Misconception: If The Nutrition Facts Label Shows No Cholesterol The Food Is Heart Healthy
A foods Nutrition Facts label can be helpful for choosing heart-healthy foods, if you know what to look for.
Many foods marketed as low-cholesterol have high levels of saturated or trans fats, both of which raise blood cholesterol.
Look for how much saturated fat, trans fat and total calories are in a serving. Ingredients are listed in descending order of use, so choose products where fats and oils are near the end of the ingredients list.
Weight Loss And Lowered Cholesterol Bottomline
You can have a healthy weight and still have high cholesterol levels. But you are more likely to have unhealthy cholesterol levels if you are overweight or obese. Losing weight is the right towards lowering your cholesterol, but it is not the only step.
You will have to adopt an overall healthy lifestyle, which includes eating healthy and engaging in regular physical activity. Lowering your weight does not automatically lower your cholesterol. There are foods you have to avoid or minimize consumption of there are foods you should eat more of.
Lowering your cholesterol is not just a one-time goal. You have to commit to your healthier eating patterns and a more active lifestyle to keep your cholesterol at healthy levels. Make sure to visit your doctor so you can find out the relevant numbers you need to focus on and achieve, i.e. LDL and HDL levels.
When you successfully lower your cholesterol levels through weight loss and healthy habits, you will also significantly reduce your risk for other health issues associated with being overweight or obese, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
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High Cholesterol And Obesity
Understanding why some people have high cholesterol and some do not has a lot to do with the interplay of your genes coupled with your environment. Your genes and your environmentin this case, what you eat and how much you exercisecombine to form a baseline risk for developing high cholesterol. If you eat a diet that is high in fat, like high-fat meats, fried foods and high-fat cheeses, you are increasing your risk of both obesity and high cholesterol.
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Misconception: Only Men Need To Worry About Cholesterol
Both men and women tend to see higher triglyceride and cholesterol levels as they get older. Although atherosclerosis typically occurs later in women than men, cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in women. Weight gain also contributes to higher levels.
Premenopausal women may have some protection from high LDL levels of cholesterol, compared to men. Thats because the female hormone estrogen is highest during the childbearing years and it tends to raise HDL cholesterol levels. This may help explain why premenopausal women are usually protected from developing heart disease.
But cholesterol levels can still rise in postmenopausal women, despite a heart-healthy diet and regular physical activity. So women nearing menopause should have their cholesterol levels checked and talk with their doctor about their risk factors and treatment options.
At one time, it was thought that hormone replacement therapy might lower a womans risk of heart disease and stroke. But studies have shown that HRT doesn’t reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke in postmenopausal women. The American Heart Association doesn’t endorse HRT as a means to lower cardiovascular risks.
Doctors should consider women-specific conditions, such as premature menopause and pregnancy-associated conditions, when discussing their cholesterol levels and potential treatment options.
Remember That Muscle Is Denser Than Fat
When youre setting out to lose those first 10 pounds, keep in mind that muscle is denser than fat. This means your weight could stay the same, but if youre doing strength training, you may actually be replacing pounds of fat with lean muscle!
If you stand on the scale and notice that your weight isnt changing, dont feel discouraged. Instead, take measurements around your waist, hips, thighs, calves, upper arms, forearms, neck, wrist, shoulders, and chest. If youre truly replacing fat with muscle, youll start losing inches all over your body. And, because muscle tissue burns more calories than fat, your metabolism will also increase. This means youre doing a great job at getting rid of excess fat, even though the number on the scale may stay the same.
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Limitations And Future Studies
Although the case series analysis was prospective, participant selection bias limits the generalizability of the results. Sample size and sex bias limit the generalizability of the results. This was a short-term study thus, long-term effects of the dietary modifications and whole food supplementation with respect to adherence, weight control, and health benefits are unknown. The SPPP is designed to work synergistically using both dietary modifications and whole food supplementation. However, the multicomponent nature of the program and the inclusion of weekly patient education preclude any conclusions on the independent effects of dietary modifications and whole food supplementation on weight loss and improvements in lipid profiles.
Lifestyle Choices Contribute To Both Obesity And High Cholesterol
Sometimes, high cholesterol is an inherited condition. Other diseases, such as , can also contribute. But most cases of high cholesterol are due to two main lifestyle choices:
Eating foods high in saturated fats and cholesterol
Getting little to no exercise or physical activity
Its no surprise that these two factors also often lead to obesity.
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Can 10 Pounds Make A Difference In Your Health
Data reveals that at least 60 percent of Americans are, by definition, overweight. If youre carrying lots of excess weight, 10 pounds may not seem like enough to make a difference in your health. However, scientific evidence shows that losing just 10 pounds can improve conditions related to metabolic syndrome, such as hypertension and high cholesterol. Losing 10 pounds can also do wonders for your mental health by boosting your confidence and self-esteem.
