A Diet that’s Naturally Low in Fat and Cholesterol Can Improve Your
Health and Well-Being
Fat is an essential micronutrient.
But too much fat, or the wrong kind of fat, can be detrimental to your health. While
there’s no need to eliminate fat from your diet completely, a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet could
improve your health and well-being. In order to make informed decisions about
the food you consume, it’s important to educate yourself about fatty acids, the
foods they’re found in, and how they impact your overall health.
Not all fats are created equal.
Based on chemical structure, they can be categorized as saturated, unsaturated,
or Trans fat. Here’s a quick rundown on each:
fats: These fatty acids are commonly found in animal products including
meat, butter, milk, cream, and lard. They are solid at room temperature, and can
raise the level of Low-Density Lipoproteins (LDL, or “bad cholesterol”) in the
blood when consumed in large quantities.
fats: Usually considered “good fats,” these fatty acids are commonly found
in olive oil, fish oil, avocado, walnuts and flax, for example. Liquid at room
temperature, unsaturated fats increase the level of High-Density Lipoprotein
(HDL, or “good cholesterol”) in the blood, while decreasing LDL.
- Trans fats:
These artificial fatty acids are created
in a manufacturing process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make
them more solid. Found in margarine and many processed and fried foods, they
act like saturated fats, raising the level of LDL cholesterol in the blood.
A low-fat, low-cholesterol diet is believed to be an effective way
to limit the consumption of harmful fatty acids, with several benefits:
Lower Obesity Risk
Obesity has become an epidemic,
putting those affected at risk for high cholesterol, hypertension,
cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, liver and kidney disease, and several
other conditions. Along with regular exercise, a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet
can play a huge role in controlling your risk for obesity.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance
produced by the liver, and high levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood are
associated with an increased risk of heart disease, heart attack, or stroke. Lowering
your cholesterol with the help of a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet can improve heart health and reduce
these cardiovascular risks.
When you lower the fat and cholesterol
in your diet, you’ll be more likely to start consuming healthier and nutritious
options. Foods that are naturally lower in fat and cholesterol include fruit,
vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, and lean proteins (skinless chicken
breast, lean ground beef, eggs, fish, etc.). You’ll find yourself consuming
less processed, fried, and fast food, and opting for healthier choices. As a
result, you’ll also be consuming higher levels of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Relief of Other Symptoms
Often, when the foods you consume
are negatively affecting your health, you experience symptoms that you may not
even be aware are related to your diet. A diet low in fat and cholesterol has the potential to bring relief of
unpleasant gastrointestinal symptoms, improved liver function, improved energy
levels, and a better overall quality of life.
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