Cholesterol is a type of fat that your body needs, among other things, to produce cell membranes and hormones.
Your body is capable of producing all the cholesterol it needs. Additional cholesterol in our bodies comes from eating foods high in saturated fats, such as meat, high-fat dairy, and eggs. Also, some people have a genetic disposition to high cholesterol meaning food is not the issue but how their body manufacturers cholesterol.
Excess cholesterol builds up as fatty deposits or "plaque" in your arteries. Plaque buildup reduces blood flow through your veins, making your heart work harder and increasing your risk of heart disease and stroke.
There are a few approaches you can take to lowering your cholesterol. The American Heart Association recommends ways to lower your cholesterol by changes to your diet, by taking medication, being more physically active, and by making lifestyle changes.
Eating to lower your cholesterol. Most of the cholesterol you need is made by your body. However, food products from animals contain additional cholesterol as well. The foods include meats, poultry, shellfish, eggs, butter, cheese, and milk. Any type of food that contains saturated or trans fat causes your body to make more cholesterol.
The American Heart Association recommends that you keep your intake of fat between 25 and 35% of your daily calories. Also, limit your intake of cholesterol from food to less than 300 mg a day. If your cholesterol is high, the recommended amount is less than 200 mg per day. Lastly, be sure to get at least 25 to 30 grams of fiber each day. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes are good sources of fiber.
The Mayo Clinic came up with a list of the top 5 foods to lower your cholesterol.
Foods fortified with plant sterols or stanols, which are found in plants and help block the absorption of cholesterol, can help reduce LDL cholesterol by more than 10%.
Friday, December 11, 2009
How to lower your cholesterol
Posted by ray at 3:59 AM