When making the commitment to lose weight, most people are driven by the desire to look better physically. While this is a great advantage of achieving weight loss and a healthier lifestyle, the best reasons to lose weight often come with results you cant necessarily see.
Many benefits of weight loss are associated with the proper functioning of your bodys most important systems. A 5 to 10 percent weight loss can:
- Improve good cholesterol by about 5 points, also lowering the risk of heart disease
- Lower triglycerides significantly, around 40mg/dL. Triglycerides of over 200mg/dL are shown to increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.
- Improve or reverse sleep apnea
- Reduce inflammation in blood vessels, helping to reduce the risk of plaque and blood clots
- Increase energy and vitality
Keeping Joints Squeaky Clean
You might not think much about it now, but trust us, you want healthy joints as you age. Excess weight can put more wear and tear on knee cartilage, leading to a painful condition called osteoarthritis. If youre overweight, research shows that losing 11 pounds can decrease your likelihood of OA by more than 50 percent. Heres to signing up for 5Ks well into your older years.
This story originally appeared on Life by Daily Burn.
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Obesity Changes The Way Your Body Handles Cholesterol
If food choices play a big role in high cholesterol, it seems logical to decrease the saturated fats and cholesterol in your diet. Its a smart move, but theres a catch. Research shows that these dietary changes are less effective at improving cholesterol levels in obese people.
Obesity blunts your response to changes in the type of fats you eat. Obesity increases the amount of LDL cholesterol your liver makes. It also decreases clearance of LDL cholesterol from your blood. Research suggests a few ways this happens:
Your bodys normal process that adjusts LDL production and clearance based on the fats you consume doesnt work. Thats why changing your diet has little effect on its own.
Inflammation throughout the body is a common complication of obesity. This constant inflammation decreases your bodys response to changes in dietary fat intake.
Insulin resistance is also common in . It causes changes in the enzymes your body needs to handle cholesterol normally.
Other Reasons For A Spike In Cholesterol
If youre dieting and seeing results alongside an increase in cholesterol, take a survey of other possible contributions. Chances are, opting to lose weight is often accompanied by general lifestyle changes. However, as everyone is different, it is possible to maintain weight loss with other factors that can raise cholesterol.
Smoking cigarettes: Cigarettes contain a chemical called acrolein, which can stop the transportation of cholesterol to the liver.
Alcohol: Too much alcohol can increase triglyceride levels.
Diabetes: Having diabetes tends to lower the cholesterol that works for your body, and raise the kind that works against it.
High blood pressure : High blood pressure and high cholesterol can influence one another. People with blockages in the arteries and abnormally high pressure are at severe risk for heart disease.
Family history: Family history, coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke, or arterial disease contribute to a higher risk of high cholesterol.
Age, sex, and race: Specific genetic factors increase the risk of high cholesterol. It increases as you age. It is more common in younger men, and older women following menopause. Certain ethnicities experience high cholesterol more than others.
Hypercholesterolemia: A rare condition that may cause an individual to have high cholesterol despite practicing healthy habits.
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Hdl: The Good But Complex Cholesterol
More HDL cholesterol is better, but the benefits may depend on how you get there.
In the simplest telling of the cholesterol story, HDL fights LDL . Like knights in shining armor, HDL particles patrol the blood vessels, snatching cholesterol from circulating LDL particles and from the dangerous, gooey plaque that lines artery walls. The knights of the HDL cholesterol carry their fatty cargo to the liver for recycling or disposal.
The real story isn’t quite so simple. HDL cholesterol is turning out to be a much more complex substance than we once believed. Instead of a single kind of particle, HDL cholesterol is a family of different particles. Although they all contain lipids , cholesterol, and proteins called apolipoproteins, some types are spherical while others are doughnut-shaped. Some types of HDL are great at plucking cholesterol from LDL and artery walls while other types are indifferent to cholesterol, and some even transfer cholesterol the wrong way into LDL and cells.
To further complicate matters, different HDL types do more than just carry cholesterol. Some protect LDL from being chemically altered by oxygen, a change that makes LDL extra harmful to artery walls. Under some circumstances, though, they can do just the opposite. Various HDL particles can ease inflammation in artery walls, stimulate production of nitric oxide, a molecule that helps artery walls relax, and help prevent blood clots from forming inside arteries.
Are There Different Types Of Body Fat
Some people carry excess weight in the hips and thighs , while others carry it in the abdominal area . We now know that excess fat in the abdominal area is more likely than excess fat in the lower body to cause health problems such as high blood cholesterol levels.
