Guest Blog Post by Deborah Land
Cholesterol Truths – Good and Bad
There are actually two types of cholesterol, which is not a known fact for people who misconstrue it as something bad. HDL is the name of the good cholesterol, while the bad one is called LDL. A bloodstream with too much LDL will result in plaques in the arteries. Over time, blood will have a difficult time travelling your arteries because the opening becomes narrow thanks to the amount of bad cholesterol in it. Dietary cholesterol is not the culprit for your having high cholesterol in the blood. Rather, it is copious amounts of saturated fat along with Tran’s fat that is to blame for the tightening of the artery. To keep your cholesterol on the low level, you should eat plenty of unsaturated fats and fibrous foods, as well as exercise often.
Cholesterol Numbers and What They Mean
Every adult should have their cholesterol checked at least every 5 years. When you get a cholesterol test, you’ll usually get back four different results. Here are the 4 categories and the healthy range you want to be in.
Total Cholesterol – less than 200 mg/dL (5.2 mmol/L)
LDL Cholesterol – less than 100 mg/dL (2.6 mmol/L)
HDL Cholesterol – greater than 40 mg/dL (1.0 mmol/L)
Triglycerides – less than 150 mg/dL (1.7 mmol/L)
If you are over or under the desired level on any category, it is usually indicative that a diet or exercise change is needed.
Protecting Your Heart with Vitamin E
Vitamin E is an important vitamin found in leafy vegetables, nuts, and vegetable oils. It was previously believed that a Vitamin E supplement could reduce the risk of heart disease, but several studies in the last few years have shown that this supplement does little to prevent heart attacks or strokes.
Lowering Cholesterol with these Five Foods
1. Oatmeal and Oat Bran: These contain a high amount of soluble fiber, which can lower LDL.
2. Fish: Fish is a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which lowers LDL and raises HDL.
3. Nuts: Not only are nuts high in fiber, but they contain the healthy fats you need to keep LDL in check.
4. Plant Sterols: This is found in foods like margarine, salad dressing, orange juice, and functional cookies. 2 grams per day will lower your LDL by 10-15%.
5. Soy: This popular meat replacement can lower LDL by up to 3%.
Benefits Aplenty with Plant Sterols
Granola bars, Benecol Spread, fat free milk and VitaTops Muffin tops are great food sources that also have great amount of plant sterols in them. If you want to assist your heart, you can do so by eating foods rich in plant sterols and staying away from saturated fat-rich foods. It can’t, however, cancel out a diet loaded with saturated fats. To keep your cholesterol in check mad make sure it stays down, you must exercise often and eat healthy.
About the Author – Deborah Land writes for cholesterol diet menu , her personal hobby blog focused on tips to eat healthy to prevent high cholesterol.