Simple Ways To Lower Your Cholesterol
70 million American adults have high cholesterol, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Of these, only 1 in 3 has their condition under control, and less than half are getting treatment. People with high cholesterol have twice the risk of developing heart disease as people with healthy levels. Learn more about what lifestyle changes you can make to get your cholesterol levels in check.
Maintain A Healthy Weight
Even a small amount of extra weight can contribute to high cholesterol levels. Fortunately, if youre overweight, you dont have to lose it all shedding just 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can cause a major reduction in cholesterol levels, according to the Obesity Action Coalition. You gain and lose weight based on whether youre eating more or fewer calories than you burn each day. Find out what your daily calorie needs are by using this handy food plan calculator from the U.S. Department of Agriculture .
Q Do All Fats Have The Same Number Of Calories
A: Fats do have more calories than carbohydrates and proteins. Every gram of fat has nine calories, which makes them more energy dense. Carbohydrates and proteins have four calories per gram. So get your fats, but manage caloric intake. Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are the healthiest.
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Myth # Nine: You Should Avoid All Fried Foods
The myth that you should avoid all fried foods is not true. While fried foods are high in fat, they are not necessarily bad for you. This is because the type of fat used to fry food does not have a significant impact on your LDL cholesterol levels. So, while you should limit the number of fried foods you eat, you do not need to avoid them completely. You can also choose to cook fried foods in healthier oils, such as olive oil.
Myth # Six: You Should Avoid All Fatty Foods
The myth that you should avoid all fatty foods is not true. Fatty foods, such as avocados and nuts, are actually good for you. This is because they contain unsaturated fats, which can help to lower your LDL cholesterol levels. Fatty fish, such as salmon and tuna, are also good for you because they contain omega-three fatty acids. These fatty acids can help to reduce inflammation in the body. So, while you should avoid saturated and trans fats, you should not avoid all fats.
What Are Alternatives To Replace Saturated Fats In The Foods I Eat
As part of an overall heart-healthy dietary pattern, choose lean meats and poultry without skin. Prepare them without added saturated and trans fat.Eat foods made with liquid vegetable oil but not tropical oils. It also means eating fish and nuts. You also might try to replace some of the meat you eat with beans or legumes.
Myth # Eight: Trans Fats Are The Worst For You
This myth is partially true. Trans fats are the bad fats because they can raise your LDL cholesterol levels. However, not all trans fats are created equal. Some trans fats, such as those found in margarine and vegetable oils, are worse for you than others. So, while all trans fats are not bad for you, some are worse than others. You should avoid trans fats as much as possible.
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The Effects Of Fatty Acids And Cholesterol In The Diet
To establish a correlation between diet and serum cholesterol levels, researchers once again studied groups of people. In the early 1950s, scientists examined the eating habits of working-class residents of Naples, in southern Italy. The great bulk of these people’s diets consisted of bread and pasta, with only 20 percent of their calories coming from fat. They ate cheese and meat in small amounts, used olive oil sparingly, and ate no butter at all. Their serum cholesterol levels averaged a healthy 172 mg/dl.
At about the same time, other investigators examined a group of apparently healthy male factory workers who had lived their adult lives in the United States but whose parents had been born near Naples. These men got about 43 percent of their calories from fatmost of it from animal fatsand their average serum cholesterol level was 239 mg/dl.
Similar studies have shown consistently the same results: People who get a big share of their calories from fats, particularly animal fats with a high proportion of saturated fatty acids, have higher total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol levels than people who eat diets that are relatively low in fat, particularly saturated fatty acids.
Whereas cholesterol and saturated fatty acids in the diet have been shown to have detrimental effects, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids in the diet are a different story.
How Can I Lower My Cholesterol With Medicines
As well as making lifestyle changes, some people will need to take cholesterol-lowering medicines to reduce their risk of heart and blood vessel disease, known as cardiovascular disease. The medicines most commonly used are called statins.
Your doctor will consider all your risk factors for cardiovascular disease before suggesting medication not just your cholesterol and lipid results. If youve already had a heart attack or stroke, taking statins can substantially lower your risk of having another one.
Statins work by slowing the amount of cholesterol made in your liver. In response, your liver uses the cholesterol already in your blood to make up for the deficit. This lowers the level of LDL cholesterol in your blood.
If statins alone do not lower your cholesterol enough, you may need additional medicines.
Contact your doctor if your medicines are causing any side effects.
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Monitoring Intake Of Fat And Cholesterol
Dietary fat and cholesterol are necessary components for a healthy diet. Though, when consumed in excess, they may be harmful to the body and increase ones risk for obesity, atherosclerosis, and heart disease. Keep in mind, however, that dietary cholesterol does not have as much of an effect on blood cholesterol as saturated fat. It is important to regulate ones intake of dietary fat in order to regulate blood LDL, HDL, and triglyceride levels.
Eating Fat Increases Diabetes Risk
Many dietary patterns recommended for the treatment of type 2 and gestational diabetes are low in fat. This is due to the misconception that consuming dietary fat may increase diabetes risk.
