Cholesterol

About cholesterol

What is cholesterol? It’s a waxy substance that’s produced by the liver. It’s also found in the foods we eat that come from animals, like meats, eggs yolks, shellfish, and whole milk dairy products.

Who needs cholesterol? We all do. Our bodies need cholesterol to function. But too much cholesterol can be bad for our health.

When our bodies make too much cholesterol or too much is absorbed from the foods that we eat, it gets deposited in our arteries as plaque.

Whether you have high cholesterol can depend on your family history. Some people inherit genes associated with elevated levels of cholesterol. This is called familial hypercholesterolemia . These people may eat well and exercise, and still have high cholesterol. For others, diet and lifestyle determine cholesterol levels. The more fats they eat, especially from meat and dairy products, the higher their cholesterol levels may be.

How do you know if your cholesterol is high? Many people don’t. High cholesterol is what’s often referred to as a “silent disease.” People with high cholesterol usually don’t have any symptoms. That’s why it’s so important for adults to make sure they get a cholesterol screening at least every 5 years.

Bad and good cholesterol
There are two main types of cholesterol that can affect your health:
“Bad” cholesterol
Low-density lipoproteins, or LDL, are known as the bad cholesterol that can clog your arteries and put you at risk for heart disease.

“Good” cholesterol
High-density lipoproteins, or HDL, have been nicknamed good cholesterol because it actually helps remove bad cholesterol from the body.

There is a third type of cholesterol, called very-low-density lipoprotein, or VLDL. VLDL contains a kind of fat called triglycerides. High triglycerides, like high cholesterol, can put you at risk for heart disease.

Diet
If you need to lower your cholesterol, there are two important steps you should take right away:
Follow a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet

Lose weight if you are overweight
Are these steps easy to understand? Yes. Are they easy to follow? Not always, especially in a world where there’s little time to prepare healthy meals and where junk foods ? filled with empty calories ? are everywhere you turn.

While diet alone may not lower your cholesterol level enough, adopting dietary changes is usually the first step in a cholesterol-lowering plan. In this section, you’ll find tips and strategies designed to help you make a healthy diet part of your routine.

Creating a diet plan
There’s a lot of information available about diet, nutrition, and cholesterol . It can be hard to focus on what’s important. Try to remember these three basic rules, recommended by leading health authorities, including the American Heart Association and the National Institutes of Health:

  1. Avoid high-fat foods
    Fatty red meats
    Butter
    Lard
    Tropical oils (coconut, palm, palm kernel)
    Bacon
    Whole milk and whole milk dairy products (cheese, yogurt, sour cream, ice cream)
  2. Replace animal fats with vegetable oils
    Use vegetable oil or olive oil instead of butter or lard
  3. Enjoy low-fat foods
    Fruits
    Vegetables
    Fish, chicken (skinless), and lean meats
    Whole-grain cereals, pastas, and rice
    Fat-free or 1% milk
    Fat-free or low-fat yogurt

The TLC diet
If your cholesterol level is too high, your doctor or nutritionist may recommend the Therapeutic Lifestyle Change (TLC) diet developed by the National Institutes of Health.
The TLC diet is a low-saturated-fat, low-cholesterol eating plan that recommends that:
Less than 7% of calories come from saturated fat

Dietary cholesterol be limited to less than 200 mg per day

You consume only enough calories to maintain a desirable weight and to avoid weight gain
If you follow these guidelines and your LDL (bad) cholesterol is not lowered enough, you can try increasing the amount of soluble fiber in your diet. Certain food products, such as cholesterol-lowering margarines and salad dressings, can be added to the TLC diet to boost its cholesterol-lowering power.

Tips for getting started
Learn to read food labels. They are your source for information on how much fat and cholesterol foods contain

Make changes slowly. Getting used to your new diet gradually can help make it easier for these changes to become part of your life

Talk to your doctor or nutritionist if you have questions or need advice

Try new foods or brands to find those that you and your family will enjoy

Check a few low-fat and low-cholesterol cookbooks out of the library. Try some of the recipes

Exercise
While exercise alone ? or in combination with diet ? may not lower your cholesterol level enough, it?s still an important part of any cholesterol-lowering plan. It can also help you lower your risk of heart disease by:
Lowering blood pressure
Reducing the risk of developing diabetes
Improving overall fitness and reducing stress
How much you exercise will depend on your medical condition and your current fitness level. Most people should try to exercise at least 30 minutes a day. Ask your doctor about the exercise plan that’s best for you, and then try to stick with it every day.
Tips for starting an exercise program
Before starting any exercise plan, discuss it with your doctor

Remember to have fun! Choose exercises that you enjoy

Trick yourself into exercising ? painlessly. Take the stairs. Park in the spot furthest from the door

Mix it up. Try different exercises so that you don’t get bored

Find a convenient time and place to exercise so that it becomes part of your daily routine

Wear comfortable clothes

Start out slowly and work your way up to a higher level. Your body needs time to adjust, so don’t push yourself too hard at first

Listen to music or watch a video while exercising so you don’t get bored

Drink lots of water

Remember that it’s okay to take a break when you need one

Bring a friend. An exercise buddy can help you stick with it

Give yourself a little reward ? a new CD or a manicure ? every time you reach a goal.

See the TLC Diet here:

http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/cgi-bin/chd/step2intro.cgi

Cholesterol free Foods, Low Cholesterol
Foods
Food Cholesterol
All Fruits 0 mg
All Vegetables 0 mg
All Pulses 0 mg
All Grains 0 mg
All Nuts 0 mg
All Seeds 0 mg
All Vegetable oils 0mg