|High Cholesterol Foods to Avoid|
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Posted by maiko muki
For those who suffer from high cholesterol the best and first way to control and lower their cholesterol levels is through their diet. But many people are confused as to what constitutes a high cholesterol food they need to avoid and a low cholesterol food. This is because there is a difference between dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol.
Generally most health guidelines recommend that dietary cholesterol not exceed 300 mg per day for most healthy people, but if one suffers from high LDL blood cholesterol levels then this intake should be not more than 200 mg per day.
Cholesterol, a waxy like substance, is only found in animal meat and tissues and its sources include red meat, eggs, fish, poultry, and dairy products. On the flip side any food derived from plant sources is cholesterol free, including high fat plants food sources such as avocado's and peanut butter. This is where the confusion usually happens because eating large amounts of vegetable oil, which is virtually 100% food fat, can significantly raise blood cholesterol levels, particularly when eaten with high cholesterol foods.
The fact is that blood LDL cholesterol levels are highly influenced by the amount of saturated fat that one eats. There is a relationship between the amounts of saturated fat one eats the LDL cholesterol levels in the blood. For every one percent increase in calories obtained by eating saturated fat, blood cholesterol levels go up around two percent. Conversely for every one percent decrease in saturated fat intake cholesterol levels will reduce about two percent.
The thing to remember when it comes avoiding high cholesterol foods is that while doing so will decrease LDL cholesterol levels, reducing saturated fat intake has a bigger impact on these levels then many people are aware of. This does not mean that those who suffer from high cholesterol can eat high cholesterol foods, but they should be aware that there is more to reducing cholesterol then just this one thing.
The reason for this confusion with the way cholesterol can increase in the blood stream is the way many foods are cooked and/or served. Let's look at one of everyone's favorite breakfasts; bacon/sausage and eggs. We all know that eggs are high in cholesterol, but what we don't know is that the cholesterol in eggs has a small impact on blood cholesterol levels. It's the high amount of saturated fat in the bacon or sausage that has a far larger impact on LDL cholesterol levels.
Another culprit is deep fat fried foods. Many foods are for the most part harmless until they are breaded and fried in hot oil. In fact, many fish and seafood choices are considered to be good for us because of the omega-3 fatty acids that they contain, but as soon as they are deep fried and eaten any benefits are cancelled by the saturated fat that raises bad LDL cholesterol.
When it comes to high cholesterol foods to avoid it is important to remember that these types of food aren't necessarily bad in and of themselves if eaten in moderation. The real problem occurs when they are combined with high levels of saturated fat, which has a more profound effect on blood cholesterol levels.
Posted by maiko muki
|High Cholesterol Diets|
Choosing to eat a high "bad" cholesterol diet is one of the worst decisions you can make for your heart. Diets rich in LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol can lead to narrowed and clogged arteries, which lead to heart attack and stroke. HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) is considered "good" cholesterol because it helps remove excess cholesterol from cells in the body - including the LDL cholesterol which is harmful.
Cholesterol is a substance that the body needs. It is made by the liver and travels through the blood by lipoproteins. The human body needs cholesterol to help build cell membranes, make hormones (estrogen, testosterone, adrenal hormones), increase metabolism, make Vitamin D, and make bile acids to digest fat and absorb nutrients. A healthy human body also produces all the cholesterol it needs to perform these functions.
In general, to limit the build-up of cholesterol, it is important to avoid: fatty meats, deep fried foods (most take-out foods), processed meats, snack foods like chips, full-fat dairy products and baked goods like cakes and pastries. Of course, everything in moderation is a good rule of thumb, but if you already have a problem with cholesterol levels, it is good to avoid these foods.
Additionally, these lifestyle tips can help you keep the LDL monster at bay:
- Eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grain foods.
- If you can't ease away from dairy products, choose low-fat dairy products or soy products with calcium added. Instead of butter, use polyunsaturated margarine.
- Eat leaner meats. When possible, substitute sausages and processed sandwich meat with turkey products.
- Eat more nuts and seeds.
