The Myth of Cholesterol – the Bad and the Good
For some people, cholesterol is bad because they do not know there are two types of it. These two types are LDL and HDL – the bad cholesterol is called LDL, while the good one is called HDL. Plaques can form on one’s arteries if you have a lot of LDL in the bloodstream. Eventually, your arteries will get narrow as a result of being clogged up and it will block off blood flow. The truth is, your high cholesterol is not caused by dietary cholesterol but by other things. This is caused by excessive amounts of transfat and saturated fat. Exercise and eating a lot of fiber and unsaturated fats will do a lot to keep cholesterol down.
What Numbers Mean in Cholesterol
Adults should see to it that they have their cholesterol checked every 5 years. Four results are given to you, which will show the levels for your LDL cholesterol, Triglycerides, total cholesterol and HDL cholesterol. Should you find your cholesterol levels over or even under the normal range, you need to diet and exercise as a result.
Total Cholesterol – less than 200 mg/dL (5.2 mmol/L)
LDL Cholesterol – less than 100 mg/dL (2.6 mmol/L)
HDL Cholesterol – greater than 40 mg/dL (1.0 mmol/L)
Triglycerides – less than 150 mg/dL (1.7 mmol/L)
Can Vitamin E Protect Your Heart?
Vegetable oils, nuts and leafy vegetables are good sources of Vitamin E. Vitamin E is not proven to stop you from getting a stroke, but it can lessen your heart disease risk level.
Five Great Foods to Lower Your Cholesterol
1. Oatmeal and Oat Bran: These contain a high amount of soluble fiber, which can lower LDL.
2. Fish: Fish is a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which lowers LDL and raises HDL.
3. Nuts: Not only are nuts high in fiber, but they contain the healthy fats you need to keep LDL in check.
4. Plant Sterols: This is found in foods like margarine, salad dressing, orange juice, and functional cookies. 2 grams per day will lower your LDL by 10-15%.
5. Soy: This popular meat replacement can lower LDL by up to 3%.
Health Benefits of Plant Sterols
Foods like granola bars, fat free milk, Benecol Spread and VitaTops Muffin Tops are great sources of plant sterols that you can turn to. Helping your heart starts with eating plenty of these foods rich in plant sterols and nixing your high saturated fat diet. However, these will not make for a saturated fat diet at all. It is still important for you to still need to eat healthy foods and exercise a lot to keep your cholesterol in control.
About the Author
Deborah H. Land writes for the ldl cholesterol diet, her blog, and her personal hobby website that she uses to help people eat healthy to lower bad cholesterol levels.
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