Choose Margarine Over Butter For A Healthy Heart
When it comes to matters of the heart, choose margarine over butter. “Margarine that is made with a liquid vegetable oil could be sunflower, corn, soybean oil as long as the oil has not been hydrogenated it will be heart healthy,” Deborah Murray, MS, professor at Ohio University’s College of Health Sciences and Professions, tells Health Digest.
The Mayo Clinic says that the fats in margarine help to lower LDL cholesterol levels. However, the type of margarine matters too. Solid margarine has more trans fat. Trans fat lowers HDL “good” cholesterol levels. For this reason, margarine from a tub is healthier than stick margarine.
Unlike margarine, butter is derived from animal fat, which indicates more saturated fat. “Sure, butter is creamy and spreadable, but it provides a significant source of saturated fat which in excess can lead to elevated blood cholesterol,” Julia Zumpano, a preventive cardiology dietitian, told the Cleveland Clinic.
There’s Nothing Devilish About Deviled Eggs
Eggs have cholesterol, but their nutritional value outweighs any cons against eating them. According to Harvard Health Publishing, eating a chicken egg a day won’t increase the risk for stroke or other cardiovascular diseases. This changes when other ingredients that raise cholesterol levels are added, such as butter, cheese, bacon, sausage, muffins, or scones.
Nicole Avena, Ph.D., nutrition and health expert and author of Why Diets Fail, tells Health Digest that since eggs still increase LDL levels in the body, it can be harmful to people with preexisting health conditions. “For those with diabetes or who are at risk for heart disease, they should limit their egg consumption to three per week.”
“For most people, they can eat eggs in moderate amounts and experience no deterioration of their health,” Avena told Health Digest. The Mayo Clinic says that healthy people who eat seven eggs a week don’t seem to have an increased heart disease risk. If you’re watching your cholesterol intake, the Mayo Clinic recommends using egg whites since egg yolk has the most cholesterol in an egg, where it stands at 186 mg.
Ldl Cholesterol: How Low Can You Go
- By Dara K. Lee Lewis, MD, Contributor
Elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol is a clearly established risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease . Lowering LDL with medications and/or lifestyle changes has been shown to lower CVD risk. Just how far to lower LDL, however, has remained controversial.
Current guidelines developed by the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology, and several other professional organizations recommend lowering elevated LDL levels to 70 milligrams per deciliter in people with high-risk CVD. However, recent studies have suggested that CVD risk may continue to drop as LDL is lowered beyond these targets, leading some cardiologists to believe that our current guidelines are not aggressive enough. Others are concerned that lowering LDL too much may lead to harm.
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Know Your Numbers And What To Do About Them
When it comes to cholesterol, its important to know your numbers. Hyperlipidemia means your blood has too many lipids , such as cholesterol and triglycerides. One type of hyperlipidemia, hypercholesterolemia, means you have too much non-HDL cholesterol and LDL cholesterol in your blood. This condition increases fatty deposits in arteries and the risk of blockages.
Another way your cholesterol numbers can be out of balance is when your HDL cholesterol level is too low. With less HDL to remove cholesterol from your arteries, your risk of atherosclerotic plaque and blockages increases.
If youre diagnosed with hyperlipidemia, your overall health and other risks such as smoking or high blood pressure will help guide treatment. These factors can combine with high LDL cholesterol or low HDL cholesterol levels to affect your cardiovascular health. Your doctor may use the ASCVD Risk Calculator to assess your risk of a coronary event in the next 10 years.
The good news is, high cholesterol can be lowered, reducing risk of heart disease and stroke. If youre 20 years or older, have your cholesterol tested and work with your doctor to adjust your cholesterol levels as needed.
Often, changing behaviors can help bring your numbers into line. If lifestyle changes alone dont improve your cholesterol levels, medication may be prescribed. Lifestyle changes include:
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Focus On Fruits Vegetables Whole Grains And Beans
Our typical American diet is now abbreviated as SAD by scientists nationwide because its full of foods that do sad things to both hearts and waistlines. Hyperprocessed foods like potato chips and French fries. Sugar-saturated drinks. And fatty, artery-clogging meats and full-fat dairy foods like cheese.
We dont have to become complete vegetarians to get our cholesterol levels into healthy ranges, studies on the Pritikin Program have found, but clearly, the more vegetables, fruits, potatoes, and other naturally-fiber-rich plant foods we eat, the healthier well be.
Plant foods high in soluble fiber are especially beneficial in lowering total and LDL bad cholesterol levels. Good sources include beans , yams, oats , barley, and berries.