- Try oatmeal and more foods from bean plants (legumes). Some studies have shown that eating more of these foods decreases LDL levels. Food elements like saponin (found in chickpeas and alfalfa sprouts) and sulfur compounds (found in onions and garlic) have also been found to lower cholesterol.
- Reduce alcohol consumption or cut out alcohol altogether.
- Avoid smoking. Smoking helps LDL get into artery cells and can increase the damage.
- Watch your weight. Being overweight can raise your LDL levels. Find a regular exercise program that helps you maintain a constant healthy weight and avoid "yo-yo" weight gain/weight loss.
In the case of some people with high cholesterol, following all of these lifestyle suggestions still doesn't help them decrease LDL levels. For some, it's a genetic issue and has to be countered with medication. If you have taken all the other measures and still find yourself fighting high cholesterol, it may be time to consult a physician to see if there is something in your genetic composition that is causing the problem. If you, you may require medications to assist in lowering your levels.
According to the WebMD website, statins are the most effective way and widely used medicines used to treat high cholesterol. They work in a couple of different ways: they can lower the amount of cholesterol your body naturally makes, raise your HDL cholesterol or change the way your body removes cholesterol. You just have to ensure you don't have a high cholesterol diet to help make the changes effective.
Posted by maiko muki
|High Cholesterol Food List|
Assembling Your Own High Cholesterol Food List
Fighting unhealthy cholesterol means putting together your own personal high cholesterol food list. Doing so will allow you to keep in mind the foods you should eliminate from your diet, or at least limit a great deal. Here are some tips on how to structure your list, so that it will provide you with the greatest benefit.
Your first step in preparing an effective list of high cholesterol foods is to jot down all the foods your doctor has told you to cut down on or avoid altogether. You will find that as you scan the listing, some of the foods are items that you consume on a regular basis. In organizing your own list, prioritize the items by creating three categories. The first category should contain all your favorites that you need to cut down on or eliminate from your daily diet. As an example, perhaps your physician has told you to cut way down on your red meat consumption.
In this first category, you may include such things as hamburgers, meat loaf, or pasta dishes made with red meat such as spaghetti with meatballs or a meat sauce. In the second category, include foods that you may have a few times a week, but that you can do without. For instance, candy bars are not the best thing to eat when you have high cholesterol. If you are in the habit of having a couple of candy bars during the course of the week, add them into the secondary category. For your third category, list those items your doctor wants you to avoid that rarely cross your lips anyway. Even though they are not part of your usual diet, you still need to be aware of them as something to avoid.
Categories help you to remind yourself that a particular food is not in your best interests. While it may seem like a big self-sacrifice, you can make one more addition to your list that will help take some of the sting out of the process. Along with foods to avoid, make a list of things you can have in the place of the now forbidden items. Being able to look at the list and say to yourself "I can't have that double-decker bacon cheese burger and the belly buster order of fries, but I can have a chicken breast seasoned with cayenne pepper on whole wheat with lettuce and tomato, as well as a baked potato with low fat sour cream," will take quite a bit of the sting out of changing your eating habits.
Providing yourself with a personalized visual inventory of what you should and should not be eating can make the process much easier. Why not start putting together your own customized high cholesterol food list todayall And while you are at it why not begin to make substitutions from the high cholesterol list to a low cholesterol list. You will definitely find some great substitutions and be surprised how easy it is to make the changes in your diet and life style.
Posted by maiko muki
|High Cholesterol - Signs, Symptoms, Causes|
High cholesterol is what the average person calls it. The medical term is hypercholesterolemia and it is a risk factor for heart disease.
No signs or symptoms are usually visible until the problem becomes significant. Occasionally, yellowish patches appear around the eyelids or in the outer margin of the iris of the eye. Lumps may form in the tendons of the body, especially in the Achilles tendon.
But most of the time, the fatty waxy yellowish substance lodges inside the walls of the blood vessels, where you cannot see it. That's why you must have your blood levels checked on a regular basis, even if you feel healthy. It could be a family issue you are unaware of.
