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We don’t know much about how exactly BK reduced the fat, calories and sodium from Satisfries, but we do know that they charge more for them. With 410 calories and 17g of fat, BK’s new low-fat french fries are nothing more than a marketing gimmick. Jennifer Kaplan is a former marketing consultant who decided, at the age of fifty, to turn her hand to creative non-fiction. Eat, Drink Better is part of the Important Media network of blogs working to make the world a better, greener place. Watching what we eat is a lot tougher than it sounds, but what if we knew exactly how much 200 calories was as various foods? Confusingly, countless foods carry labels claiming they can protect your heart or cut cholesterol. Q&A 'If cholesterol is so bad, why do we have it?'Why do we need cholesterol if it can be so bad for our bodies?Cholesterol is a fatty substance produced by the liver and used to build cell walls, create a protective glove around nerves and to make other chemicals such as hormones. How often do I need to get a test?After the age of 40, your GP should check your cholesterol every five years. Many children and adults have a usual calorie intake that exceeds their daily needs, and they are not physically active enough to compensate for these intakes. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by, and do not necessarily represent the views of Sustainable Enterprises Media, Inc., its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries. Well, perhaps not specifically you, but thousands of Britons have this news broken to them by doctors every day.
Much of the health advice on the matter, including that on the NHS Eat Well site, is vague, leading to many misconceptions and myths. FIBREWHATThe high fermentable-fibre content of beans and pulses means that they cannot be digested easily by the gut.
NUTSWHATMost nuts, including almonds, walnuts, pecans and peanuts, are good for lowering cholesterol. SOYAWHATSoya milk, soy nuts, tofu and soya yogurtsA  may help the liver to take a€?bada€™ LDL cholesterol out of the bloodstream.
HEALTHY OILSWHATOlive oil and rapeseed oil, which contain mainly monounsaturated fats, neither increase nor decrease cholesterol levels.
OATSWHATOats contain compounds called beta glucans, which give them their paste-like consistency. Cholesterol gets round our bodiesA  by combining with protein to form a protective coating around tiny balls of fat absorbed from our diet a€“ termed lipoproteins.
If you have a family history of premature heart disease or raised cholesterol, you should tell your GP as soon as possible and would be eligible for tests before the age of 40. Isn’t it better to cook at home, with a control on your ingredients, than giving in to these gimmicks! So can diet alone be used to bring down high cholesterol a€“ or should we leave it all to statins? To find out what we should a€“ and shouldna€™t a€“ be eating to lower cholesterol levels, we spoke to leading diet and heart health experts.


Using soya to replace dairy and meat can also displace saturated fat from the diet.PROOFThere is some evidence, including a 2011 study, that soy protein can help reduce total cholesterol.
However, they help to make theA  artery walls stronger, meaning that they are less likelyA  to be damaged by cholesterol. The betaA  glucans form a thick gel inside the digestive tractA  and bind to cholesterol in the gut, helping to prevent cholesterol from being absorbed by the body. The purpose of this coating is to hold fat together, so we dona€™t have a€?oil slicksa€™ of fat in our bloodstream. Does a high reading mean Ia€™m going to have a heart attack?CVD can lead to heart attacks and stroke.
It is essential for many bodily functions, but most of us a€“ 60 per centA  a€“ have too much.High cholesterol is a key factor in developing heart disease, which claims three times more lives than breast cancer and twice as many as lung cancer. The answer for very many people is yes, you CAN reduce your levels significantly through making changes in your diet. High-fibre bread can be added to theA  diet to boost fibre intake further.PROOF A meta-analysis of 67 studies on dietary fibre and cholesterol levels revealed that consuming moreA  fibre helped reduce a€?bada€™ LDL cholesterol by a small but significant amount.
It is not clear how nuts lower cholesterol, but it might be because they contain plant sterols as well as monounsaturated fats that protect blood vessels from damage. Although the effects were modest, some experts say that because soy products such as tofu often replace meat in the diet, they reduce the intake of saturated fat from other sources.DOSEExperts recommend having at least two to three portions a day. The two lipoproteins usually measured are low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). It becomes a bigger worry the older you are, if you smoke, have high blood pressure, a family history of heart problems and dona€™t exercise. The good news is that lowering your cholesterol is the biggest thing you can do to reduce your risk. SMART FOODSWHATThese include Flora pro.activ and Benecol yogurt shots, as well as other products containing stanols and sterols.
Fibrous foods such as beansA  also trick the body into absorbing less saturated fat, which can help control weight and protect arteries from heart disease.DOSE Eighteen grams a day. PROOFStudies suggest that replacing saturated fat such as lard and butter with these oils results in a fall in cholesterol. This is equivalentA  to a small bowl of porridge, three oatcakes and two slices of oat bread. LDL is like a juggernaut a€“ big clumps of fat and protein that trundle along the arteries and can only be cleared from our system by the liver. Ita€™s the combination of cholesterol with these other things that triggers alarm bells.Will I need to take statins?If your total cholesterol is above 5mmol, most doctors will tell you to review your diet. Around 5g will come from oat-based products and you can get the rest from just a slice of high-fibre toast and two tablespoons of beans. The reduction in cholesterol may be as much as five per cent, but scientific proofA  for this is limited.EXPERT ADVICEStart with one portion a day and slowly build it intoA  the diet from there. It may also stop LDL causing inflammation in the arteries, a key risk factor for cardiovascular disease.DOSETwo tablespoons a day used in cooking.