For simple tips on bringing more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans into your life, here is a 5-day sample healthy meal plan from the doctors and dietitians at Pritikin Longevity Center.
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Foods To Avoid On A Low
Because trans fats and saturated fats are associated with increased LDL cholesterol levels, and excessive cholesterol intake also seems to contribute to the issue, these should be limited. Note that trans fats are hydrogenated oils added to foods to improve stability and saturated fats are solid at room temperature and are mostly found in animal products. The following foods are particularly high in trans fat, saturated fat, and/or cholesterol and should be avoided on a low-cholesterol diet:
Sardines: 1306 Mg 44% Dv
One can of sardines has 44 percent of the DV for cholesterol. But you should still include these little fish in your diet because theyre loaded with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, providing 103 percent of the DV.
Omega-3s are a type of polyunsaturated fat that can lower heart attack risk, blood pressure and triglyceride levels, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Try them in these protein-packed sardines recipes that promise to be free of any unpleasant fishy taste.
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Foods To Eat And 7 To Avoid For High Cholesterol
Cholesterol is the misunderstood hero of the body. The American Heart Association divides it into two categories: good and bad cholesterol. When people are talking about high cholesterol, they’re likely referring to LDL cholesterol. When there’s too much LDL, fat builds up in the arteries creating a series of heart problems.
On the other hand, good cholesterol is called HDL because they are protective against the harmful effects caused by LDL. “It is also used as starting material in the body for making steroid hormones, vitamin D, and bile acids we need for digestion. Without cholesterol, we would not be alive,” William W. Li, MD, a physician, scientist, and author of Eat to Beat Disease: The New Science of How Your Body Can Heal Itself tells Health Digest.
A healthy diet involves the right balance of cholesterol. Here’s some food to try and foods with high cholesterol to avoid.
What Makes Up A Heart
Eat lots of fruits, vegetables and plant-based foods
Vegetables, pulses , fruits, nuts, seeds and wholegrains are full of nutrients and good for your cholesterol and your heart. Go for at least five portions of fruit and veg a day to stay healthy and help you eat less high-calorie foods. Fresh, frozen, canned and dried all count.
Eat a variety of healthy sources of protein such as peas, beans, lentils, fish, nuts, chicken and lean red meat.
These foods are high in protein and nutrients but low in saturated fat. If you eat red meat, make sure it’s lean and watch the quantity. Eat less meat and more plant foods by swapping some meat-based meals for vegetarian options.
Eat some low-fat dairy products or fortified dairy alternatives
Dairy foods contain calcium which is essential for good health. Choose low fat options to avoid the saturated fat. When choosing dairy alternatives, go for unsweetened, calcium-fortified varieties.
Swap saturated fats for heart-healthy fats
Include starchy foods which are high in fibre
Choose wholegrain options such as wholemeal bread and chapatti, brown rice, wholemeal pasta or wholegrain breakfast cereals. They contain lots of nutrients, as well as fibre which helps with digestion and keeps you feeling full so you dont snack. Choose these instead of white rice, white bread and white pasta.
Cut down on sugary foods and drinks
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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.
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Dietary Cholesterol Dont Get Confused
Some foods naturally contain dietary cholesterol, but dont make a big difference to the cholesterol in your blood. These are foods like eggs, some shellfish such as prawns and crab and offal such as liver, liver pate and kidney. They are low in saturated fat and so are fine to eat as part of a healthy diet. Only cut down on these foods if your doctor or a dietitian has advised you to. To lower cholesterol, its more important to cut down on the amount of saturated fat you eat.
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A Guide To Healthy Eating: Strategies Tips And Recipes To Help You Make Better Food Choices
Eat real food. Thats the essence of todays nutrition message. Our knowledge of nutrition has come full circle, back to eating food that is as close as possible to the way nature made it. Based on a solid foundation of current nutrition science, Harvards Special Health Report A Guide to Healthy Eating: Strategies, tips, and recipes to help you make better food choices describes how to eat for optimum health.
Shrimp: Another Ambiguous High Cholesterol Food
Like eggs, shrimp is one of those controversial high cholesterol foods many doctors advise patients to stay away from it, but there have been studies now which indicate its not actually bad for you despite the high cholesterol content.
Shrimp is often thought of as being relatively healthy compared to many meat options because of its low fat content.
But despite being relatively low in fat, shrimp is certainly high in cholesterol. Studies have indicated that shrimp is not a hazard for high cholesterol patients because while it raises bad cholesterol, it simultaneously raises good cholesterol so the effects cancel each other out.
That said, having a high level of cholesterol overall is not recommended. If youre a shrimp fan youre best to discuss with your doctor whether its okay for you to continue eating shrimp otherwise youre best to just avoid it.
