The LDL cholesterol level should be below 130, and ideally below 100 mg.dL. LDL levels above 160 are high.
HDL, or high density lipoprotein. HDL is good because it helps clean up fatty deposits. HDL levels should be around 60.
Triglycerides Triglycerides are formed by the body from excess glucose, and high triglycerides can increase the risk of heart disease. Triglycerides should be below 150.
Low Cholesterol Diet Tips
Cholesterol comes from 2 sources: it is manufactured in the liver and obtained through the diet. While we cannot alter the amount of cholesterol our bodies make, we can control our dietary intake of cholesterol. Here are some tips:
Eat fewer foods containing saturated fats and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. Fats can be saturated or unsaturated: saturated fats solidify at room temperature whereas unsaturated fats are liquids at room temperature. When following a low cholesterol diet, it is especially important to limit the intake of all fats, and in particular, saturated fats such as coconut oil and palm oil. Partially hydrogenated vegetable oils are also solid at room temperature and have similar effects to saturated fats. They are commonly found in snacks and margarine.
Eat limited quantities of fat. Fish oils also contain polyunsaturated fats providing the essential fatty acid, omega-3.
Eat less high cholesterol foods. Cholesterol is found in eggs, high- fat dairy products, meat, poultry, fish and shellfish. Keep in mind that cholesterol is not a fat and therefore can also be found in low fat foods.
Eat foods high in fiber. Complex carbohydrates such as whole grain bread, oatmeal, vegetables, legumes and lentils are good for the body and are lower in calories than high fat foods. The fiber in wholegrain foods can have a cholesterol lowering effect.
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are low in calories and fat and are a good source of minerals and nutrients.
Cook lean meats instead of red meat. Red meats, while being high in protein also contain a lot of the bad cholesterol. Animal products in general should be consumed in moderation.
Making simple changes to you diet in small steps can help you achieve great results. You can successfully lower your cholesterol levels following a low cholesterol diet.
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