No matter what the cause of your high cholesterol the first step in reducing it should be a low cholesterol diet. This is true whether the cause is hereditary or the cause is your diet. Cholesterol can be divided into two, LDL and HDL. LDL stands for low density lipoprotein and it is the bad kind of cholesterol, while HDL, high density lipoprotein is the good kind. If bad cholesterol is allowed to accumulate in your blood, you run a serious risk of heart attacks and strokes, since the cholesterol tend to form plaques. It is, as you can see, vital to reduce your bad cholesterol level.
What Is Measured With A Cholesterol Test?
First of all, the test measures the overall blood cholesterol levels. The magic limit is 200 mg/dL, try to keep it under this. If your level is all the way above 239, it is high, and you should immediately take steps to lower it.
LDL cholesterol is also measured. this should, ideally, be kept under 130. Levels from 160 to 189 will put at risk and are characterized as high. Above 190 is very dangerous.
The HDL is helpful in clearing deposits of fat. Levels around 60 is ideal.
Finally, the test will measure the amount of Triglycerides. They are formed from left over glucose and can put you at risk for heart diseases. Below 150 is the perfect level for Triglycerides.
Tips For A Diet Low In Cholesterol
There are two sources of cholesterol, your diet and cholesterol produced in your liver. The cholesterol obtained through your diet is what is within your immediate control. Here is what you can do.
Reduce your intake of partially hydrogenated vegetable oil and saturated fat. Both of these are solid at room temperature, saturated fat can be found in palm and coconut oil, while snacks and margarine is high in partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.
Instead of the unhealthy saturated fat, eat foods high in unsaturated fat. Examples are corn, sesame, soybean and sunflower oils. The healthiest kind might just be fish oil, which also provides omega-3 fatty acids though polyunsaturated fats.
High cholesterol foods that you should eat less of are meat, poultry, fish, dairy products and eggs. A common misconception is that cholesterol is not found in food that is low in fat, this is not true, as cholesterol is not fat at all.
Instead eat food containing lots of starch and fiber, these are good for your body and have reduced calories when compared to high fat foods. Examples include bread, cereals, fruits and vegetables. Additionally, fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of nutrients and minerals.
Wholegrain food is better than food with white flour, as the fiber will have the effect of lowering cholesterol levels.
Red meats are high in bad cholesterol, when you need meat, cook lean varieties instead.
When choosing cooking oils, opt for ones containing lots of monosaturated fats, since they have beneficial cardioprotective effects.
It is possible to lower cholesterol levels by taking some simple steps and changing some bad habits. The first one, is changing to a low cholesterol diet.