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Other Tips On High Cholesterol Foods
You may eliminate a bunch of high cholesterol foods and get onto a low cholesterol diet and stick with it religiously, only to sabotage yourself through things that you dont typically think of as food.
Drinking alcohol is a classic example of this. Many people tend to leave their alcohol consumption out of their diet tracking.
This is a mistake, especially if youre trying to restrict your cholesterol intake.
Once again moderation is key with things like alcohol.
Many studies have showed moderate alcohol consumption has a positive effect on cholesterol levels, but binge drinking and excessive consumption has the opposite effect and puts you at greater risk of a vast number of health problems.
Moderate consumption according to many experts is around one glass of wine per day, maximum.
With careful planning its relatively easy to significantly reduce the amount of cholesterol you take in, while still being able to enjoy your favorite high cholesterol foods in moderation.
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Eggs and Cholesterol Learn the Truth behind Many Cholesterol Myths
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.
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Eat More High Fibre Foods
Eating plenty of fibre helps lower your risk of heart disease and some high fibre foods can help lower your cholesterol. To make sure you get enough fibre:
- Aim for five portions of fruit and vegetables a day
- Switch to wholegrain varieties of bread, cereals, pasta and rice
- Choose other high fibre foods such as pulses , oats, unsalted nuts and seeds
How Often Should I Have My Cholesterol Tested
Adults should have their blood lipids measured every 5 years, starting at 45 years. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should start lipid blood tests at 35, because on average heart and blood vessel disease such as heart attacks and stroke happen 10 to 20 years earlier in Indigenous people.
All Australians in these age groups are eligible for a regular 20-minute heart health check with their doctor. This checks your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Your doctor can then assess your risk of having a heart attack or stroke in the next 5 years.
If Youre Smoking Stop Now
When most people think of smoking, they mostly think about the lung diseases that go along with it. However, the damage that smoking can do goes much deeper. In fact, smoking can increase your cholesterol levels and cause heart disease. If you quit smoking now, you can prevent this from occurring, and reverse the damage that you have done if you quit now.
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Eating Well + Exercise
For best results with a healthy lifestyle, new research has found that plunging right in with both healthy eating and exercising is the way to go.3
The Stanford University School of Medicine study involved 200 middle-aged Americans, all sedentary and with poor eating habits. Some were told to launch new food and fitness habits at the same time. Others began dieting but waited several months before beginning to exercise. A third group started exercising but didnt change eating habits till several months later.
All the groups received telephone coaching and were followed for one year. The winning group was the one making food and exercise changes together. The people in this group were most likely to meet U.S. guidelines for exercise and healthy eating , and to keep calories from saturated fat at less than 10% of their total intake of calories.
For best results with a healthy lifestyle, new research has found that plunging right in with both healthy eating and exercising is the way to go.3
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Do You Have High Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that is a natural and essential part of all cells in your body. It helps produce hormones, make vitamin D, provide cells with structure, and plays a role in the process of digesting fats. The liver creates all of the cholesterol that your body needs, so it is not required that you get it from foods. Foods that come from animals such as meat, cheese, and eggs all provide dietary cholesterol to the body.
There are two types of cholesterol: high-density lipoproteins and low-density lipoproteins . HDL is thought of as the good type of cholesterol because it carries cholesterol from your blood to your liver to be removed. This is helpful to the heart. LDL is the bad type of cholesterol: It causes a buildup of cholesterol in the blood, which leads to furring up of the arteries. This is called atherosclerosis and is a direct cause of heart attacks, strokes, and peripheral artery disease.
Triglycerides are a type of fat in the blood. They are separate to and different from cholesterol, but they are nearly always included in the cholesterol lab panel since they have a similar effect on your heart and overall health. Triglycerides come from eating too many calories . These extra calories are stored in the blood as triglycerides. High triglyceride levels can lead to heart disease and problems in your pancreas and liver, including fatty liver disease.
Here are the normal ranges for cholesterol and triglyceride levels in adults :
You Eat A Diet High In Animal Products
Low-carb, high-fat diets may be popular right now, but in the long run, this way of eating may have some unfavorable side effects when it comes to your cholesterol.
If a keto diet is poorly planned or if you are hungry as a result of lower carbohydrate intake, you could consume too much fat. If that fat is saturated, your risk of acquiring cardiovascular disease increases, says Christine Randazzo Kirschner, MS, RDN, co-founder of Amenta Nutrition.
Want to get your cholesterol into healthier territory? Start with these 17 Foods That Lower Cholesterol.
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