Patients with high cholesterol are now more common than those with good cholesterol readings. We are constantly enjoined by our physicians to monitor our cholesterol readings, with good reason. High cholesterol levels of the bad sort and low cholesterol levels of the good type lead to artery blockages and heart attacks.
Our dietary habits play a big role in keeping bad cholesterol levels under control. In addition to medications which reduce cholesterol, a proper diet to lower cholesterol levels is essential. It can be discouraging to be on constant alert with what we can and cannot eat. We may regard a strict diet as depriving us of the normal enjoyment of eating. This need not be the case. You can enjoy your food, perhaps more than before you got the bad news, with a diet to lower cholesterol.
People of the Mediterranean regions seldom suffer from high cholesterol. You may well ask why. The secret to their good heart health lies in the consumption of heart healthy foods. Olive oil has no cholesterol and is a mainstay in the fats consumed. Fish, with a high content of the antioxidant Omega-3 fatty acids, also contribute to lowered cholesterol levels.
Fresh garlic is included in the tasty Mediterranean diet in copious amounts. Entrees, salads and whole grain breads slathered with garlic and fresh produce play a major role in a diet to lower cholesterol. Bruschetta, an Italian favorite, is often composed of a garlic, olive and diced tomato mixture spread on the bread. It is a fact that garlic, given a prominent place in the diet to lower cholesterol, is as effective as pharmaceutical medications in reducing bad cholesterol. Some studies have shown garlic to be even more effective than the pharmaceuticals!
If you must adhere to a diet to lower cholesterol, the Mediterranean menus are certainly no punishment to your palate. The proof in this pudding is that Mediterranean populations rarely have high cholesterol levels and the death rate from heart attack is one of the lowest in the world.
Would you ever imagine that pizza would be an excellent addition to a diet to lower cholesterol? Unlikely, if you are eating a pizza prepared in the American way. A Mediterranean pizza is prepared with olive oil and much lesser amounts of the fatty meats we use. Olives are frequent additions to the Mediterranean style pizza, as are fresh tomatoes and low fat fresh mozzarella cheese.
The Mediterranean diet uses small amounts of fatty meats, instead favoring lean meats such as pancetta and lamb. Meats are used judiciously, more as flavoring than bulk. Pasta dishes emphasize the pasta, drizzled with olive oil and small amounts of meat, vegetables and seasonings for sensational taste appeal.
If you must adhere to a diet to lower cholesterol, take a page from the normal Mediterranean diet and get healthy!
Cholesterol is a fatty and waxy substance that is produced by the liver. Too much of saturated fats in your diet may contribute to high blood cholesterol. Most saturated fats come from animal products such as butter, cheese, chocolate, whole milk, pies, pastries, cakes, hot chips, potatoes and hash browns.
In some individuals, high cholesterol levels can be due to a genetic disorder. Too much cholesterol in your blood will start building up in the artery walls, causing narrowing of the arteries. This increases your risk of developing heart or brain attack(stroke).
Whatever the cause of your high levels of cholesterol is, it is very important that you make efforts to lower your cholesterol levels by changing your lifestyle:
1.Follow a heart healthy dietary pattern.
2.Lose some weight if you are overweight.
3.Be active by doing moderate physical exercises for at least 30 minutes daily.
4.Avoid excessive alcohol consumption.
5.Avoid foods prepared with butter, hydrogenated oil, coconut or palm oil.
6.Avoid white meat fats, chicken skin or processed meats and chicken.
7.Have more servings of dried peas, beans, soy products, oats, whole grains and high-fibre cereals.
If your cholesterol level is too high, your doctor may put you on medication for a short time or for life. If that is the case, you should have your cholesterol levels checked every three months until it is controlled and then every six months.
In normal circumstances, cholesterol is very important as it helps our bodies to function properly. Cholesterol and other fats are also called lipids and each of these has a different function:
1.The High Density Lipoprotein cholesterol(HDL)often called the “good” cholesterol because it helps to remove cholesterol from the artery walls, thereby reducing your risk of heart disease.
2.The Low-Density Lipoprotein cholesterol(LDL) is often called “bad” cholesterol because it deposits cholesterol into the artery wall, increasing your risk of heart disease or heart attack.
3.The Triglycerides are the most common form of fat in the body. They act as energy storage tanks of the body. High levels of triglycerides cause many diseases in the body, including heart disease and stroke.
