It’s Time To Put Down The Bacon And Other Processed Meats
Who doesn’t love the smell of bacon in the morning? While it might sound tempting, your body will thank you for limiting your bacon intake and other processed meats, which comprises of deli meats, sausages, and hot dogs. According to a 2019 study;in Nutrients, processed meats but not eggs or other meats cholesterol were associated with increased risk in abnormalities of total cholesterol levels.
“Both processed and unprocessed red meats are high in saturated fat and can raise blood cholesterol, which can result in heart disease and diabetes,” Nicole Avena, Ph.D., nutrition and health expert and author of Why Diets Fail, tells Health Digest.
One 2017 review;in;Oncotarget reported a link between processed meats and an increased risk for colorectal cancer. Another review;that same year found that the fat and artificial preservatives in processed meat were the reason for heart problems in people who ate processed meat every day. They reported that consuming 50 grams of processed meat a day increased the heart disease risk by 42%.
Health Problems That Raise Cholesterol Levels
While genes or an unhealthy diet are often the causes of high cholesterol, many health conditions can also be culprits.
More than 73 million American adults have high cholesterol, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , but no two cases of high cholesterol are exactly alike.
Many people have high cholesterol because of physical inactivity or a diet too high in saturated fats, or because it runs in the family. But having other health conditions can also cause high cholesterol levels, especially conditions that affect your metabolism, such as diabetes or;hypothyroidism .
One Fatty Meal Produces Cholesterol Remnants
HDL and LDL arent the only cholesterols affected by fatty meals. Right after a high-fat meal, whether saturated or unsaturated, there is increased production of particles known as cholesterol-rich remnants. ;One of these remnants, VLDL, is produced by the liver. ;Another, chylomicrons, is produced by the small intestine. Theyre not LDL cholesterol, but like LDL, they burrow into the artery wall.
I like to refer to some of these remnants as silent but deadly because by the time we have a fasting blood test, their dirty work is done and theyre gone, and therefore undetected by the standard fasting blood lipid test, states Gomer.
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What Are The Types Of Cholesterol
Cholesterol in the blood doesn’t move through the body on its own. It combines with proteins to travel through the bloodstream. Cholesterol and protein traveling together are called lipoproteins;.
Low-density lipoprotein and high-density lipoprotein are the lipoproteines that most of us have heard about.
Low-density lipoproteins, or “bad cholesterol,” can build up on the walls of the arteries. Cholesterol and other substances in the blood form plaque;. Plaque buildup can make blood vessels become stiffer, narrower, or blocked. Plaque makes it easier for blood clots to form. A blood clot can block a narrowed artery and cause a heart attack or stroke.
Atherosclerosis , or hardening of the arteries, also leads to decreased blood flow to vital organs, including the brain, intestines, and kidneys.
High-density lipoproteins, or “good cholesterol,” carry cholesterol away from the arteries and back to the liver. In the liver, cholesterol is broken down and removed from the body.
High levels of LDL and low levels of HDL increase a person’s risk of heart disease.;
Make Sure Your Muffins Are Low Fat
Sure, you can get an English muffin with no saturated fat and no cholesterol, but many other muffins especially those tempting treats loaded with extra ingredients that you can buy or bake at home could have up to 8 g of fat in a single serving and may even have more than one serving in a single muffin. A low-fat bran muffin made with whole-wheat flour that gives you some fiber and a lot less fat is a much better choice. Look for one that is made with plant oils for the healthiest fat profile.
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Common Mistakes That Can Affect The Cholesterol Level
We all know how essential it is to maintain a healthy diet and keep yourself fit to control your cholesterol level, which is necessary for heart health. Cholesterol levels tell your doctor about fats in the blood that trigger health issues such as heart disease, heart attacks and strokes.
Do you know how bad cholesterol levels are for your health and how it affects the whole body? Here in this blog, we will share what we need to avoid for a healthy life.
Bottom Line: Fatty Meals And Your Heart
Yes, statin drugs may help speed repairs to damaged arteries, but it is becoming increasingly clear that relying on drugs alone is likely to produce disappointing results, notes Gomer. For many people, drugs plus diet are necessary.
What has been scientifically documented to heal arteries and reverse atherosclerosis are lifestyle changes involving regular exercise and a diet like Pritikin that is full of whole plant foods naturally low in fat and naturally nutrient-rich.
Like a good contractor for the remodeling of your house, a healthy lifestyle takes care of all the variables needed to refurbish your arteries. ;Your arteries get the complete makeover they so desperately need.
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Final Thoughts On The Keto Diet And Cholesterol
So does the keto diet raise cholesterol? It can due to the high-fat content of the diet, however, the keto diet overall has positive effects on cardiovascular health markers.
The bottom in is that instead of focusing so much on cholesterol levels, its a better idea to tackle chronic inflammation.;Inflammation is the primary cause of atherosclerosis, or hardening and stiffening of arteries that accompanies plaque deposits and increases risk for heart attacks.
If youre following the ketogenic diet, what are some ways you can take care of your heart and keep chronic inflammation at bay?
