Cholesterol Lowering Diets
High cholesterol can be very dangerous for your heart and for your health. In order to take care of your body, and to either lower your cholesterol or keep your cholesterol at its present low level, here are important tips for you. There are many diets on the market today that claim to lower your cholesterol. You can certainly follow one of their plans, or simply get the main ideas and tips for lowering your cholesterol here, and try to follow them as closely as possible.
Why Is High Cholesterol Dangerous?
There are approximately 105 million adults in American with high cholesterol. High cholesterol can lead to heart disease and can put you at a higher risk for having a heart attack. By lowering your cholesterol and keeping it within a normal range, you keep your heart healthier, and yourself healthier overall. Your doctor will help you to target the healthy numbers and to know what healthy cholesterol means for you.
Changing Your Lifestyle To Change Cholesterol
Before tackling specifics of your diet, there are some general lifestyle changes that can help you to become more fit and to lower your cholesterol. Exercise for at least 30 minutes, three or four days a week. Limit your diet to less than 30% fat calories and less than 10% total saturated fat. Your total cholesterol from your diet should stay under 300 milligrams. If you already have trouble with cholesterol, then your fat calories should be less than 25%, your saturated fat should be less than 7% and your total cholesterol from your diet should be less than 200 milligrams.
Changing Your Diet to Change Your Cholesterol
While these diet ideas can certainly help to reduce your cholesterol, you may find that they can not, alone, bring it to the level where you want it to be. You may still need prescription medicine to further lower your cholesterol. However, a low-cholesterol diet can certainly help to reduce your numbers and to keep you healthier. Here are a number of foods that have been proven to help lower cholesterol. Ten grams or more of soluble fiber each day can help you to reduce your cholesterol. Soluble fiber includes such things as oatmeal, kidney beans, apples, pears, barley and prunes. Walnuts and almonds are foods that can significantly reduce cholesterol levels. Researchers have found that a diet that has 20% of the calories from walnuts can reduce LDL cholesterol levels by 12%. Nuts, however, are quite high in fat, so only eat about 2 ounces or 57 grams a day. Fatty fish is another great food to lower cholesterol. It is high in omega-3 fatty acids and these can also reduce blood pressure and the risk of blood clots. Two servings of fish a week is the recommended amount to lower cholesterol. Enjoy mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna and salmon. Bake or grill your fish; if you hate fish, you can get the same omega-3 benefits from flaxseed or canola oil. You can also take oil omega-3 supplements, but it won't give you all of the same benefits. Next, use about 2 tablespoons of olive oil a day to get cholesterol lowering benefits. Olive oil has antioxidants that help to lower your bad cholesterol (LDL) and leave your good cholesterol (HDL) in place. Avoid light olive oils and use extra-virgin olive oil when you can.
Avoid Foods That Are Bad For Cholesterol
Be careful about eating foods that are bad for your cholesterol. These include foods that come from animals, including meats, poultry, fish, egg yolk, cheese, butter and dairy items that come from whole milk. Avoid using tropical oils like coconut oil, palm oil and cocoa butter, as they are high in saturated fat. You should also avoid stick margarine and other products made with partially hydrogenated oils that contain trans-fats.
You should certainly consult with a physician before changing your diet and exercise a great deal. Your doctor will help you to modify these ideas and to develop a specific plan for your needs. In time, you should start to feel better as you increase your activity level, change your diet and help your heart.