To know your lipid profile, visit you doctor and he or she will perform a fasting blood test. An ideal profiles should is:
Total cholesterol(TC) less than 4mmol/L
LDL cholesterol less than 2.5 mmol/L
HDL cholesterol greater than 1mmol/L
TC/HDL ratio less than 4.5
Triglycerides less than 1.7 mmol/L
Therefore, it is important to change your life style to remain healthy and live longer. Develop good eating habits, keep fit and enjoy life.
Many people know that maintaining a healthy cholesterol level is very important in overall health. However, few people have viable instructions to follow to achieve this goal. A low cholesterol diet example is the ideal tool for helping people to create a healthy eating plan.
Most of the diet samples for lowering cholesterol are quite well organized and helpful in the cause. The healthy eating plans can help you lose weight while improving your blood cholesterol levels. You get the best of both worlds, an attractively healthy body that looks great on the outside.
While we generally know which foods to avoid in most cases, we often have difficulty knowing which items to adopt into our eating plans. This can be the most challenging aspect of trying to maintain a healthy diet. We know what we should not do but we really don’t have a viable plan of action to take.
A low cholesterol diet example is the perfect tool for finding inspiration. Many of us learn through modeling and once we have a good set of instructions t follow, we are more apt to succeed. Having a good sample of a diet plan that is effective in lowering blood cholesterol levels is very important.
Consider going to work and receiving backward instructions from your supervisor. If this person follows you around alerting you to each and every thing that you should avoid doing, he is not effectively communicating what you should do. Detailed instructions along with examples are better approaches to training anyone who needs to learn.
The same goes for diet plans. We are often so focused on what we are not supposed to have that we fail to see the many things that we can enjoy on a healthy eating program. A good low cholesterol diet example is the key to getting specific instructions that you can realistically follow.
This gives the eating plan a positive spin. Rather than focusing on foods that you can not have on the plan the focus is on the great items that you can enjoy while working your way towards a healthier lifestyle. This is a much better approach that offers motivation and positive energy rather than a strong sense of denial.
Few people really like the idea of going on a healthy eating plan especially when faced with the feeling of being denied things that they love. A low cholesterol diet example can serve to illustrate just how wonderful a healthy lifestyle can be.
A high cholesterol level or hyperlipidemia may not be something that concerns you but it should. A healthy total cholesterol level is less than 200 mg/dL, but many people are walking around with levels much higher than this. As this number creeps above 200 mg/dL the risk for heart attack increases, and if high blood cholesterol goes untreated for an extended period of time, it could be fatal. According to the American Heart Association at www.americanheart.org, blood levels from 200-239 are considered to be borderline high risk, and levels above 240 mg/dL are high risk. It is recommended that people over the age of forty-five have their cholesterol level checked every five years or more often depending on the level of risk for heart disease, and previous cholesterol readings. People that are in the borderline high risk or high risk categories should seek more comprehensive testing from their health care providers, and make other lifestyle changes such as increasing activity levels by fitting regular aerobic exercise into every day.
Blood cholesterol levels are determined by many factors, including saturated fat intake, carbohydrate intake, and activity level. A diet high in saturated fats, trans fatty acids, and cholesterol is the single largest contributor to high serum cholesterol levels. These fats are mostly found in animal products like beef, veal, pork, lamb, lard, and dairy products from whole fats such as cheese, cream, butter, and other whole milk items. Some tropical plant sources also contain high amounts of saturated fat, like palm oil, palm kernel oil, coconut oil, and cocoa butter, which should only be used sparingly if at all. There are much healthier alternatives like canola oil and light olive oils to choose from, and they contain healthy polyunsaturated and unsaturated fats that can even lower your cholesterol level. Instead of eating hamburgers and pork chops all the time, choose leaner versions of poultry and fish, and fat-free or low fat dairy products. Oat meal is also another food that has been shown effective in lowering total cholesterol and LDL levels.
The American Heart Association recommends that intake of saturated fats be limited to 7-10% or less of the total amount of calories ingested daily, to keep cholesterol levels in the normal range, or to bring them into this range if in one of the higher risk categories. Increasing level of aerobic activity to at least thirty minutes daily will also make a big difference, and can lower total cholesterol levels significantly. If after all this the level still remains high, then your health care practitioner may recommend a medication to bring the LDL, HDL, and triglyceride levels into a healthier range. Be sure to consult your provider about a proper diet and exercise plan, and have cholesterol levels monitored on a regular basis to keep heart healthy and lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.