All you need to know about Cholesterol
Hypercholesterolemia, or high cholesterol, occurs when there is too much cholesterol in the body. Cholesterol is a soft, waxy, fat-like substance that is a natural component of all the cells in the body. Your body makes all the cholesterol it needs. Added cholesterol, which comes from the foods you eat, may cause harm.
High cholesterol raises your risk for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. When there is too much cholesterol circulating in the blood, it can create sticky deposits (called plaque) along the artery walls. Plaque can eventually narrow or block the flow of blood to the brain, heart, and other organs. Blood cells that get caught on the plaque form clots, which can break loose and completely block blood flow through an artery, causing heart attack or stroke.
Nutrition Therapy for High Cholesterol:
A plan called Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) can help people who have high amounts of cholesterol in their blood.
- Following the TLC plan can help reduce the low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, cholesterol (also called “bad” cholesterol) inyour blood.
- High-density lipoprotein cholesterol (sometimes called “good” cholesterol) helps rid your body of LDL cholesterol.
Keys to lower cholesterol:
- Limit saturated fats and trans fats:
- Foods high in saturated fats include fatty meat, poultry skin, sausage, whole milk, cream, and butter.
- Trans fats are found in stick margarine, fried foods, and packaged foods made with hydrogenated oils.
- Instead of butter or stick margarine, try reduced-fat, whipped, or liquid spreads.
- Limit the amount of cholesterol that you eat to less than 200 milligrams (mg) perday.
- Foods high in cholesterol include eggyolks (one egg yolk has about 212 mg of
cholesterol), fatty meat, whole milk, cheese, shrimp, lobster, and crab.
- Eat more omega-3 fats (heart-healthy
- Good choices include salmon, tuna,mackerel, and sardines. Aim to eat fish twice a week.
- Other foods with omega-3 fats include walnuts, almond and canola and soybean oils.
- Flaxseed is another source of omega-3fats. Have it as flaxseed oil or ground flaxseed.
- Keep the total amount of fat that you eat (including heart-healthy fats) to25% to 35% of the calories that you eat.
- If you should eat 2,000 calories per day,your fat intake can be between 50 grams(g) and 75 g per day.
- Get 20 g to 30 g of dietary fiber per day:
- Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and dried beans are good sources of fiber:
- Aim for 5 cups of fruits and vegetables per day.
- Have 3 ounces (oz) of whole grain foods every day.
- Plan to eat more plant-based meals,using beans and soy foods for protein.
- Set goals to reach and maintain that weight.
- Set a plan to get about 30minutes of exercise on most days.
Changes in lifestyle, improved diet and more exercise are the most effective means of both preventing and, in less severe cases, treating high LDL cholesterol levels. In addition to recommending lifestyle changes, doctors often prescribe specific cholesterol-lowering medications.