You need to understand that it is not enough to just have high levels of good cholesterol. The ratio of good to bad cholesterol is important. This is because you can still get a heart attack if you have a high HDL level but also a high LDL level. This is why it is so important to eat those lower cholesterol foods as much as you can.
It is one thing to know which foods will lower your cholesterol and quite another to put shopping for them, cooking them and presenting them on a plate for dinner.
Here are some great tips for getting healthy eating low cholesterol foods into our life.
First of all make a shopping list before you go shopping so you stick to buying foods that are good for your heart and arteries and avoid impulse buys!
Simply do not keep foods that are high in cholesterol in your house. Only have healthy foods such as canned or dry beans, fresh fruits, whole grains, vegetables and vegetable juice on hand. Do not keep Chinese food, chips, cakes or other treats around.
Get rid of the butter and margarine and replace them with canola oil, olive oil or plant sterol spreads.
Look for foods that are specifically designed for low cholesterol and heart healthy diets. These are foods that have been fortified with plant sterols that help block the absorption o cholesterol.
Instead of eggs try eating and cooking with cholesterol free egg substitute. Even if you use these half the time you will be doing your body a big favour.
Substitute fish or vegetables in healthy oils for heavy creams on pasta.
Use vinegar instead of butter to fry foods. Liven up your dishes with oregano, basil, parsley, rosemary, thyme, cilantro, coriander, or cumin instead of adding fatting creams and sauces.
As you can see it only takes a few small changes in your attitude towards food and in cooking food to make a big difference in your cholesterol levels for the better.
For some people diet and lifestyle changes are not enough. High blood cholesterol levels often have a genetic component. Some people inherit altered genes that cause high cholesterol and this can usually not be changed sufficiently by lifestyle or diet.
If you are at risk of coronary heart disease and your LDL cholesterol level doesn’t drop after you make lifestyle changes and pay attention to diet, your doctor may recommend medications to force your LDL levels down.
Medical evidence strongly indicates that high cholesterol levels can cause narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis), heart attack and stroke.
This is because cholesterol can build up in the artery wall (restricting the flow of blood to your heart, brain and the rest of your body.) It can also accelerate the development of a lethal blood clot in a blood vessel anywhere in your body!
Your risk of coronary heart disease (when your heart’s blood supply is blocked or interrupted) rises as your blood’s cholesterol level increases. Other factors, such as high blood pressure, lack of exercise, a family history of high cholesterol and smoking, increase this risk even more.
There are many factors that can increase your chance of having heart problems or stroke if you have high cholesterol.
Some risk factors, such as an unhealthy diet and smoking, can be altered by making changes to your lifestyle.
Other risk factors, such as having diabetes or high blood pressure, can also be treated with medication.
Some risk factors, such as having a family history of stroke or heart disease, cannot be changed and that is why it is important for some people to be extra diligent when it comes to watching their bad habits and diet. In this case it may be all you can do to “beat the beast of cholesterol” off by taking measures to stay in control of how high your LDL levels are.
If you have inherited the condition you may be fighting an uphill battle to get your cholesterol down. If you have been diagnosed with high cholesterol then you may be looking for ways to change your diet so that you can improve your LDL to HDL ratio.
The amount of cholesterol in the blood (including both LDL and HDL) can be measured with a blood test. The test measures the ration of LDL to HDL. The bigger the difference is in the ratio between these two components the better as long as the LDL levels are quite low.
Triglycerides are the fats you use for energy and come from the fatty foods you eat. You store this fat that is not utilized in the fatty tissues of your body. Excess triglycerides in the blood also can indicate potential heart problems and an excess of cholesterol. That is why a doctor will often test your blood for “high triglycerides” as part of finding out how at risk you are for health problems as the result of having high cholesterol.
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