Making Healthy Eating Better

One of the best things you can do for your cholesterol levels is to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. Not only do these foods have no dietary cholesterol that can raise your bad cholesterol levels, but some fruits and vegetables have been linked to lowering cholesterol in patients.

Research studies have proven numerous times that one of the best things you can do for yourself if you are worried about your cholesterol level is to eat more fresh fruit and vegetables.

Studies also often show that North Americans eat far less fresh fruits and vegetables than they should eat, a fact that has often been suggested as a key cause for the higher cholesterol levels and heart disease levels – not to mention the higher rates of obesity – that North Americans face. To put it simply, those nations that eat more fruits, vegetables, and grains are healthier – and have lower cholesterol levels as a whole.

Selecting your Foods

Enjoy a wide variety of foods regularly, including select cuts of meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs and nuts each week.

You can further keep your blood cholesterol levels low by doing the following:

• Choose chicken and turkey that has the skin removed. You can keep the skin on to seal in the juices so long as you remove the skin before eating.

• When selecting meat, choose leaner cuts, white meat, and cuts that have less white “marbleized” texture. The white “marble” is fat that can increase your cholesterol.

• Select fish such as cod that has less saturated fat than even chicken or other meats.

• Even the leanest cuts of meat, chicken, fish, and shellfish have saturated fat and cholesterol so limit your daily intake to 6 ounces or less.

• Remember: You can increase soluble fiber if LDL is not lowered enough from reducing saturated fat and cholesterol.

Adapting to a Cholesterol Friendly Diet

Once your doctor has confirmed that you have high cholesterol, you can take steps to regain your health by following a low cholesterol and low fat diet. Being true to such a healthful diet will ensure that you can reduce total cholesterol levels by as much as 15 percent. As an added benefit, this sort of diet will also make you feel generally healthier and more energetic as well.

You will benefit further with a regular exercise schedule and this will raise your “good” HDL levels for a total package of healthy living. Do this and within as short as 30 days you will experience a renewed sense of energy and vitality. The effects over all will be immediate.

Following a low cholesterol and low fat diet necessitates that you must do the following:

• Get less than 7% of your day’s total calories from saturated fat. In fact, try to lower your saturated fat intake as far as possible. Your doctor may even recommend that you get a smaller percentage of your calories from saturated fat, especially if you have very high cholesterol.

Eating for Lower Cholesterol

Eating is one of the things that can affect your cholesterol level a great deal. If you have too high cholesterol, the foods you eat can be one of the things you can control to most effectively and quickly lower your cholesterol.

In fact, if you have elevated levels of high cholesterol, a healthy low cholesterol diet is the one thing that you must absolutely do in order to ensure heart health. Low cholesterol foods and recipes are easy to find and prepare, so get ready to learn all about them.

Your Arteries and Cholesterol

The job of your arteries is to pump blood. The Dorsal Aorta or the main artery branches out into many smaller arteries. Each body system has arteries which are responsible for providing the oxygen rich blood that keeps us alive.

Too much cholesterol in the blood – especially bad cholesterol – prevents arteries from working their best. High levels of bad cholesterol may even prevent arteries from functioning at all, since cholesterol can actually lead to blockages in your arteries. For this reason, it is critical then that we keep arteries free of bad cholesterol for optimal health.

Arteries are constructed of a tough exterior and a soft, smooth interior. Each artery has three specific layers:

    • The outer layer

Understanding the Causes of High Cholesterol

Besides diet, other causes of high cholesterol are lifestyle, gender and the heritage of the individual.

For some, even maintaining cholesterol at the right levels and being fit and thin will still not prevent the development of high levels of bad cholesterol. Due to heart risk factors besides diet, some people require a very aggressive approach which includes cholesterol lowing medication. We will address this issue as we progress in “30 days to lowering cholesterol.”

Lifestyle issues and high cholesterol:

•When we opt for convenience in eating over nutrition, we are setting ourselves up for problems. Eating fast foods and convenience foods results in eating too many fats and salts, which can raise our bad cholesterol levels.

Understanding the Types of Cholesterol

While most people talk about “cholesterol levels” there is in fact more than one type of cholesterol. In fact, there are several different body functions and several different substances that make up our understanding of “cholesterol.”

As with some fats, cholesterol cannot be dissolved in the blood. Instead, molecules called lipoproteins carry cholesterol to and from cells. Molecules are made from an outer layer of protein and an inner core of both cholesterol and triglycerides, which is another form of fat.

Lipoproteins equip the cholesterol to move around the body. The two main types of lipoproteins are:

1) High Density Lipoproteins (HDL.)

• HDL transports cholesterol from cells back to the liver.

Understanding Cholesterol

In order to understand why it is important to lower cholesterol, it is necessary to first understand what cholesterol is. Cholesterol is a fatlike waxy substance and is produced by the liver. Although cholesterol has purposes and is important to overall health and body function, too much cholesterol in the body has damaging effects.

Cholesterol forms every cell within the body. When the cholesterol level is appropriate, it plays a life-giving role in many functions of the body. When cholesterol is at a good level it works to build and repair cells, produces hormones such as estrogen and testosterone, and produces bile acids which are proven to aid in the digestion of fat.