Lowering Your Cholesterol Through Diet
by: Ken MacKenzie
Lowering your cholesterol is important for everyone, young and old alike. About half of all men and a third of women develop heart disease during their lifetime. Lower your risk of a heart attack by reducing your cholesterol levels.
There are several ways to help lower your cholesterol:
1. Exercise more. Try to get at least 30 minutes, 3 or 4 days a week (check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program) of exercises like walking, swimming, tennis or biking.
2. Lose weight if you are over your desired weight.
3. Follow a low cholesterol, low saturated fat diet.
According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, if you want to maintain a healthy cholesterol level, you should limit your diet to the following:
Total fat calories should be less than 30%
Total saturated fat should be less than 10%
Total cholesterol from diet should be less than 300 milligrams
If your cholesterol is already too high and you want to reduce it, you should limit your diet to the following:
Total fat calories should be less than 25-35%
Total saturated fat should be less than 7%
Total cholesterol from diet should be less than 200 milligrams
Cholesterol lowering foods
Foods containing Omega-3 fatty acids should be on everyone's diet. These are mostly fish, including sardines, salmon, albacore tuna, lake trout, mackerel and herring.
Canola, almonds, tofu, other forms of soybeans and flaxseed, and their oils contain alpha-linolenic acid (LNA), which can become omega-3 fatty acid in the body.
Walnuts, almonds, pecans and other nuts have large amounts of polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats which help to lower cholesterol.
Soluble fiber should be part of your daily diet as well, since it can help to lower your LDL levels. You need to a lot of the soluble fiber to get the benefit, but it is contained in quite a few foods.
Some examples of foods rich in soluble fiber are apples, oranges, pears, prunes, apricots, oats, berries, carrots, dried peas, beans (like lima, black and kidney), cabbage, dates, figs, Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes.
Soy has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels and can be eaten in many forms, including soy nuts, tofu, soy beans and soy milk. It is believed that isoflavones are the chemicals that produce this reduction.
Avoid Cholesterol Raising Food
The only foods that contain cholesterol directly and can raise your blood cholesterol numbers are those derived from animals including meats, poultry, fish, egg yolks, cheese, butter and other dairy items made from whole milk.
However, eating saturated fats and trans-fats causes your body to create more cholesterol, thus also raising your levels. Most of the meats and dairy products listed above are also high in saturated fats. In addition, saturated fats can be found in tropical oils like coconut oil, palm oil and cocoa butter. Stick margarines and anything made with partially hydrogenated oils contain trans-fats and should be avoided when you are trying to lower your cholesterol.
Make sure to check with your physician before starting any new diet or exercise regimen.
Copyright 2005, K. MacKenzie http://www.lower-your-cholesterol.net
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About the Author
Ken is a successful writer and online entrepreneur. He has developed http://www.lower-your-cholesterol.net as a portal for presenting articles, information, resources and links about lowering your cholesterol.
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