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Shrimp Isn’t So Bad When Eaten In Moderation
Shrimp may be low in fat, but they’re packed with cholesterol. Healthline explains that 3.5 ounces of shrimp are 200 mg of cholesterol a small serving that almost reaches the recommended daily cholesterol intake. According to Medical News Today, the high cholesterol levels once had doctors recommend against eating it. However, a 1996 study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition debunked this claim. They found adding shrimp to a low-fat diet increased more of the HDL cholesterol than the LDL cholesterol.
Indeed, a 2013 review in Current Science reported that when considering all the other nutrients shrimp provides proteins, trace minerals, and carotenoids shrimp is healthy food to eat.
Nicole Avena, Ph.D., nutrition and health expert and author of Why Diets Fail, tells Health Digest that eating shrimp isn’t so bad when eaten in moderation. “Shrimp, while it is high in LDL cholesterol, also helps to raise the good HDL cholesterol so that the ratio between the two types in the body is still balanced.”
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Reconsider That Cheeseburger With High Saturated Fat
Speaking of cheeseburgers, if you’re like many Americans, you occasionally eat lunch from a fast food restaurant. But before you order that double cheeseburger, consider this: A McDonalds Big Mac has 10 g of saturated fat and a Wendy’s Classic Double With Everything has a whopping 20 g of saturated fat . You might want to hold the fries and the shake, or better yet, order a plain burger instead.
Foods Labeled ‘low Cholesterol’
When you’re shopping and you see an item that says it’s low in cholesterol, you still need to check the nutrition label. If it’s high in saturated fat, it can raise your LDL cholesterol. Also check the serving size. It might be smaller than you think, and if you eat too much, you’ll get more cholesterol than you realized.
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Can Eating Change A Cholesterol Test
Cholesterol testing is recommended every five years for people over the age of 20, MayoClinic.com explains. Eating in the hours before a cholesterol test may interfere with the results, but it may not make a significant difference. Before taking a cholesterol test, talk to a doctor to discuss any steps needed to prepare.
Medications With Grapefruit Juice
It makes sense that your breakfast included grapefruit juice, but taking medications with juice can prevent the body from absorbing statins. Dont forget to take the help of a doctor, but grapefruit juice affects your health and cholesterol level. You can take the liquid in the morning but dont take medications with this.
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How Does Dietary Cholesterol Affect Blood Cholesterol
The amount of cholesterol in your diet and the amount of cholesterol in your blood are very different things.
Although it may seem logical that eating cholesterol would raise blood cholesterol levels, it usually doesnt work that way.
The body tightly regulates the amount of cholesterol in the blood by controlling its production of cholesterol.
When your dietary intake of cholesterol goes down, your body makes more. When you eat greater amounts of cholesterol, your body makes less. Because of this, foods high in dietary cholesterol have very little impact on blood cholesterol levels in most people (
This is because the general increase in LDL particles typically reflects an increase in large LDL particles not small, dense LDL. In fact, people who have mainly large LDL particles have a lower risk of heart disease .
Hyperresponders also experience an increase in HDL particles, which offsets the increase in LDL by transporting excess cholesterol back to the liver for elimination from the body .
As such, while hyperresponders experience raised cholesterol levels when they increase their dietary cholesterol, the ratio of LDL to HDL cholesterol in these individuals stays the same and their risk of heart disease doesnt seem to go up.
Of course, there are always exceptions in nutrition, and some individuals may see adverse effects from eating more cholesterol-rich foods.
Contrary to popular belief, heart disease is not only caused by cholesterol.
Statins Can Only Do So Much
Ultimately, what many of these studies tell us is that taking care of our arteries involves a lot more than just swallowing a statin drug to lower LDL bad cholesterol.; Sure, getting LDL levels down to 100 and below is wonderful.; But if youre still eating fatty meals, your arteries are going to suffer.
This is likely part of the reason why most people who take statin drugs to lower their LDL cholesterol levels still have arteries that get progressively more clogged up over time, explains Gomer. Statin drugs do little to alter the production of pro-atherosclerotic and pro-inflammatory HDLs and remnant cholesterol.; Nor do they lower the pro-clotting effects of Clotting Factor VII, which are elevated after every high-fat meal.
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Myth: I Dont Need Statins Or Other Medicines For My Cholesterol I Can Manage My Cholesterol With Diet And Exercise
Fact: Although many people can achieve good cholesterol levels by making healthy food choices and getting enough physical activity, some people may also need medicines called statins to lower their cholesterol levels. Guidelinesexternal icon;also suggest that other medicines in addition to statins may be needed to help control cholesterol.2
People who may need statins or other medicines to manage cholesterol levels include the following:
- People with familial hypercholesterolemia or people with very high levels of bad cholesterol.;FH is a genetic condition that causes very high LDL cholesterol levels beginning at a young age. If left untreated, cholesterol levels will continue to get worse. This greatly raises the risk for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke at a young age.
