Managing Cholesterol

Cholesterol is something that affects us all. There is good and bad cholesterol and high cholesterol runs in families.

Cholesterol isn’t dissolved in the blood stream. Instead it is carried around the body by lipoproteins, whose job it is to transport good cholesterol to the cells that need it, then high-density proteins transport it away from the cells so that the bad cholesterol is broken down and removed from the body.

The body needs cholesterol, but too much of the wrong cholesterol in the blood increases can increase the risk of coronary heart disease and blocked arteries. It is important to manage it.

As documented by the medical profession, food plays a big part in keeping cholesterol levels down. Oats are a high fibre food, which if eaten as part of a healthier diet are effective in reducing cardiovascular disease in general. Oats contain fibre and are thought to help lower LDL cholesterol, which can prevent cardiovascular disease.

Almonds are an unsaturated fat that are rich in omega-9 fatty acids, which may also helps prevent cardiovascular disease. Almonds are a rich source of Vitamin E and contain other protective nutrients, such as magnesium and calcium that also help keep our bones strong.

Low cholesterol foods

Foods that contain unsaturated fats instead of saturated fats can help to manage and reduce cholesterol levels. They include:

  • Nuts (as mentioned above);
  • Oily fish including sardines, mackerel and salmon;
  • Pumpkin and sunflower seeds;
  • Vegetable oils including olive oil; sunflower oil; rapeseed oil and corn oil;

Trans fats can also raise cholesterol levels. They’re usually found in dairy and meat products such as lamb, beef and pork and any food derived from an animal, but not fish.

Hydrogenated fats found in some cakes and biscuits will contain trans fats and should be avoided. Always check packaging for details. Organic produce should be consumed instead.

2 May, 2012

8 thoughts on “Managing Cholesterol

  1. Great advice.

    I’m trying to eat healthier food generally and enjoying it. It is very easy to eat badly with takeaways, ready meals. It takes a concerted effort to buy good quality food and make time to prepare and cook it.

    It also seems to be very expensive too. That is wrong when we are supposed to be encouraged to eat healthy foods but may be discouraged from doing so because of its expense.

    1. I agree with you on all your comments. I am sure there are lots of us out there who would be more encouraged if healthier food were cheaper.

      We would also be less likely to worry about things like cholesterol buying healthier option foods which don’t contain saturated fats.

  2. I’ve been cooking and eating healthier fresh foods, but I’ve never had my cholesterol checked.

    1. It’s great that you’re eating healthier fresh foods. Having you cholesterol levels checked isn’t something you have to do all of the time, but it’s worth getting checked out just to make sure your levels fall within the correct range, so you can keep on top of things.

      Problems with cholesterol usually run in families. I am sure you would know if you’re at risk just through other family members. Making sure you understand which foods contribute to high and low cholesterol is also very important. Diet definitely plays its part.

  3. I’m not sure how I’m doing with cholesterol since it’s been a while that I had it checked. I do try to make sure I eat healthy considering my girlfriend is such a good cook!

    She’s always trying to make sure I eat regularly so I stay healthy. I’m trying to make sure I work on it so I do.

    1. That’s great Randy. I am pleased you’re trying to make sure you eat healthily.

      It saves for problems later, but if it’s a while since you had your cholesterol checked, it’s probably a good idea to have a re-check just to make sure you’re cholesterol levels are still okay.

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