a. The Myth of Good and Bad Cholesterol
Most people view cholesterol as a bad thing, but the truth is there are actually two types of it. There is good cholesterol (HDL) and there is bad cholesterol (LDL). You’ll know you have too much LDL if you end up with plaques in your arteries. This results in a blood flow block in your arteries as the opening gets smaller. Your high blood cholesterol is not the result of taking in dietary cholesterol. The presence of saturated fat and Tran’s fat is the reason for the high cholesterol. Exercising often and taking in fibrous and unsaturated foods will keep your cholesterol down.
b. What do the Cholesterol Numbers mean?
On an average, adults will usually need to have cholesterol checks every five years. Each time you get a cholesterol check it will yield four results – total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and Triglycerides. You will probably need more exercise and dietary change if you go above or below the healthy levels.
Total Cholesterol – less than 200 mg/dL (5.2 mmol/L)
LDL Cholesterol – less than 100 mg/dL (2.6 mmol/L)
HDL Cholesterol – greater than 40 mg/dL (1.0 mmol/L)
Triglycerides – less than 150 mg/dL (1.7 mmol/L)
c. Heart Protection and Vitamin E
Getting your Vitamin E is best done through eating nuts, leafy vegetables and a lot of vegetable oils. This helps reduce your risk of getting a heart disease but does not prevent attacks.
d. Five Great Foods to Lower Your Cholesterol
1. Oatmeal and Oat Bran: These contain a high amount of soluble fiber, which can lower LDL.
2. Fish: Fish is a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which lowers LDL and raises HDL.
3. Nuts: Not only are nuts high in fiber, but they contain the healthy fats you need to keep LDL in check.
4. Plant Sterols: This is found in foods like margarine, salad dressing, orange juice, and functional cookies. 2 grams per day will lower your LDL by 10-15%.
5. Soy: This popular meat replacement can lower LDL by up to 3%.
e. Plant Sterols and its Healthy Benefits
Plant sterols can be found in foods such as Benecol Spread, granola bars, VitaTops Muffin Tops and fat free milk. To help your heart, you should eat a lot of plant sterols-packed food and stop eating foods with saturated fat. You should know that this does not balance out a diet rich in saturated fats. To be in control of your cholesterol, you should still eat healthy and exercise often.
Source: About the Author – Deborah H. Land writes for the cholesterol and high blood pressure diet blog, her personal hobby website she uses to help people eat healthy to lower bad cholesterol levels.