One of the rare causes of hypercholesterolemia is genetics. It is then referred to as familial hypercholesterolemia. There are actually two genetic mutations, one being much rarer than the other. The rarest form can cause severe cardiovascular disease during childhood. People with the more common, but still rare form tend to develop cardiovascular disease between the ages of 30 and 40.
If members of your family have died from heart attacks at relatively young ages, the reason could be familial high cholesterol. It is in your best interest to get a blood test.
Watch Your Diet
Excessive dietary intake of saturated and trans-fatty acids is the most common cause of hypercholesterolemia in the Western world. Dietary cholesterol was at one time blamed, but most research indicates that cholesterol-rich foods like eggs can be consumed in moderation. For example, eating three eggs per week is okay.
Some people have switched to a vegetarian or vegan diet. Usually the result are quite remarkable. Meat, especially red meat, is a source of saturated fat that can cause high cholesterol.
Get Moving and Keep Going
Another common cause is lack of physical activity. Physical activity is one of the only things that raise HDL levels. HDL is considered "good" cholesterol, because it carries the yellow goo out of the bloodstream. LDL particles are the ones that "stick around" in the blood.
You Have Heard the Warnings Repeatedly
Smoking and alcohol consumption in excess of one or two drinks per day are other causes of high cholesterol. Both smoking and alcohol can cause the liver to produce more LDL particles.
Anyone who is obese should have their HDL and LDL blood levels checked regularly. Obesity raises triglyceride levels. Triglycerides are fats in the bloodstream. Triglycerides include free fatty acids and the cholesterol particles we have been talking about. When a person has high cholesterol, their total blood triglycerides are also higher than normal.
Age a Factor -all
Getting older is a possible cause, although not necessarily inevitable. Dietary changes and improved nutritional status can combat high cholesterol regardless of a person's age.
A number of other health problems can cause hypercholesterolemia including:
* Type II diabetes
* Cirrhosis and other liver diseases
Certain prescription medications can also cause the health problem including progesterone, corticosteroids, anabolic steroids and diuretics. No drug is without risk and many of them have a negative effect on liver function. Anything that messes with the liver can cause hypercholesterolemia, as well as other health problems.
While statin drugs are the usual treatment of choice, they too are risky. It is possible to lower high cholesterol naturally without drugs. Now that you know some basic causes, you'll learn how in my next article.
at 4:04 PM
Posted by maiko muki
|High Cholesterol - Effects of a Low Carb Diet|
When you think of low carb you generally envision rich high fat meals loaded with protein and cholesterol. The truth is a low carb diet will actually improve your good to bad cholesterol ratio. It does this by increasing your good cholesterol (HDL).
The conventional wisdom is eating a high cholesterol diet will increase your blood cholesterol. Putting you at greater risk for heart disease. However, double blind scientific studies show otherwise.
For example, this is from study published in the prestigious "The New England Journal of Medicine" in May of 2003. The study was titled "A Randomized Trial of a Low-Carbohydrate Diet for Obesity".
This study compared the effect of a low-carb, high protein, high fat (Atkins) diet to a low calorie, high carb, low fat diet on blood cholesterol and triglyceride. Both considered risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
The researchers concluded the low fat diet caused greater weight loss at three month. The low carb dieters had increased good cholesterol while bad cholesterol did not change. The low carb dieters also had lowered their triglyceride levels. These worked together to significantly lower their risk factors for heart disease.
There are many more studies like this one. They show beyond any shadow of a doubt that low carbohydrate, high fat, high protein diets such as the Atkins diet lower your risk for heart disease. Improve your good to bad cholesterol ration. And lowers your triglyceride levels.
It's important to note that most studies show there is no difference in weight loss between the two diets after one year. The heart health benefits continue beyond one year when on the low carb diet.
How can this be possibleall It's simple. The food you eat does not effect your blood cholesterol nearly as much as your genetics. Your body produces almost all the cholesterol it needs. If you eat more cholesterol, your body simple produces less.
So, if you're going low carb you can go ahead and enjoy that big juicy cut of prime rib. You know that it's not only delicious, but it's good for you too!