My Site

Balance Your Cholesterol With Some Basic Food Tips

Main Image

Cholesterol is an essential component of body fats that are naturally found in the blood.  It plays an important role in the metabolic processes of the body. Some of the vital functions include the production of hormones, Vitamin D, and bile. Cholesterol is found in several animal source foods like butter, eggs, red meat, and high fatty cheese. However, high values of cholesterol in the blood can lead to coronary artery diseases.

In general, there are two types of blood cholesterol namely low-density lipoprotein (LDL-C) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL-C). They are also commonly known as bad and good cholesterol respectively. If the bad cholesterol is found in excessive amounts in the blood, it can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases. It is vital to keep the LDL-cholesterol count below 100mg/dl. Doctors indicate that the borderline for LDL-C is between 130 and 159.

On the other hand, good cholesterol in the body can help in protecting you from atherosclerotic vascular development or is a negative risk factor towards cardiovascular diseases. The desired HDL-cholesterol range for men and women are 40mg/dl and 50mg/dl. However, the overall cholesterol rate should be below 200mg/dl. The borderline for the overall cholesterol is between 200-239mg/dL.

To control your cholesterol levels, our dietitians recommend a few food tips. You can curb the level by opting for a healthier lifestyle and food options. Firstly, it is important to consume food with total fats not more than 25-30% of the total daily calories. Choose food items that have decreased levels of saturated fats, not more than 7% of the total calories and eliminating the consumption of food items that have trans fats. In saturated fats, avoid deep-fried food, high-fat meats, and processed food items. Secondly, when it comes to trans fats, avoid food items that are made with hydrogenated oil or fats such as margarine, crackers, baked food (especially if they are pre-made), coffee creamers, and packaged snacks to name a few. Additionally, you can have increased levels of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, not more than 20% and 10% of the total calories respectively. Soybeans, sesame, salmon and flaxseeds are rich sources of poly and mono- unsaturated fats.

Another way to control your blood cholesterol would be consuming an adequate amount of fibers, ideally 25-30grams per day with 10-25grams from soluble fibers. Hence it is ideal to consume whole grain cereals/oatmeal, fruits, and legumes.

Some food products like peanuts, vegetable oil and brussel sprouts have cholesterol-lowering plant chemicals like sterols and stanol plants. Hence, it is important to include food that is fortified with sterol or stanol plants (up to 2 grams/ day). Lastly, it is crucial to only have a limited number of calories as an excess can lead to overweight or obesity.

Overall, it is advisable to maintain a strict diet to stay away from food products that have high-cholesterol levels. It is essential to be aware of the basics to maintain a healthy diet. For more information on diet meals across UAE, get in touch with Slim n’ Lite.