Diet and physical activity have major effects on body cholesterol. Eating healthy foods and exercising regularly can help you lower your cholesterol or maintain a normal level. Likewise, lack of physical activity and poor food choices can send your cholesterol soaring.
Foods to be cautious
Saturated fat is the main culprit food for high cholesterol. They are mostly found in red meat, poultry with skin and full-fat dairy products. Experts recommend limiting saturated fat to less than 10 percent of our daily calorie intake. Lowering the consumption of saturated fats has been proven to lower the bad cholesterol or LDL. Experts say not to consume more than 300 mg of cholesterol each day. Eggs, cheese, sour cream, butter, meat and poultry all contain cholesterol.
Finally, the trans fat in packaged baked foods like crackers, cakes, cookies, fried foods and some margarine is a matter of worry. The latest recommendation is to keep harmful trans fat intake below 1%.
Foods that can help you
Fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, beans and oats all have proven cholesterol-fighting benefits. Studies have demonstrated that fiber lowers cholesterol. It also makes you feel full, which can help control weight. Experts recommend eating 25 to 38 grams of fiber daily, depending on your sex and your age. The nutritionists also let oat makers put a “heart-healthy” claim on their products because of oats’ ability to decrease total cholesterol and LDL.
Fish are low in saturates and high in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids that can help lower cholesterol. Experts advise eating at least two servings of baked or grilled fish each week. Soy foods such as soy milk and whole soybeans may lower your risk of heart disease when eaten as part of a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet. The advice is to eat 25 grams of soy protein each day, which is the equivalent of a little over three cups of soy milk.
Nuts, including almonds, walnuts, peanuts, pecans and pistachios, help lower cholesterol. Experts believe this is due to the combination of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats they contain. Experts believe that polyunsaturated fats (including nuts, seeds and safflower, sesame and corn oils) and monounsaturated fats (including avocados and canola, olive and peanut oils) may help lower your cholesterol when you consume them instead of saturated fats.
Physical activity and exercise
Working out on a regular basis lowers LDL cholesterol and raises HDL cholesterol levels. It also helps you achieve and maintain a healthy weight, which is beneficial not only for your heart health but for your overall health. Experts say to aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise each day for at least 5 days a week.
Another risk factor for high cholesterol is heredity. Some people have high cholesterol because it runs in their families. If you have a family history of high cholesterol or heart disease, it is more important than ever to eat right, exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight.