Heart Healthy Cholesterol

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , /

Hi, my name is Angela Gross, and I’m a registered dietitian at the St. Cloud VA Healthcare System Today, I’m going to talk to you about lowering cholesterol through diet So what is cholesterol? Cholesterol is a fat-like material that provides structure for your body cells the body uses cholesterol to make hormones bioacids Vitamin D and other substances Your liver makes most of the cholesterol your body needs, but you also get some from the foods you eat cholesterol circulates in the bloodstream, but cannot travel by itself cholesterol travels in packages called Lipoproteins which have fat inside and protein outside these are called LDL and HDL We will start with HDL HDL Is often called the good cholesterol HDL helps remove fat from the blood a low HDL increases your risk of heart disease To increase your HDL levels don’t smoke or quit if you do and exercise more Exercise is one of the best ways to increase your HDL levels Next we’ll talk about LDL Cholesterol, LDL often called the bad cholesterol carries fat throughout the body and leaves it on blood vessel walls This can build up over time and cause blockages in the arteries Triglycerides are another type of fat in the blood that can increase the risk of heart disease Foods high in fat sugar and alcohol as well as poor diabetes control can increase triglycerides You can prevent and control many risk factors of heart disease such as high blood cholesterol high blood pressure excess weight and obesity with lifestyle changes and medication The main goal of cholesterol lowering treatment is to lower the LDL cholesterol Which may include a cholesterol-lowering diet physical activity and weight management Changes in your diet can make changes to your LDL cholesterol if you decrease saturated fat to less than 7 percent of calories if you have a weight loss of 10 pounds or more if you’re overweight and by adding 5 to 10 grams of soluble fiber per day can reduce your LDL cholesterol Types of dietary fats unsaturated fats saturated fats and trans fats unsaturated fats There are two types monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats They are found mainly in vegetable oils such as canola olive and peanut oils. They are liquid at room temperature Eating foods with unsaturated fats can help lower your LDL cholesterol Raise your HDL cholesterol and decrease your risk of heart disease Saturated fats are found mainly in animal foods such as meat and poultry whole or 2% milk and butter Some vegetable oils like coconut palm kernel oil and palm oil also have saturated fats Saturated fats are usually solid at room temperature and eating too many fats high in saturated fat can raise your LDL cholesterol and your overall cholesterol High blood levels of LDL and total cholesterol increase your risk of heart disease Trans fats are formed when vegetable oils are processed into margarine or shortening sources of trans fat in your diet include snack foods and baked goods made with partially hydrogenated vegetable oil or vegetable shortening Trans fats also occur naturally in some animal foods such as dairy products Trans fats act like saturated fats, and raise LDL cholesterol levels They can also lower HDL cholesterol in the blood Trans fats increase your risk for heart disease So there’s no recommended level of trans fat intake To limit your fat, especially saturated and trans fat select lean cuts of beef and pork especially cuts with loin or round in their name Remove all visible fat from meat before cooking take the skin off chicken or turkey before eating it Cut back on processed meats high in saturated fats such as hot dogs salami and bacon bake broiled roast stew or stir-fry lean meats fish or poultry drain out the fat of cooked ground meat When you make stew super gravy refrigerate the leftovers and skim off the fat with a spoon before reheating or serving eat fish regularly Try different ways of cooking like baking broiling grilling and poaching to add variety the American Heart Association recommends Americans eat at least two servings of fish a week try eating plant foods as sources of protein Including soy beans pinto beans lentils and nuts replace higher fat cheese’s lower fat options like reduced fat feta and part-skim mozzarella thicken sauces with evaporated nonfat milk instead of whole milk and move towards using lower fat milk and yogurt Start with 2% products and move to 1% and finally to fat-free to adjust to the new taste Use liquid vegetable oils and soft margarine instead of stick margarine or shortening limit consumption of cakes cookies crackers pastries pies muffins doughnuts and french fries these foods tend to be the biggest source of trans fats Many food manufacturers have removed trans fats from their foods check ingredient lists on food packages and avoid products containing partially hydrogenated oils Use nonstick spray or a nonstick pan for cooking try broth as a substitute for oil when sauteing foods Use oils such as canola olive and soybean in recipes and for sauteing Make salad dressings with olive walnut or pecan oils also research has shown that Omega-3 fatty acids may be beneficial to heart health by lowering triglycerides raising HDL and preventing blood clots eat foods containing Omega-3 fatty acids Select foods that provide Omega-3 fat such as canola and soybean oil add flaxseed oil, which is very high in omega-3 fat to foods like salad dressings If you use flaxseed be sure it is ground-up your body can not digest the beneficial fat if the seeds are left whole Eat two 4 ounce portions of fatty fish each week like salmon albacore Tuna If it’s canned make sure it’s in water some chickens are given feed that is high in omega-3s So their eggs will contain more as well when buying eggs check the package label Fish oil supplements are acceptable for those with heart disease Fiber and cholesterol control Another way to improve cholesterol is by eating more soluble fiber Soluble fiber is found in foods such as oats dried beans and peas Barley and the fleshy part of fruits and vegetables soluble fiber dissolves in water and creates a thick sticky substance that binds with cholesterol and allows it to pass out of the body Adding 10 to 25 grams of soluble fiber each day can help lower LDL or the bad cholesterol by about 5% To do this eat four vegetables and four fruit servings each day High-fiber cereal at breakfast and add beans to soups and salads Always add fiber to your diet slowly and make sure you are drinking plenty of water some examples of foods with two to four grams of soluble fiber are Half a cup of kidney beans or lima beans One medium cooked artichoke a half a cup of cooked brussel sprouts and one serving psyllium husk such as metamucil What do label claims mean? Fat-free is less than half a gram of fat Low fat is three grams of fat or less Reduce fat or less fat is at least 25% less fat than the regular product Low unsaturated fat is one gram of saturated fat or less With not more than 15% of calories coming from saturated fat Lean is less than 10 grams of fat four and a half grams of saturated fat and 95 milligrams of cholesterol Extra lean is less than five grams of fat two grams of saturated fat and 95 milligrams of cholesterol light is at least one-third fewer calories or no more than half the fat of the regular product or no more than half the sodium of the regular product Calorie free means less than five calories per serving low calorie means 40 calories or less per serving Reduced or less calories is at least 25% fewer calories per serving than the regular version light is half the fat or 1/3 of the calories of the regular version A healthy lifestyle meaning following a healthy diet maintaining a healthy weight regular physical activity quitting smoking and managing stress can lower your risk of heart disease and may prevent current heart disease from worsening If you would like more information on cholesterol and following a healthy diet Please contact your nutrition clinic and schedule an appointment with a registered dietitian Thank you

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