Jacki Donaldson of That’sFit dishes some tips for lowering your cholesterol. Have a look:
- Cut down on saturated fat and trans fats and eat good fats in moderation -- they still have lots of calories.
- Limit calories -- eating too much can lead to weight gain, which increases your risk of high cholesterol.
- Eat sparingly all high cholesterol foods, like egg yolks, shrimp, and organ meats.
- Consider a Mediterranean-style diet, which is low in saturated and trans fats and allows for a healthy intake of unsaturated fats from fish and nuts.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Get 30 to 60 minutes of exercise most days of the week -- while it won't lower your cholesterol on its own, it can keep your weight down and reduce other cardiovascular risks.
Though saturated fat is the most heart-disease-promoting substance in animal products, it is not merely saturated fat and cholesterol in animal products that is the problem. Animal protein raises cholesterol too. Those who cut out red meat and instead eat plenty of chicken and fish do not see substantial changes in their cholesterol levels or a profound reduction in cardiac events.1The exercise tip is funny. 60 minutes a day would be a vacation for me! 1. Tang JL, Armitage JM, Lancaster T, et al. Systematic review of dietary intervention trials to lower blood total cholesterol in free-living subjects. BMJ 1998 Apr 18;316(7139):1213-1220.
If you are looking for maximum protection from heart disease, your diet must receive 90 to 100 percent of its calories from unrefined plant foods. If you choose to include a small amount of animal products in your diet, white meat chicken and white meat turkey are better choices, but if you have more than one or two servings a week, you are not going to see optimal results. One serving of a non-polluted fish a week, and one serving of white meat fowl is the maximum amount of animal products permitted. Any more than that will prevent the huge drop in cholesterol level and heart disease risk observed from eating a plant-based diet style.