Since the measurement around your waistline reflects your level of abdominal fat, a waist measurement can be a good clue to whether you have too much upper body fat. You have too much abdominal fat if your waist measurement exceeds:
- 40 inches for men
- 35 inches for women
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Quality Sleep Every Night
Nearly 80 percent of people who are overweight suffer a sleep disorder like sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can happen when excess fat tissue thickens the wall of your windpipe, narrowing your airway. This causes you to take in less oxygen while you sleep and wake up several times per night. Losing 10 pounds can widen your airways and help you sleep more comfortably every night.
Relation Of Degree Of Weight Loss To Level Of Risk Factor Improvement
Patients were divided into the following weight loss groups: < 5 % , 510 % , and > 10 % . Six patients who gained weight over the program were eliminated from all analyses examining differences between weight loss groups. There were no differences between the weight loss groups on baseline BMI or on any of their baseline risk factor values, for men or women. However, all baseline risk factor values differed significantly between men and women thus, effects of gender were analyzed where sample sizes allowed.
Patients who lost < 5 % of their starting weight experienced a significant reduction only in triglycerides . Patients who lost 510 % of their starting weight showed significant reductions in total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides, with men experiencing a greater reduction than women on triclycerides. Patients who lost > 10 % of their weight saw significant reductions in all five risk factors, including HDL cholesterol, an undesirable change. In this group, men had greater reductions in fasting glucose and triglycerides than women while the reverse was true for HDL cholesterol.
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Misconception: Diet And Physical Activity Dictate Your Cholesterol Level
Diet and physical activity do affect overall blood cholesterol levels, but so do other factors.
Being overweight or obese tends to increase bad cholesterol and lower good cholesterol . Getting older also causes LDL cholesterol to rise. For some, heredity may play a role.
So, a heart-healthy diet and regular physical activity are important to everyone for maintaining cardiovascular health.
Effects Of Moderate Exercise On Ldl
Although researchers are still trying to determine exactly how exercise affects your cholesterol, the bottom line is clear: moderate exercise appears to have favorable effects on your cholesterol levels:
- Moderate exercise reduced LDL cholesterol by up to 10% in some studies. There are a few studies that suggest that exercise may have a slightly positive or neutral effect on LDL.
- Exercising regularly can increase your HDL cholesterol by between 3 and 6%.
Although this may not seem like much, combining exercise with other lifestyle changes can help keep your cholesterol levels, as well as the rest of your body, healthy.
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Losing Weight Could Reduce Risk Of Diabetes
While the link between Type 2 diabetes and obesity isnt fully understood, the connection itself is undeniable. Diabetes elevates your blood sugar levels and puts you at risk for heart attacks and strokes. Losing weight can help manage blood sugar levels, and therefore improves your chances of avoiding heart problems.
How Low Should Your Ldl And Non
Numerous studies have found that an LDL level above 100, even in otherwise healthy patients, will lead to the growth of damaging plaques. Research suggests that LDL levels significantly lower than 100 are optimal. For example, one major study involving more than 8,800 European patients found that LDL cholesterol levels of 81 were even better than levels of 104 in preventing death, heart attacks, and other cardiovascular-related problems in people with heart disease. 2
And recently, a six-year study involving 18,000 people with heart disease affirmed that for reducing LDL levels, the lower, the better. The study was reported at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association.3 Half the subjects lowered their LDL, on average, to 69 the other half reduced LDL to 54. Both groups were rewarded with few heart events over the six-year period, but the group with the lower LDL, 54, ended up the winner. It had 6.4% fewer events heart attacks, heart disease deaths, strokes, bypass surgeries, stent procedures, and hospitalizations for severe chest pains than the group with the higher LDL.
For non-HDL, an optimal goal for people with clear evidence of heart disease is less than 80. A good goal for healthy individuals wanting to prevent heart disease is less than 100.
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Reduced Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes
Being overweight increases your risk of type 2 diabetes due to the way excess weight can interfere with your bodys hormones and insulin production. Type 2 diabetes is a major risk factor for heart disease, along with obesity, physical inactivity, and chronic hypertension. Losing just 10 pounds has the ability to reduce your risk of diabetes by as much as 60 percent.
Weight Loss And Its Effect On Your Heart
Every 34 seconds, someone dies of a heart attack in the United States. Coronary artery disease when fat and cholesterol plaque build up and narrow your arteries is one of the primary causes of those heart attacks. It happens when a piece of plaque breaks off and blocks the blood flow to your heart.
Carrying too much weight may put you at risk for coronary artery disease and an eventual heart attack. Losing weight is the obvious solution, but not so fast. The method you use to lose can either help or hurt your heart.
Our expert cardiologists at Phoenix Heart use state-of-the-art technology to evaluate your heart health and accurately diagnose and treat heart conditions and diseases. With a cardiovascular lab on site, we can offer you comprehensive care without sending you to another facility.
You may know that obesity is one of the main contributors to poor heart health. But losing weight too quickly can exacerbate the problem. Our doctors want you to know that both the positive and negative effects of weight loss on your heart.
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