Cholesterol is a waxy fat-like substance that the body produces naturally mostly in your liver. It is used in the body to make hormones like estrogen and testosterone. Apart from being produced in your body, cholesterol is also contained in food like meat and dairy products and when you eat foods high in saturated and trans fats like animal products and processed foods, your liver produces more cholesterol.
Many people in the United States particularly are having trouble choosing food that isn’t high in cholesterol. Our friends at activecareseniorcare.com are telling us that many of the elderly people that they end up having to take care of late in their lives is due to the poor diet they kept throughout their lives. A lot of burgers and fries compared to fruits and veggies is bound to affect you down the round. Make sure your eating habits are smart.
Why Should You Be Watching Your Cholesterol Intake?
There are two types of cholesterol, LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol, which is the bad cholesterol and HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol, which is the good cholesterol.
Too much of the bad cholesterol can build up in your arteries as plaque and cause blood clots to form which leads to heart attacks and strokes. According to statistics carried out by the American Hearts Association and American Stroke Association in January 2017, 1 in every 3 American adults have high LDL cholesterol levels. To maintain a healthy lifestyle and prevent your risk of heart attack and stroke, you should be aware of your cholesterol intake.
When Should You Start Watching Your Cholesterol Intake?
Heart attacks and strokes are most likely to occur at the age of 40 or older and it is uncommon to see younger adults suffer from these medical issues but studies have shown that the clogging of the arteries start much earlier than when the heart attack or stroke occurs. In this case, prevention is better than cure. The American Heart Association recommends that adults aged 20 and above should have their cholesterol checked by their doctor.
Should You Worry About Taking Good Cholesterol?
The answer is yes. Although there is risk involved when consuming bad cholesterol, the body still needs cholesterol to function properly. So, to maintain a healthy lifestyle, instead of feeding your body the bad cholesterol, you should seek to feed your body the good cholesterol.
How to Improve Your Cholesterol Levels Through Your Diet:
Identify food that contains good cholesterol and bad cholesterol and cut the food produce that contains the bad cholesterol out of your diet. There are harmful dietary fats and unharmful ones. Harmful dietary fats include saturated fat and trans fat while Unharmful fats include unsaturated fats like monounsaturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and omega-3 fatty acids. Be aware of the type of fats you include in your diet.
- Limit or restrict foods that contain high cholesterol like butter, margarine, fatty meat and meat products, full-fat cheese, full-fat milk, full-fat cream, full-fat yogurt, processed oils (like canola oil), dark chocolate, potato chips, sugary cookies.
- Start cooking your meals with olive oil as it is a heart-healthy fat.
- Add more vegetables and plant-based foods to your diet as plants do not contain cholesterol and are low in saturated fat.
- Add whole grains to oatmeal, cereal, bran and brown rice to your diet. Whole grains contain soluble fiber and can increase your HDL levels.
- Fatty fish like salmon, sardines, rainbow trout and mackerel should also be added to your diet to ensure a decrease in your LDL levels and an increase in your HDL levels.