Best And Worst Cheeses For Your Heart
Foods play a powerful role in reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseaseand slowing the progression of existing heart disease. If youve been watching what you eat to boost your heart health or reduce your waistline, you might be surprised to hear that you can incorporate cheese into a heart-healthy diet. The key lies in choosing the best cheeses for heart health, such as reduced-fat cheeses, and avoiding processed cheese . Let this list help guide your cheese choices for heart health.
Soy Milk: No Cholesterol Low In Saturated Fat
With 80 calories and only 2 g of fat per 1-cup serving, plain, light soy milk is a great alternative for people who are watching their cholesterol or cannot tolerate the lactose found in dairy milk. Because the source of soy milk is a plant, it has no cholesterol and only negligible amounts of saturated fat. Soy milk also contains 7 g of protein per serving, which is great for a heart-healthy diet. Twenty-five g per day of soy protein, like that found in soy milk and tofu, may also reduce your risk of heart disease, according to the National Institutes of Health. This may be due not just to the protein, but to soys high levels of polyunsaturated fats, minerals, vitamins, and fiber, as well as to its low levels of saturated fat. Still, Krivitsky says, its important to read the label to know what youre getting: Make sure theres no added sugar and that its fortified with calcium.
Also Check: Is Shrimp Bad For Your Cholesterol
Think Delicious And Nutritious
Load your plate with fruits and vegetables aim for five to nine servings each day to bring down your LDL level. Antioxidants in these foods may provide the benefit, along with fiber. And you may eat less fatty food if you fill up on produce. Bonus: Youll also help lower blood pressure and keep your weight in check.
Also Check: Shrimp Have Cholesterol
Cholesterol And Your Body
Cholesterol is a waxy substance created by the liver. Its attached to most cells in your body. Cholesterol performs many essential functions, such as forming cell membranes, regulating hormones, and producing vitamin D.
Low-density lipoprotein is known as the bad cholesterol. Its ratio of fat to protein is high. Doctors may get concerned with high LDL cholesterol levels because too much can cause heart disease, which is currently the leading cause of death in America for both men and women.
Unlike popular belief, not all cholesterol is bad and the body needs it. High-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or the good cholesterol, has a higher ratio of protein to fat. It helps prevent buildup, which can lead to stroke, by transporting excess cholesterol to your liver for breakdown and removal.
HDL cholesterol can be improved by
- quitting smoking
USDA , the average serving of vanilla ice cream contains 4 1/2 grams of saturated fat, which is more than a quarter of the maximum recommended intake for most adults. Richer varieties can contain even more.
If youre concerned about your cholesterol, you probably think that the extra treats, including ice cream, are off-limits. But you shouldnt feel like you have to completely deprive yourself.
Steak Heavy High Cholesterol Meat
This is another big culprit behind high bad cholesterol levels in many Western countries.
In countries like the United States people love their steaks and tend to have diets which are heavy on high-cholesterol meats and relatively low on foods that promote good cholesterol.
Again, you can eat steak now and then depending on your own bad cholesterol levels, but when you do eat it, you should make an effort to cut off as much of the fat as possible.
Read Also: Pork Chop Cholesterol
The Meat Of The Matter
Creating a healthy meal plan to maintain your cholesterol doesnt mean you have to omit meat altogether. While some types of meat are high in saturated fat, there are plenty of leaner options.
You can safely include meat in your diet. It just depends on the type of meat you choose and how you prepare it. Select leaner cuts and smaller portions of meat , such as:
- lean beef: chuck, sirloin, or loin
- lean pork cuts: the tenderloin or loin chop
- lamb: cuts from the leg, arm, and loin
- ground beef thats made of 90 percent or higher lean meat
- meats labeled prime mean theyre higher in fat look for meats labeled choice or select
Still Not All Cheeses Are Equal
- Fresh cheeses These cheeses are typically not fermented, but coagulated using traditional acid or heat treatments. Theyre usually lower in sodium and calories and higher in water content than other cheeses. For someone with a family history of heart disease or high cholesterol, fresh cheeses are best due to their low cholesterol content.
- Harder cheeses While typically higher in sodium and saturated fat, these cheeses also tend to have a higher concentration of calcium and protein than their fresh counterparts.
- Blue cheese Blue cheeses are relatively high in sodium and saturated fat but are great sources of calcium and vitamin K, giving them a middle-of-the-pack ranking in healthfulness.
Also Check: Does Shellfish Have Cholesterol
What Is Cholesterol And Why Is It Important To Eat Foods Containing It
Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is found in every cell of the human body. It plays an important role by forming the building blocks for hormones and vitamin D, which help to regulate heart health, blood pressure and brain function. Its also important to remember that not all cholesterol is bad.
Therefore, it is important to only focus on bad or high cholesterol foods. According to guidelines set by the American Heart Association , you should eat foods that are high in cholesterol with caution, as they can raise your blood cholesterol level. They do not recommend completely eliminating these types of food from your daily diet. The AHA suggests limiting your intake of foods that are high in cholesterol to three to four times per week.
