Confused About Cholesterol?
We do know that high blood cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease, but the cholesterol and fat found in food are two different things and effect blood cholesterol differently .Take this test: Which do you think would more likely increase blood cholesterol levels, potato chips (many of which say low cholesterol on the bag) or shrimp? The potato chips are the culprits . Even though they are low in cholesterol, they contain a lot of fat, usually hydrogenated fat . The shrimp are high in cholesterol, yes, but are virtually fat-free . For most healthy individuals dietary cholesterol does not affect cholesterol levels as much as the amount of fat and the type of fat eaten .
Foods that can raise blood cholesterol levels
- high-fat meats such as ribs, sausages, organ
- meats, bacon, salami, hot dogs, ground beef
- chicken skin
- high-fat milk, yogurt and cheese
- ice cream
- cream, butter, shortening, lard
- hydrogenated fats in fried foods and processed foods like chips, cookies and crackers
- high-fat baked goods
- (Refer to Healthy Eating Introduction and Fats in
- this section for more information about choosing the right types of fats and lower fat foods .)Soluble fibre helps to lower blood cholesterol and is found in:
- legumes such as kidney beans, chick peas, black eyed peas,
- lentils, white beans• oatmeal, oatbran, barley
- apples, citrus fruits, strawberries Other foods that promote heart health include:
- whole grain breads and cereals, brown rice, whole wheat pasta
- all types of fruits and vegetables
- garlic and onions
- fish, especially salmon, mackerel, white albacore tuna and sardines
- soy bean products like tofu and soy milk
- vegetable oils in moderation, such as olive, canola, sunflower and safflower
Omega-3 fatty acids
The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish are associated with a decreased risk of heart attacks . Generally, the fattier the fish the more omega-3’s it has . Stick with fish like salmon, mackerel, trout, sardines and white albacore tuna . To follow the advice of many experts, eat fish two to three times a week .canola oil, walnuts, soybean oil and flaxseed also contain omega-3 fatty acids of a different nature .Whether they offer the same protective effects as fish is yet to be determined .
Would you like your eggs scrambled, boiled, or poached?
Even though dietary cholesterol doesn’t have as much impact on your blood cholesterol levels as the amount and type of fat eaten, the World Health Organization recommends an upper intake of 300 mg of cholesterol per day . Eggs contain about 200 mg of cholesterol and 5 grams of fat but only 1 .5 grams of saturated fat . You don’t want to overdo it with eggs but they are highly nutritious and can be eaten in moderation as part of a balanced diet . Avoid frying them in butter and if you want to lower the fat content of recipes, substitute two egg whites for one egg . And look for omega-3 enriched eggs in your supermarket . They are produced by feeding hens a special diet that contains flaxseed, which in turn produces eggs