The Best Diet For High Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a fat-like substance found in certain foods that is essential for proper bodily functioning as it plays a role in the production of hormones and vitamin D, among other things. However, if you have too much cholesterol, it can stick to the walls of your arteries, causing them to become narrow or even blocked. 

What treatments are available for high cholesterol? 
The two primary ways of tackling cholesterol involve living more healthily and taking appropriate medication. Changing your lifestyle means eating healthier foods, exercising more, and managing your weight. 

What is a good diet for high cholesterol? 
Cholesterol is found in fat, so the first steps involve limiting your daily fat and saturated fat intake. Track your calories when eating and make sure that you limit your dietary fats to between 25-35% of your daily calories. Saturated fat should be significantly lower with an upper limit of 7% of your daily calories. The amount of fat you should be eating varies depending on the number of calories you need as follows: 

1,500 calories - 42 to 58 grams of fat, and up to 10 grams of saturated fat. 
2,000 calories - 56 to 78 grams of fat, and up to 13 grams of saturated fat. 
2,500 calories - 69 to 97 grams of fat, and up to 17 grams of saturated fat. 

Saturated fat raises your cholesterol levels faster than anything else in your diet. It is found in meat, dairy items, chocolate, deep-fried food, baked goods, and processed food. Trans fat is another source of cholesterol to watch out for. It is typically found in foods made from hydrogenated fats and oils like margarine, chips, or crackers. When avoiding these two types of fat, it is important to find good sources of fat instead. When eating meat, try to choose leaner cuts, try nuts as an alternative protein source, and use oils like safflower or olive oil. Some foods simply contain cholesterol. There is nothing wrong with eating a little cholesterol directly, but you want to limit your intake to 300 mg a day. Cholesterol naturally occurs in foods that come from animals like eggs, whole milk, and liver.  An alternative way to tackle your cholesterol levels is by eating soluble fibre. As when digesting soluble fibre-rich foods, your digestive tract absorbs less cholesterol. Good sources include whole-grain cereals, apples, oranges, prunes, bananas, pears, kidney beans, lentils, lima beans, black-eyed peas, and chickpeas. If you want to avoid eating meat, then try eating fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These are beneficial for your heart and reduce your chances of heart attack and heart disease. Fish rich in omega-3 include tuna, salmon, and mackerel - as a guideline try to eat fish twice a week. 

What else can you do? 
If you are worried about your heart and your cholesterol levels, seek the advice of a medical professional. They will be able to run tests that provide information about your cholesterol levels, and they will be able to tell you where they should be. Doctors can give advice and point out specific areas in your lifestyle that are putting you at risk. Sometimes, your cholesterol levels cannot be easily controlled by a simple change in diet or lifestyle. It may be the case that you have other dietary requirements which are incompatible with a low-cholesterol lifestyle. If this is the case, your doctor will be able to help you. There are medications available that can help you get your cholesterol under control. Your doctor will be able to examine the other aspects of your life and judge the best treatment plan as determined by your other needs. 

Is that it? 
Changes in lifestyle and medications are the best way to reduce your cholesterol. The first step is paying attention to what you eat and taking extra care to read nutrition labels before purchasing food. If you need additional help or have any questions, always seek the advice of a medical professional. They will be able to help you and make the battle again high cholesterol that much easier.

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