Although consuming certain fat-rich foods, such as trans fat, fatty baked goods, and fast food, can indeed increase your risk of diabetes, research has shown that other high fat foods may offer protection against its development .
For example, fatty fish, full fat dairy, avocados, olive oil, and nuts are high fat foods that have all been shown to improve blood sugar and insulin levels and potentially protect against diabetes development .
While some evidence suggests that a greater intake of saturated fat may increase diabetes risk, more recent studies have found no significant association.
For example, a 2019 study in 2,139 people found no association between the consumption of animal- and plant-based fat or total fat and the risk of type 2 diabetes .
The most important factor in reducing your diabetes risk is the overall quality of your diet, not the breakdown of your macronutrient intake.
Fat-rich foods do not increase diabetes risk. In fact, certain fat-rich foods may help protect against the diseases development.
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What To Eat And What Not To Eat
By now you may be asking: How exactly do I do this without giving up the foods I love? Manz and her colleagues have put together a list of recommended foods and foods you should avoid. Start with these suggestions. Youll find there are many ways to substitute healthier foods for high fat ones without impacting taste.
Recommended foods include:
- Grains including whole grain breads and cereals, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, quinoa, whole grain crackers and breads.
- Protein foods including lean cuts of beef and pork, skinless poultry, fish, wild game, dried beans and peas, nuts and nut butters, and egg whites or egg substitutes.
- Dairy including skim, low-fat or 1% milk or buttermilk, nonfat or low-fat yogurt, cottage cheese and fortified non-dairy milk.
- Fresh, frozen or canned vegetables without added fat or salt.
- Fresh, frozen, canned or dried fruit.
- Unsaturated oils , soft or liquid margarines, vegetable oil spreads, salad dressings, seeds, nuts and avocado.
Foods to avoid include:
The bottom line is its best to follow a plant-based eating pattern with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and low-fat dairy products, says Lindsey. Limiting meats, processed foods, refined carbohydrates and simple sugars will help you keep your cholesterol under control and your heart healthier.
For more information on nutrition services, visit: bannerhealth.com/services/nutrition.
How To Cut Down On Fat And Saturated Fat
To reach and maintain a healthy weight, keep an eye on your saturated fat and total fat intake. Use these tips to help you.
1. Check the labels
When youre shopping, check the labels of products to see how much fat they contain and how much they will add to the daily maximum. Look at the total fat and the saturated fat. Saturated fat might be written as sat fat or saturates.
- Choose foods that have more unsaturated than saturated fats.
- Go for foods that are labelled green or amber for saturated fat.
- Some foods that are high in fat such as oily fish, nuts, oils and spreads may be red for saturated fat. This is OK because these foods contain a higher proportion of the healthy unsaturated fats.
- Per 100g of food low-fat is 3g or less and low saturated fat is 1.5g or less.
- Per 100g of food high fat is 17.5g or more and high saturated fat is 5g or more.
Many foods have labels on the front of pack, making it easy to check the amount and type of fat they contain. If not, it should be on the back. When labels are colour-coded with red, amber and green, go for green and amber as much as possible.
Use the table as a guide for choosing healthy foods.
2. Compare products
Sometimes similar products contain very different amounts fat. Check a few options before you buy.
3. Bake, steam, grill or boil instead of frying
4. Make simple swaps
Have a look at the foods high in saturated fat and some healthier alternatives with these simple swaps.
5. Choose healthy snacks
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Tactics To Reduce Cholesterol Quickly
For most of us, thereâs really no need to pack our medicine cabinets with pills to reduce cholesterol levels. Natural, lifestyle-based strategies have proven extraordinarily effective in reducing cholesterol quickly and permanently.
Get the top 5 food and fitness tips recommended by the doctors, dietitians, exercise experts, and other faculty at the Pritikin Longevity Center. Pritikin has been helping people lower cholesterol levels since 1975.
Did you know that for every 10% drop in your cholesterol level, your heart attack risk drops by 20% to 30%? Theres more good news: Most of us can reduce cholesterol quickly, and without the need for medications. Simple lifestyle strategies can be very powerful.
Thats what several studies on thousands following the Pritikin Program of diet and exercise have found. Within three weeks, people were able to lower their cholesterol levels on average 23%, which translates into a 46% to 69% drop in heart attack risk.1
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Meats And Meat Alternatives
- Choose fish, chicken, turkey and lean meats.
- Use dried beans, peas, lentils and tofu.
- Limit egg yolks to three to four per week.
- If you eat red meat, limit to no more than three servings per week and choose loin or round cuts.
- Avoid fatty meats, such as bacon, sausage, franks, luncheon meats and ribs.
- Avoid all organ meats, including liver.
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Eating Fat Leads To Weight Gain
A common diet myth is that eating high fat foods causes you to gain weight.
While its true that eating too much of any macronutrient, including fat, makes you gain weight, consuming fat-rich foods as part of a healthy, balanced diet does not lead to weight gain.
On the contrary, consuming fat-rich foods may help you lose weight and keep you satisfied between meals.
