How to Improve Your Cholesterol Profile
August 19, 2015
The most important defense against high cholesterol is following a low fat low cholesterol diet. Dietary changes alone can cut your blood cholesterol count by 10 to 15% or more. This in turn can lower your risk for developing cardiovascular disease.
Facts about Fat: There are three types of dietary fat:
- Saturated Fat: found mainly in animal products and those fats that are solid at room temperature (ex: high fat dairy products like butter, coconut oil, palm oil, and palm kernel oil). Saturated fats seem to have the greatest effect on increasing cholesterol because they stimulate the liver to produce more cholesterol.
- Monounsaturated Fat: found mainly in vegetable oils like olive oil, canola oil, and peanut oil. Avocadoes are also high monounsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fats tend to reduce your LDL cholesterol.
- Polyunsaturated Fat: found mainly in vegetable oils like corn, safflower, sunflower, sesame, cottonseed, and soybean oils. Polyunsaturated fats tend to lower LDL and HDL cholesterol.
Regardless of the type of fat you consume, all fats are high in calories. By limiting fat in your diet you can reduce your calorie intake and control your weight.
Making Wise Food Choices
Meat, Fish, Poultry:
- Choose Often: all types of fish and shellfish including water packed canned fish, skinless chicken and turkey, egg whites or egg substitute.
- Choose Occasionally: lean beef, pork, lamb, veal, and whole eggs (limit egg yolks to one per day average)
- Choose Rarely: deep fried chicken or fish, bacon, liver, hot dogs, high fat luncheon meats, sausage, high fat beef and pork
- Choose Often: 1% or skim milk, low fat or nonfat yogurt, skim milk cheeses (3g of fat per ounce or less), low fat cottage cheese and ricotta cheese, fat free sour cream
- Choose Occasionally: low fat frozen yogurt, part-skim and low fat cheese (6g of fat per ounce or less), reduced fat ice cream, low fat sour cream
- Choose Rarely: whole milk, 1/2 and 1/2, eggnog, ice cream, hard high fat cheese, processed cheese spread, whipped cream, non dairy creamers, sour cream
Breads, Grains, Cereals, Beans:
- Choose Often: whole grain breads and cereals, whole grain pasta, brown rice, dried peas and beans, low fat microwave popcorn, air popped popcorn, pretzels, low fat whole grain crackers, whole grain low fat waffles
- Choose Occasionally: waffles, pancakes, muffins, quick breads, low fat cookies and baked goods
- Choose Rarely: croissants, Danishes, doughnuts, high fat cookies and baked goods, high fat snack foods, granola type cereals
Dessert (choose sensibly—no more than weight control allows)
- Choose Often: sherbet, sorbet, gelatin, angel food cake, graham crackers, fig bars, low fat frozen yogurt, ginger snaps, animal crackers
- Choose Occasionally: low fat ice cream and frozen yogurt, oatmeal cookies, plain white cake, gingerbread, banana bread
- Choose Rarely: high fat ice cream, chocolate, cheesecake, pudding, custard, fruit and nut pies
Fruits and Vegetables:
- Choose Often: any and all fresh, frozen, canned fruits and vegetables in water, avocados
- Choose Occasionally: olives
- Choose Rarely: French fries, fried onion rings or other fried vegetables, hash brown potatoes, vegetables with cheese or butter sauce
Cholesterol Management , Meal and Menu Planning, Weight Management