Low cholesterol & healthy heart diet provide tips on how to lower your family’s cholesterol levels and keep your heart healthy through a nutritious diet eating and exercise.
For Low Cholesterol Diet, Think Saturated Fat
Look for 1 g or less per 100 calories. (If the food has 200 calories per serving, it should have no more than 2 g of saturated fat.)
Most of the cholesterol in your blood does not come from high-cholesterol foods; it’s actually made by your body — and the criminal is saturated fat. The more you consume, the more cholesterol your body makes. So even if you see cholesterol-free stamped on the package, the food may still be a bad choice if it is loaded with saturated fat.
Of course, you can still indulge in a little saturated fat-filled ice cream or cheese now and then — you just have to plan for it. A ½-cup scoop of your favorite flavor, for example, may have 13 g! Save it for a splurge and shoot for a minimal amount of saturated fat for the rest of the day.
No more than 10% of your daily calories (for a 1,600-calorie day, that is 17.5 g of saturated fat)
Glance At Trans Fat
Look for 0 g in the nutrition facts and no hydrogenated anything in the ingredients list
Trans-free products are easier to find these days, but manufacturers can still claim “no trans fats” if there is less than 0.5 g per serving; eat two servings and you may get nearly 1 g of trans fat — enough to raise your “bad” LDL cholesterol and worse, reduce your “good” HDL cholesterol. That is why you have to scan the ingredients list, too: Do not eat if you see the word hydrogenated. Look for trans-free products that list liquid canola and olive oils instead.
As close to 0 g as possible
For Healthy Heart Diet, Think Heart-Friendly Nutrition
To have a heart-friendly diet
Eat fruits and vegetables
Eat a variety of fruit and vegetable servings every day. Dark green, deep orange or yellow fruits and vegetables are especially nutritious. Examples include spinach, carrots, Sharon fruit, mango, papaya, melon (cantaloupe, Galia, or honeydew), peaches, and berries.
Eat a variety of grain products
Include daily whole-grain foods that have lots of fiber and nutrients. Examples of whole grains include oats, whole wheat bread, local and brown rice.
Eat fish at least 2 times weekly
Oily fish, which contain omega-3 fatty acids, are best for your heart. These fish include tuna, salmon, mackerel, lake trout, herring, and sardines.
Limit saturated fat and cholesterol
In order to limit saturated fat and cholesterol try to choose the following foods such as
- Lean meats, and meat alternatives like beans or tofu.
- Fish, vegetables, beans, and nuts.
- A nonfat and low-fat dairy product.
- Polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats, like soya, peanut, canola, and olive oils, to replace saturated fats, such as butter
Choose healthy fats
Unsaturated fats, such as olive, soy, peanut, canola, corn, and sunflower oils, are part of a healthy diet. But all fats are high in calories, so watch your serving sizes.
Limit sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day (about one teaspoon). Choose and prepare foods with little or no salt. Watch for hidden sodium in foods.
Control your calories
Eat only as many calories as you need to stay at a healthy weight. Learn how much a serving is and then check your portion sizes. Limit drinks with added sugar and high-fructose corn syrup. If you want to lose weight, increase your activity level to burn more calories than you eat.
Drink in moderation
If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation. Limit alcohol intake to 2 drinks per day for men and 1 drink per day for women.
Limit added sugar
Limit drinks and foods with added sugar.
Strictly follow heart-healthy tips
When you are eating away from home, try to follow these heart-healthy diet tips.
But you do not have to be perfect, and you do not have to do it all at once. Make one or two changes at a time. As soon as you are used to those, make another one or two changes. Over time, making a number of small changes can add up and make a big difference in your health. Here are some ideas about how to get started:
- Choose whole-grain bread instead of white bread.
- Have a piece of fruit instead of a candy bar.
- Try to eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Add one or two servings of fruits and vegetables to your day. Slowly add more servings until you are eating at least 5 servings a day.
- Switch from 2% or whole milk to 1% or nonfat milk.
- Instead of meat, have fish for dinner. Brush it with olive or soy oil, and broil or grill it.
- Switch from butter to a cholesterol-lowering soft spread. Use olive, soy, or canola oil for cooking.
- Use herbs and spices, instead of salt, to add flavor to foods.
It may take some time to get used to new tastes and habits but stay with it. Keep in mind the good things you are doing for your heart and your overall health.
You can get even more benefit from making diet changes if you also get some exercise on most, preferably all, days of the week and do not smoke. Get plenty of exercises. Go for walks as a family, go jogging or biking, or play football, basketball, or lawn tennis. Exercise helps boost HDL levels in the blood – and that is good!
Finally, ensure low cholesterol & a healthy heart diet is a family affair. Children usually are not the only ones at risk, so it’s important to make this a family effort. And parents who don’t know their own cholesterol levels should get them checked. The strides you take to improve your family’s lifestyle can have a huge effect on your health not only now, but also far into the future.
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