Feta Lower In Fat Content
USDA recommends that 20 to 35 percent of your calories come from fat, with an intake of not more than 10 percent from saturated fat. Feta cheese is lower in total fat content compared to many other types of cheese with 6 grams per ounce 3.8 grams coming from saturated fat. Goat cheese has 8.5 grams of fat 5.9 grams being saturated fat which contributes to about 30 percent of your daily value in just 1 ounce.
However, the type of fats in feta and goat cheese is medium-chain triglycerides. This type of fatty acid is metabolized differently than long-chain triglycerides. They are quickly broken down and absorbed into your bloodstream for an instant energy source. As a result, the fat is generally not stored in the body and has a potential to aid in weight loss.
You May Like: Is Mayo Bad For Cholesterol
Recommended Reading: Are Mussels High In Cholesterol
Q& a ‘if Cholesterol Is So Bad Why Do We Have It’
Why do we need cholesterol if it can be so bad for our bodies?
Cholesterol is a fatty substance produced by the liver and used to build cell walls, create a protective glove around nerves and to make other chemicals such as hormones.
Cholesterol gets round our bodies by combining with protein to form a protective coating around tiny balls of fat absorbed from our diet termed lipoproteins. The purpose of this coating is to hold fat together, so we dont have oil slicks of fat in our bloodstream.
The two lipoproteins usually measured are low-density lipoprotein and high-density lipoprotein . LDL is like a juggernaut big clumps of fat and protein that trundle along the arteries and can only be cleared from our system by the liver. As it travels, fat can break away and enter the artery walls, becoming embedded. This build-up called atherosclerosis causes artery walls to narrow so blood cannot get through, resulting in blood clots that can trigger a heart attack or stroke.
HDL is known as good cholesterol. It is much smaller in size and hoovers up fat deposits from the artery wall as it moves around the body. This is why its important to know how much LDL and HDL are in your blood, as the ratio between these two types of fat is what really matters when it comes to risk.
What causes levels to rise?
How is cholesterol measured?
Good news: You do not have to give up on steak, red wine and dessert to lower your cholesterol
How often do I need to get a test?
Treatment For High Cholesterol
Making lifestyle changes, especially changing some of the foods you eat, and regular physical activity, are very important to help reduce high LDL cholesterol.
You may also need to take cholesterol-lowering medicines to help manage your cholesterol and reduce your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Talk to your doctor about finding the most appropriate treatment for you.
Recommended Reading: Do Cheerios Help Lower Cholesterol
What Is Goat Cheese
Goat cheese is made from goat milk and is healthier and better than the cheese made from cow milk.
It has lesser lactose, lower sodium, smaller and easy to digest fats, and similar if not higher vitamins and minerals levels as compared to cow cheese. You will get a better picture when you look at the nutrition data later.
Like other cheese varieties, goat cheese is available in different types and textures. You have it unripened or ripened, and the texture of each is defined as soft, semisoft, firm, or hard .
You can either have the unripened, fresh one in your salads or let it age with some microbial cultures and use it similar to aged cow cheese.
But why should you switch from cow cheese to goat cheese? What gives goat cheese an upper hand and makes it a healthier alternative? The answers lie in its nutrition and biochemical composition and the effects it has on your body.
Read on to understand what I mean.
Also Check: Can Dehydration Skew A Cholesterol Test
Which Cheeses Are Lowest In Cholesterol And Fat
Cheese is a great source of protein and calcium, but many cheeses are also high in cholesterol and saturated fat. In fact, Americans consume more fat from cheese than any other food, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Eating too much cholesterol or saturated fat increases your risk of high LDL cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart disease. But while cheese can be a part of a healthy, well-balanced diet, which cheeses you choose and how much you eat matters.
This article compares types of cheese that are low in fat and cholesterol with types of cheese that are high in them. It also includes several tips for how you can enjoy cheese in moderation as part of a healthy diet.
Don’t Miss: Oysters High In Cholesterol
‘you Can Base Your Energy In Your Diet On Either On Carbohydrates Or Fat It Doesnt Make A Big Difference’ Says Dr Simon Dankel
Find your bookmarks in your Independent Premium section, under my profile
Fatty foods such as cheese, butter, and cream are often considered culprits of heart disease but according to a new study, a diet high in saturated fat could in fact bring significant health benefits.
Eating more naturally high-fat foods while limiting the amount of carbohydrates consumed did not cause an increase in harmful cholesterol, researchers at the University of Bergen in Norway found.
Simon Dankel, who led the study, told The Independent the research showed the human body can do perfectly well with fats as its main energy source.
Aim For Cholesterol Balance When Eating Eggs For Breakfast
Once banned from the breakfast table, eggs are now generally considered a relatively healthy choice within limits.
A study published in May 2018 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating up to 12 eggs per week did not increase the risk of heart disease for people with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. However, the whole diet must be considered.
So if you have an egg for breakfast, don’t have a cheeseburger for lunch.
