You can eat your way to better cholesterol
Tuesday, October 26, 2021
What’s so good about “good” cholesterol? The high-density lipoprotein (HDL) removes the “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) away from your arteries and back to your liver so it can be removed from your body.
Your body makes all the cholesterol it needs and uses it to keep you healthy. The waxy substance helps make new cells, some hormones and substances that help digest foods. Having too much cholesterol in your blood can slowly build up in your arteries and create plaque. The foods you eat can impact your cholesterol.
So, what eats away the cholesterol? A variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grain foods, lean meat (pork and red meat labeled “loin” and “round” have the least amount of fat), unsalted nuts, seeds and dried beans or peas are the healthier picks for reducing your LDL.
“The good news is, high cholesterol can be lowered, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke,” said Selomie Kebede, M.D., fellowship-trained cardiologist, Genesis Heart & Vascular Institute. “From a dietary standpoint, the best way to lower your cholesterol is reduce saturated fat and trans fat. Reducing these fats means limiting your intake of red meat and dairy products made with whole milk.”
Many no cholesterol or even low-fat foods are high in other types of bad fats, such as saturated and trans fats. Be sure to check the food label for saturated fat, trans fat and total calories.
Saturated fat is solid at room temperature, which is why it is also known as “solid fat.” It’s mostly in animal foods, such as milk, cheese and meat. Opt for low-fat dairy options.
Trans fat is a fat that has been processed to increase the shelf life of food. It makes crispier crackers and flakier pie crusts and can raise your cholesterol. Eat as little trans fat as possible.
Read the food packaging label to monitor the amounts of cholesterol and fats you’re taking in. Eating a healthy diet can help you improve your cholesterol.