General Diet Plan to Lower Your Blood Cholesterol
High cholesterol is a major contributor to heart disease and stroke. So all healthy Americans from kids (age 3 upwards) to grandparents, regardless of their blood cholesterol level, should follow a heart-healthy diet. The whole family should also be physically active. And if you have a high blood cholesterol level - whether due to what you eat, heredity, or both - it is even more important to eat a healthy diet and to be physically active.
Cholesterol Lowering Diet-Plan
Follow a Diet Low in Saturated Fat
All foods that contain fat are made up of a mixture of saturated and unsaturated fats. Saturated fat raises your blood cholesterol level more than anything else that youeat. It is found in the greatest amounts in foods from animals, such as fatty cuts of meat, poultry with the skin, whole-milk dairy products, lard, and in some vegetable oils like coconut, palm kernel, and palm oils. The best way to reduce your blood cholesterol level is to choose foods low in saturated fat. One way to do this is by choosing foods such as fruit, vegetables, and whole grain foods naturally low in fat and high in starch and fiber.
This sort of lower-fat diet will also help you to lose weight, and remember: obesity is a definite risk factor for both heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.
Follow a Diet Low in Total Fat
Since many foods high in total fat are also high in saturated fat, eating foods low in total fat will help you eat less saturated fat. When you do eat fat, you should substitute unsaturated monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat for saturated fat. Examples of foods high in monounsaturated fat are olive and canola oils, those high in polyunsaturated fat include safflower, sunflower, corn, and soybean oils.
Because fat contains more than twice the calories of carbs or protein, this sort of lower fat diet will also help you to lose weight, and remember: obesity is a definite risk factor for heart disease. Eating too much fat, no matter what kind, can make you put on excess weight. Excess dietary fat can also increase your risk of certain types of cancer, such as breast or colon cancer.
Follow a Diet with Plenty of Starch and Fiber
Foods high in starch and fiber are excellent substitutes for foods high in saturated fat. These foods - breads, cereals, pasta, grains, fruits, and vegetables - are low in saturated fat and cholesterol. They are also usually lower in calories than foods that are high in fat. Foods high in starch and fiber are also good sources of vitamins and minerals. Diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and high in fruits, vegetables, and grain products - like oat and barley bran and dry peas and beans - may help to lower blood cholesterol. The antioxidant properties in certain (eg. brightly colored) fruits and vegetables can reduce the effects of cholesterol. Point is, to damage artery walls, cholesterol must first be chemically changed through a process called oxidation. Antioxidants help prevent cholesterol from being chemically changed and help prevent cholesterol from moving out of the blood and into the lining of the blood vessels.
This sort of diet will also help you to lose weight, and remember: obesity is a definite risk factor for both heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.
Follow a Diet Low in Cholesterol
Dietary cholesterol also can raise your blood cholesterol level, although usually not as much as saturated fat. So, it is important to choose foods low in dietary cholesterol. Dietary cholesterol is found only in foods that come from animals. Many of these foods also are high in saturated fat. Foods from plant sources do not have cholesterol but can contain saturated fat.
Following a low cholesterol diet will help you to reduce calories, lose weight and reduce obesity. Good news for your weight and your arteries!
Increase Your Exercise and Fitness
Exercise goes hand-in-hand with healthy diet. Physical exercise can raise HDL cholesterol and may lower LDL cholesterol. Being more active can also help you lose weight, lower your blood pressure, improve the fitness of your heart and blood vessels, and reduce stress.
If You are Overweight - Reduce Weight
People who are overweight tend to have higher blood cholesterol levels than people of desirable weight. Furthermore, overweight people with an "apple" shape - excess fat around their abdomen and central organs - tend to have a higher risk for heart disease than those with a "pear" shape - bigger hips and thighs. Abdominal fat is a type of fat distribution that is now believed to carry significant additional risks of heart disease and other illness.
If you are overweight, losing even a little weight can help to lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol. You don't need to reach your desired weight to see a change in your blood cholesterol levels.
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