Posts Tagged ‘cholesterol’

Some Snack Foods that will Lower your Bad Cholesterol

 


 

The good news — or the bad news, depending on what you’re snacking on — is that “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is sensitive to diet, though less sensitive than triglycerides and good high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.

Sunflower seeds, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, pine nuts, flaxseeds, and almonds are particularly high in plant sterols, which can help reduce LDL.

Research shows that eating two apples a day can slow down the oxidation of LDL cholesterol and help prevent plaque buildup.

An important source of water-soluble fiber, oats have long been recognized as a potential cholesterol-lowering dietary component. The soluble fiber in oat bran binds with bile acids in the intestine to block the absorption of cholesterol by the body.

Studies show that the phytochemicals called liminoids in pink and red grapefruit make them powerful LDL busters. Also, all types of beans are great for lowering your LDL, but I don’t know to many people eat them for snacks.

Here is the acceptable levels of Good (HDL) and bad Cholesterol(LDL):

Total cholesterol levels: 

  • less than 200 mg/dL (5.17 mmol/L) is considered desirable
  • 200 mg/dL – 239 mg/dL (5.17 mmol/L – 6.18 mmol/L) – borderline-high
  • 240 mg/dL and above (6.21 mmol/L and higher) is considered high.

 

LDL-“bad” cholesterol levels: 

  • less than 100 mg/dL (less than 2.6 mmol/L) is considered optimal
  • 100 mg/dL – 129 mg/dL (2.6 mmol/L – 3.35 mmol/L) – near optimal or above optimal
  • 130 mg/dL – 159 mg/dL (3.35 mmol/L – 4.10 mmol/L) – borderline high
  • 160 mg/dL – 189 mg/dL (4.12 mmol/L – 4.88 mmol/L) – high
  • 190 and above (4.90 mmol/L and greater) is considered very high.

 

HDL-“good” cholesterol levels: 

  • 60 mg/dL (1.56 mmol/L) or higher is considered desirable (it reduces the risk of heart disease, even if total or LDL cholesterol is high)
  • 40 mg/dL – 60 mg/dL (1.04 mmol/L – 1.56 mmol/L) – acceptable
  • below 40 mg/dL (1.04 mmol/L) is considered low (it increases the risk for coronary artery disease in people who also have high total cholesterol levels).
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Some important news about high fats in your Supermarket

Fat Shockers: Surprisingly High-Fat Foods

 

This is an interesting article I recently read online. If you like the prepared meals because they save you time, well guess what. The time you save in preparing these quick meals is costing you your Health!

Check out this list of fatty foods lurking in your grocery store.
By Elaine Magee, MPH, RD
WebMD Expert Column

Thirty-eight grams of fat and 14 grams of saturated per serving —  now, that’s a high-fat food! I’ve been reading food labels and writing about health for at least two decades, but even I am sometimes shocked to discover how much fat, saturated fat, or trans fat a food actually contains.

One of the first things I look for when eyeing the nutrition information label on a food is how many grams of fat the item has. Right under that, I find the grams of saturated fat and, for some products, trans fat. I also check out the serving size. That’s important because some companies — often the ones selling especially high-fat foods — list a serving size as half of a muffin, half a chicken pot pie, or half a candy bar. So if you’re eating the whole muffin, pot pie, or candy bar, you’ll need to double the numbers.

Case in point: Claim Jumper’s Chicken Pot Pie. The serving size on the box is 1/2 of a pot pie. So if you eat the entire pie, you’re getting 74 grams of fat (not 37) and 18 grams of saturated fat (not 9). Even the numbers for half the pot pie are quite shocking, as far as I’m concerned.

Why should you be concerned about high-fat foods? It’s true that there are health benefits to consuming “smart fats” like monounsaturated fat and omega-3s. And certain higher-fat foods, like nuts, avocado, salmon, and olive oil, do contribute to health. But the total amount of fat is important because it can be a red flag for foods high in potentially health-damaging fats — saturated fat and trans fat. Also, compared to carbohydrate and protein, each gram of fat has twice as many calories.

Of course, you need to be aware of saturated fat and trans fat in foods. Saturated fats are known to raise cholesterol levels, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke. They may also increase the risk of certain cancers. Trans fats hit you with a double whammy; in addition to raising levels of LDL “bad” cholesterol, they also decrease your HDL “good” cholesterol. Many researchers also suspect that trans fats increase the risk not only for heart disease, but also for type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, and breast cancer.

How Much Is Too Much?

So just how much saturated and trans fat is OK to eat? Here’s what the experts say:

  • Saturated fat: Experts with the National Cholesterol Education Program recommend that less than 7% of total calories come from saturated fat. That’s 16 grams per day for a person eating 2,000 calories. Some of these products listed below get you most of the way there with one serving.
  • Trans fat: Experts advise consuming as few trans fats as possible. The American Heart Association advises Americans to limit trans fats to less than 1% of total daily calories. If you need 2,000 calories a day, this computes to less than 2 daily grams of trans fats. Some of the products listed below get you past this daily recommendation with one serving.
  • For more info and some of the worst food items you can read the entire article here:http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/fat-schockers-surprisingly-high-fat-foods?ecd=wnl_din_022210