Aim for balance, says Kristi King, RDN, a clinical instructor at the Baylor College of Medicine and the senior dietitian at Texas Childrens Hospital in Houston. If you are going to consume fried chicken, add a salad instead of fries. If you want fries, get the grilled chicken to go with it.
Don’t Miss: Does Shrimp Raise Cholesterol Levels
Which Foods Are High In Cholesterol
All animal foods contain some cholesterol. But by cutting down on the animal foods that contain saturated fats you will be keeping the cholesterol in your diet in check too.
Foods that contain cholesterol and are high in saturated fat.
Full fat dairy foods such as milk, cheese, yogurt and cream.
Animal fats, such as butter, ghee, margarines and spreads made from animal fats, lard, suet and dripping.
Fatty meat and processed meat products such as sausages.
There are some foods which are low in saturated fat but high in cholesterol. These include eggs, some shellfish, liver, liver pate and offal. Most people dont need to cut down on the cholesterol thats found in these foods.
Foods that contain cholesterol but are low in saturated fat.
Lean meat, especially offal, such as liver, kidney, sweetbreads, heart and tripe
Prawns, crab, lobster, squid, octopus and cuttlefish.
For people with FH, or who have high cholesterol, or are at high risk of or have cardiovascular disease, you can still eat some of these foods, but you need to be more careful about how often you eat them to ensure youre keeping within the guidelines. For example, you could eat three or four eggs a week, and shellfish such as prawns up to once or twice a week.
You should avoid liver and offal altogether because they are very rich sources of cholesterol.
The table below shows the amount of cholesterol in these types of foods:-
Do I Need To Cut Down On Dietary Cholesterol
Most people dont need to cut down on the cholesterol thats found in foods- so you can still enjoy eggs and shellfish.
Its much more important to cut down on foods which contain saturated fats. Thats because saturated fats affect how the liver handles cholesterol. So, eating saturated fats can raise your blood cholesterol. Try to replace saturated fats with unsaturated fats which are better for your heart.
For some people those with familial hypercholesterolaemia , those who have high cholesterol, and those who are at high risk of or have cardiovascular disease the recommendation is to limit cholesterol in food to no more than 300mg a day. In the case of FH, ideally less than 200 mg a day.
Even though dietary cholesterol only has a small effect on blood cholesterol, people with high cholesterol and FH already have high levels of blood cholesterol, so it seems sensible not to eat too much cholesterol in food.
Also Check: Are Grits Good For Your Cholesterol
Also Check: Are Mussels High In Cholesterol
Tips For Managing Cholesterol
You can keep your cholesterol levels in a healthy range and still eat cheese and other foods with cholesterol. That being said, some people find it difficult to self-regulate. You may want to take a more regimented approach. The United States Department of Health and Human Services recommends following whats called the , which is often supervised by a doctor.
It is made up of three lifestyle components:
With diet, the main goal is to decrease the amount of saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol you consume daily. Along with this, youll want to add plant stanols and sterols, which fight cholesterol. Youll also want to increase your intake of soluble fiber. Some people have success by shifting their diet to Mediterranean, Paleo, or plant-based from more traditional forms of eating.
Physical activity and weight management can lower your numbers as well. Working out regularly helps with weight loss and can raise your good cholesterol levels. It also strengthens your heart and lungs. Reaching a healthy weight may lower your bad cholesterol and triglycerides.
Switching over to a different type of diet can help you reach your goal weight more quickly. In
Is Cheese Bad For You The Evidence Says Nowith Some Exceptions
Cheeses standing as a component of a healthy diet has long been debated. And its true that some animal products promote disease, but is cheese bad for you? Perhaps notevidence shows that cheese doesnt deserve to be treated the same as meat or milk.
Cheese is a good source of protein and calcium, and research largely doesnt support the theory that cheese contributes to chronic disease.
Read Also: Can Coffee Reduce Cholesterol
Saturated Fat Vs Cholesterol
Cholesterol itself isnt necessarily a bad thing to have in your body. Its a waxy substance that can be found in the fats running through your blood. You need cholesterol to build healthy cells. So, why exactly does cholesterol get a bad reputation?
There are two types of cholesterol: low-density lipoprotein and high-density lipoprotein . LDL is sometimes called bad cholesterol. It carries cholesterol to the tissues in your body. HDL is sometimes referred to as good cholesterol. It helps move cholesterol from the tissues in your body to your liver so it can flush out of your system.
Saturated fat, on the other hand, refers to the fat content in foods. Its mostly found in foods that are made from animal products. Too much saturated fat can raise the level of LDL cholesterol in your blood. Most people should try sticking to a maximum of 18 grams of saturated fat per day, or
American Heart Association recommends that people over age 20 who havent been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease have their cholesterol levels checked every four to six years. Your doctor may want to check your levels more frequently, however.
Left untreated, high cholesterol may cause an accumulation of cholesterol and other substances in your arteries. This condition is called atherosclerosis can slow blood flow through your arteries, creating clots and other issues.
You may also experience:
- heart attack