Did you know that there are three main types of fat in food:- saturates, monounsaturates and polyunsaturates and that they are not all bad for you.
Foods high in saturates such as fatty meats, full-fat dairy products, butter, lard, cream, cheese and many processed and takeaway foods, increase cholesterol in your blood so it is very important to eat less of them.
However, polyunsaturates and monounsaturates can help lower cholesterol, so it is sensible to swap foods high in saturates for more foods rich in unsaturated fats.
So how can you lower your risk of cholesterol?
Lowering Cholesterol Naturally
Cooking for a low cholesterol diet is not difficult, but you will have to use some different techniques and food choices to keep your heart healthy. Baking, grilling, even microwaving will help control the amount of saturated fat in your food.
Want to give your cholesterol an extra nudge in the right direction? While your genes determine how much cholesterol your body produces naturally, diet also plays a role. These easy tips will help you lower your cholesterol for better heart health.
- Take some alternatives to junk food, like fruits and vegetable snacks.
- Try to eat more natural foods and less refined processed foods.
- Fruits and vegetables are a key part of a low cholesterol diet.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables such as apples, carrots and celery can be chopped up and eaten as snacks or refrigerated for later.
- Stir fry or saute vegetables in only a small amount of oil, pure vegetable or olive oil are good to use.
- Avoid adding too much salt to your food, use herbs and spices to add flavor instead.
- When making stews and soups, cook the day before you want to use them and put in the refrigerator. As it cools the fat will rise to the top and harden, remove it before reheating.
- Limit the amount of high saturated fat products in your house and stock up on alternatives such as herbs or wine to add flavor to your food.
- Wine, lemon juice, vinegar, or a fat free or low fat oil marinade can help with keeping the meat moist while adding a wonderful flavor.
- When cooking meat and poultry, you can reduce the saturated fat in meat by trimming off all of the fat you see or buy the leaner options.
- Instead of frying, try to roast, or bake the meat. If you roast or bake, put your meat on a rack, this will drain off the excess fat.
- Pure vegetable oils and spreads such as sunflower, corn, grapeseed and soya oils are all good sources of polyunsaturates, while olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds are all good sources of monounsaturates.
These are just a few cooking tips for your new diet. It may take a little more time to think about and prepare your food but it will not only be healthier, it will set you up on the way to improving the health of your heart.
Risks and Causes
If you are like most people in the industrialized nations the chances are pretty strong that you will be at risk from high cholesterol. Our hectic lifestyles and shortage of time has driven us to the fast food lane and this is where we are at the highest risk.
Processed foods and quick fix up meals are another less obvious source of risk. Our sedentary lifestyle and dependence on high calorie, saturated fat snacks are also producing higher risks of cholesterol than ever before.
As if these factors were not enough many are at risk for high cholesterol just because it is in their genes. If you have a family history of high cholesterol it is very likely that you can also develop this problem.
If you have been diagnosed with a high cholesterol level you may be required to make a number of changes, including modifying your diet in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
All of these will reduce your risk of high cholesterol and let you lead a healthier life. Also, a small amount of exercise daily or at least 3 times a week can help you burn unwanted fats and cholesterol.