If it is a lot higher, they may tell you to take statins because these drugs are likely to reduce cholesterol by 20 to 40 per cent a€“ a massive drop. No foodA  is prohibited, so you can still eat cheese, red meat and chocolate, within the limits of a low-fat diet. The best form is the yogurt shot drinks that provide this amount of plant sterols alongside just under 40 calories and 1.4g of fat.
Fruit and veg will also boost fibre intake.EXPERT ADVICEJust swapping white bread for wholemeal can lower cholesterol levels, a manageable step for everyone. A 2002 study found that consuming this amount of olive oil each day decreased total cholesterol by eight per cent in six weeks.
This build-up a€“ called atherosclerosis a€“ causes artery walls to narrow so blood cannot get through, resulting in blood clots that can trigger a heart attack or stroke.
Doctors will prescribe statins to anyone with a 20 per cent chance of developing cardiovascular disease in the next decade. You need to eat six teaspoons of fortified margarine to get the same amount of sterols, which delivers 150 calories and 18g of fat, although low-fat margarinesA  with sterols are now also available.EXPERT ADVICEDrink with your main meal as sterols reduce the amount of fat absorbed. Generally, studies suggest that virgin olive oil is best.EXPERT ADVICEPolyunsaturated fats from sunflower oils were considered to be as good as olive oils, but recently it has emerged that having too much of them causes oxidation, meaning they may increase furring of the arteries. It is much smaller in size and hoovers up fat deposits from the artery wall as it moves around the body. This is why ita€™s important to know how much LDL and HDL are in your blood, as the ratio between these two types of fat is what really matters when it comes to risk.What causes levels to rise?They are controlled by our genes and diet. So how much can diet alone help?Diet can reduce cholesterol levels by ten to 20 per cent, which significantly decreases heart-disease risk. In the West, more people have high cholesterol thanA  in countries with a low-fat diet, suchA  as Japan.
Eating foods high in saturated fat, such as butter, cream, processed meat such as sausages and fast food, means that our cholesterol goes up.How is cholesterol measured?The ratio between LDL and HDL is what matters. The result gives volume of cholesterol in a measurement called millimoles per litre of blood a€“ or mmol.
The target is to have an LDL reading below 3mmol and a total cholesterol reading (which takes into account the HDL and LDL) of 5mmol. For some, a healthy diet does not have a great effect.A  Once your cholesterol hasA  reduced, youa€™ll have to keep upA  the good work and stick to your new eating plan.
People at high risk of heart disease a€“ those with high blood pressure, who are overweight, older and may have family history of the disease a€“ are told to get their total cholesterol lower, to 4mmol, with an LDL of 2mmol. Scores for total cholesterol above 8mmol will mean the person is at medium to high risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), depending on age and blood pressure.
Even a reading of 5 or 6mmol may be too high if you have other risk factors, such as rheumatoid arthritis.




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