In fact, numerous studies have shown that eating high fat foods, including whole eggs, avocados, nuts, and full-fat dairy, may help boost weight loss and feelings of fullness .
Whats more, dietary patterns that are very high in fat, including ketogenic and low carb, high fat diets, have been shown to promote weight loss .
Of course, quality matters. Consuming highly processed foods that are rich in fats, such as fast food, sugary baked goods, and fried foods, may increase your risk of weight gain .
Fat is a healthy and essential part of a balanced diet. Adding fat to meals and snacks may facilitate weight loss by boosting feelings of fullness.
Q Do You Have Any Interesting Ways To Incorporate Fat Into My Diet
A: Here are some ideas:
- In addition to eating nuts and seeds for snacks, put them on salads or in your oatmeal or yogurt.
- Spread nut butters on apples, celery or rice cakes and use them to make cooking sauces.
- Cube avocado for salads or whip it to use as a replacement for mayonnaise on sandwiches. You can also put avocado in smoothies to add creaminess and thickness and cut down on the sugar content.
- Make a healthy guacamole and put it on veggies such as peppers, carrots, celery and on salads, in rice bowls and stir fries.
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What Are Trans Fatty Acids
Trans fatty acids are formed when a liquid fat is changed into a solid fat through a process called hydrogenation. Many manufacturers use hydrogenated fats in their ingredients because it creates a product with an extended shelf life and better consistency.
Trans fatty acids are especially bad for you. They raise the levels of LDL cholesterol in your blood and lower the levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol.
There are currently no safe levels of trans fat to consume each day, so avoid them completely or eat them as little as possible.
Many manufacturers have stopped using or greatly reduced the amount of trans fats in their foods. But, check the label and avoid:
The Good The Bad And The Waxy
Cholesterol is a waxy goo made by the liver and circulated through your blood to help with all kinds of processes, like making hormones, vitamin D, and acids for digesting fatty foods.
Since the liver makes enough cholesterol, you dont need to get it from dietary sources like meat, eggs, and dairy.
A blood cholesterol test will reveal numbers for LDL, HDL, and triglycerides. Low density lipoprotein is the bad kind the higher this number, the higher your risk for heart disease.
High density lipoprotein is the good kind because it carries excess cholesterol to the liver to be disposed of.
Triglycerides are another type of fat in the blood that are associated with higher risk of heart disease and stroke.
Cholesterol levels tend to rise between the ages of 20 and 65. Men usually experience higher cholesterol up to the age of 55. For women, menopause often triggers cholesterol to rise.
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Choose Whole Grain Foods Over Processed Foods
Whole grain foods, such as oatmeal and brown rice, have been linked to a lower risk of heart disease. This is because they are high in fiber, which can help to reduce LDL cholesterol levels. Processed foods, on the other hand, are often high in sugar and saturated fat, which can increase your LDL cholesterol levels.
Other Chronic Degenerative Diseases
There is little conclusive evidence that dietary fat plays a role in causing any chronic diseases other than heart disease and cancer. Some studies suggest that lowering fat intake, as well as reducing alcohol intake, may allow obese and overweight people to lose weight, but this may be mainly an effect of lowering the total number of calories in the diet.
Gallstones are more common in people who eat diets high in fat and who are overweight or obese, but weight seems to be the major contributing factor. Thus if a low-fat diet can enable overweight and obese people to lose weight, such a diet will indirectly reduce the risk for gallbladder disease.
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Chapter 6fats Cholesterol And Chronic Diseases
Without a doubt, fats and cholesterol are the single most important group of nutrients to limit in your diet if you want to help to reduce your risk of chronic disease. Heart disease and cancer, this nation’s two leading killers, are linked to diets high in fat, and other chronic health problems may be exacerbated by high-fat diets. And yet our national diet contains as much as one-third more fat than it should.
If your diet is too high in fatand the chances are good that it isthen read this chapter carefully. It will give you the reasonsand the motivationto change your diet for the better.
The Case For Lower Serum Cholesterol
Serum cholesterol levels vary widely both among groups of people in various parts of the world and among individuals of those groups. For example, scientists in seven countries worked together to measure serum cholesterol levels in different groups of middle-aged men. The results showed that the average serum cholesterol level of Japanese men was 157 milligrams per deciliter , whereas men living in eastern Finland averaged 262 mg/dl.
There are also large differences among the different peoples of the world in the incidence of heart disease. For example, heart attacks are rare in Mediterranean countries, whereas they are fairly common in Scandinavia.
Because both cholesterol levels and the incidence of heart disease vary greatly among different groups of people, might the two be connected? In other words, do groups of people with high serum cholesterol levels have more heart attacks than populations with low levels? By comparing the rates of heart diseasehow many individuals have a heart attack for every 1000 people, for examplewith the average serum cholesterol levels among groups of people, scientists have determined that the answer is definitely yes. Populations in which the average serum cholesterol level is less than 180 mg/dl are virtually free of both atherosclerosis and heart disease. In contrast, those groups of people in which the average serum cholesterol level is above 220 mg/dl have high rates of heart attacks.
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