- People with cardiovascular disease .;People with CVD may already have narrowed arteries because of too much plaque. Medicines that lower cholesterol may help reduce the risk for heart attack or stroke.
- People with diabetes.Type 2 diabetes;lowers HDL or good cholesterol levels and raises bad cholesterol levels. This combination raises your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Other groups of people may also need medicines to manage their cholesterol, including people who have a high risk for CVD. Always talk to your health care provider about the best ways to manage your cholesterol.
Do Eggs Raise Cholesterol Levels
Eggs are one of the richest sources of cholesterol, containing 200 mg of cholesterol per egg. If we eat high-cholesterol foods, then our cholesterol levels will increase too, right? Not quite!
Dietary cholesterol has very little impact on our blood cholesterol levels. Our bodies make, on average, 850 mg of cholesterol per day by themselves. When we eat foods high in cholesterol, the body compensates by reducing cholesterol production and/or absorption. This happens in about 2/3 of the population .
The other 1/3 of the population are considered to be hyper-responders and may experience a mild increase in LDL levels when eating high-cholesterol foods, like eggs. But, heres the catch. The increase in LDL is mostly from the large fluffy LDL particles .
We have varying sizes of LDL cholesterol particles. The bigger, the better. Large LDL particles have very little impact on heart disease, while small, dense LDL particles have a strong association with heart disease. Imagine the small LDL particles like BB pellets that are bouncing through your arteries causing damage and inflammation. High levels of small, LDL particles lead to plaque build up.
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An End To The Dreaded Overnight Fast
Guidelines for lipid panels have evolved over the past decade, supported by evidence from studies involving hundreds of thousands of people. Most recommendations now support non-fasting cholesterol tests for routine testing.
Some fasting lipids tests will remain necessary, especially in people with very high triglycerides. And some people will still need to fast for blood sugar levels, although an alternative test for diabetes has replaced much of this testing. But for most, including those having routine cholesterol tests to weigh cardiovascular risk and for those taking drug therapy, this news is good news.
So ask your doctor if you really need to skip breakfast before your next blood draw. Traditions die hard, but both science and convenience may ultimately steer this one to its end. This is one change doctors and patients should celebrate together.
Swap Out Ice Cream For Fresh Fruit
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture , the United States produced 49.9 million gallons of full-fat ice cream in 2019, up nearly 14 percent from the year before. The cold, sweet stuff is a staple in many American households. But did you know that a single cup of ice cream has more fat than a hamburger and almost double the saturated fat of a glazed doughnut? Skip the scoop and try a cup of fresh fruit for dessert instead. Fruit is low in calories and high in the fiber, vitamins, and nutrients you really need making it one of the best things you can eat to reduce the amount of cholesterol youre consuming.
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What Is The Ideal Cholesterol Level
The ideal blood cholesterol level is below 150;milligrams per deciliter , based on the results of the Framingham Heart Study and other research. At that level, heart disease is very unlikely. Unfortunately, nearly 107 million Americans have cholesterol levels that are greater than 200 mg/dL, which is dangerously close to 225 mg/dLthe average cholesterol level of coronary artery disease victims.
Myth: All Cholesterol Is Bad For You
Fact:;Some types of cholesterol are essential for good health. Your body needs cholesterol to perform important jobs, such as making hormones and building cells. Cholesterol travels through the blood on proteins called;lipoproteins. Two types of lipoproteins carry cholesterol throughout the body:
- LDL ,;sometimes called bad;cholesterol,;makes up most of your bodys cholesterol. High levels of LDL cholesterol raise your risk for heart disease and stroke.
- HDL ,;or good;cholesterol,;carries cholesterol back to the liver. The liver then flushes it from the body. High levels of HDL cholesterol can lower your risk for heart disease and stroke.
When your body has too much LDL cholesterol, it can build up in the walls of your blood vessels. This buildup is called;plaque. As your blood vessels build up plaque over time, the insides of the vessels narrow. This narrowing can restrict and eventually block blood flow to and from your heart and other organs. When blood flow to the heart is blocked, it can cause angina or a heart attack.
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Not Following To Medication Plan
Statins always have a dangerous impact on cholesterol levels, and they trigger heart disease. Its pretty much difficult to follow the mediation plan for so long, but everyone should take it as instructed. People who dont take medication on the schedule would have heart health issues. Talk to doctors and get to know your current health status right now.
High Cholesterol: The Big Picture
When the body’s metabolism the process by which the body turns food into energy is affected by a health problem, cholesterol levels in the blood are often affected, too.;Figuring out the best way to treat high cholesterol starts with understanding why it’s happening; identifying other health problems is a primary consideration.
“When we see people who come in for assessment of an elevated form of LDL cholesterol or triglycerides, we always want to look for associated metabolic abnormalities,” says cardiologist Stephen J. Nicholls, PhD, professor of cardiology at the University of Adelaide in Australia.
High cholesterol treatment is about “managing not just one risk factor in our patients, but the whole picture,” says Dr. Nicholls. “It’s often important to keep that in mind when you’re looking at a patient and their cholesterol levels.”
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