A Healthy Cholesterol Low-Fat Diet
Cholesterol is a naturally-occurring fat produced by the liver that contributes to the production of hormones and Vitamin D. Our own naturally-occurring cholesterol is known as blood cholesterol. We also get cholesterol from the foods we eat, known as dietary cholesterol.
Although cholesterol is a natural part of our body, our genetics and diet can contribute to high levels of cholesterol in our blood. High cholesterol levels are harmful to our health, posing risks for strokes, heart attacks, and heart disease.
To maintain healthy cholesterol levels and avoid these health risks, it is important to understand the different “good” and “bad” cholesterol found in food. If you’re at risk for high blood cholesterol, following a low-cholesterol low-fat diet can help you stay healthy for years to come.
Good and Bad Cholesterol
High density (HDL) cholesterol is considered good cholesterol because it helps remove excess cholesterol.
Low density (LDL) cholesterol is the bad cholesterol. If your LDL cholesterol levels are high, it will cause fatty deposits and plaque buildup in your arteries while blocking blood circulation to your heart and brain.
To prevent the risks of strokes, heart attacks, and heart disease, you should raise your HDL cholesterol levels if they are too low and lower your LDL cholesterol levels if they are too high.
Cholesterol for Our Diets
Dietary cholesterol from dairy, eggs, meat, and poultry is less harmful to our health compared to cholesterol from saturated and trans fat. Saturated fat is found in processed foods, butter, lard, full-fat milk products, and meats with high amounts of fat.
Trans fat is found in deep-fried foods, partially-hydrogenated margarine, and packaged products, such as cookies and crackers. These processed foods are also high in refined sugar, which can lead to serious health problems, such as diabetes.
Avoiding high-fat and processed foods containing saturated and trans fat is important for maintaining your health, especially if you have high LDL cholesterol levels, or high blood cholesterol runs in your family.
Low Cholesterol Fat Diet
For healthy cholesterol levels, eat foods that are low in saturated and trans fat, such as:
- Skinless chicken
- Lean meat
- Whole-grain food
Follow a Healthy Lifestyle
Healthy cholesterol levels can be maintained with a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity, low alcohol intake, and not smoking.
By following a healthy lifestyle, avoiding processed foods, and eating well with a low-cholesterol low-fat diet, you can avoid the possible health risks associated with high LDL cholesterol levels.