If you can’t eliminate these foods entirely, eat them sparingly and select cheese with a lower fat content, as well as lean cuts of meat or ice milk products. Be sure to eat three main meals each day, including breakfast, and plan ahead for low-fat snacks in the morning and afternoon. Another diet that can account for a dramatic drop in blood cholesterol is the Mediterranean Diet.
When it comes to heart-healthy diets, The American Heart Association suggests a diet that is rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber. Saturated fats to be avoided can be found in some vegetable fats such as palm and coconut oil, and of course in butter, ice cream, red meats and cheese. You can decrease the cholesterol in your body by as much as 20 percent by substituting unsaturated fats for saturated fats. As much as possible, eliminate prepackaged foods and instead concentrate on fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads and cereals, and fish or skinless poultry.
HINT: To figure the percentage of calories from fat in an individual food, simply divide the fat calories by total calories and multiply by 100.
A good rule of thumb is to set aside 30 minutes each day for physical activity, such as biking, walking, swimming or aerobics. Many of us have a hard time sticking to a healthy diet because we eat out more than once or twice a week, but eating out can be healthy. With proper diet, most individuals are able to significantly lower their blood cholesterols. Every month LIWLI will be posting news articles with valuable weight loss and health information.
We invite you to read a few Long Island Weight Loss Institute success stories — and invite you to come in and start creating one of your own! Contact the medical weight loss experts at LIWLI to see why we’ve been helping Long Island lose weight and keep it off since 2001! Eating the right foods and limiting consumption of saturated fats, for example, can dramatically lower bad cholesterol, LDL. In a cholesterol-lowering diet, 25-35 percent or less of the day’s total calories should come from fat. In fact, the NIH advocates that less than 7 percent of daily calories come from saturated fats and suggests that dietary cholesterol (the cholesterol that comes from the foods you eat) is limited to less than 200 mg per day. That way you’ll avoid grabbing for a doughnut or fat laden iced coffee drink when hunger strikes and you’ll reach for an apple instead. Like the TLC diet, it includes generous amounts of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes as well as red wine and fish, with only occasional small servings of red meat.
According to the AHA, increasing fiber, especially non-soluble fiber, such as: oat bran, oatmeal, beans, peas, rice bran, barley, citrus fruits, strawberries and apple pulp, in combination with a diet low in saturated and trans fat has been shown to dramatically lower blood cholesterol.
If you must buy some prepackaged or ready-to-heat-and-eat foods, before placing them in your shopping cart, take a careful look at the labels. If you can’t squeeze a half hour out of your daily schedule, then consider doing several ten-minute sessions each day and use every opportunity you can to climb stairs, take a brisk walk at lunch, do a series of jumping jacks, or jump rope.
Naturally produced by the liver, cholesterol is essential to the functioning of our cells, but too much LDL cholesterol can build up on the walls of the arteries and form plaque that can block blood flow to the heart, brain and other organs. The polyunsaturated fats found in sesame and sunflower oils or the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish are better for you. Exercise can help lower blood pressure, reduce stress, improve fitness and reduce your weight.
Compare your numbers with the following guidelines published by the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) showing desirable and high levels and see where your numbers fall. Maintaining a healthy body weight is essential to helping you lower your blood cholesterol.
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