A healthy diet is very important for maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system. To protect our hearts, we need to have an LDL or "bad" cholesterol
below 130 milligrams per deciliter, or below 100 hundred milligrams per deciliter if you have diabetes.
In general, the foods that we want to include in a heart, healthy diet include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats, especially fish, chicken, and turkey. It's important to include sources of healthy fats like nuts, seeds, olive and canola oils, avocados, olives, and salmon, and other fatty fish rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. It's also a good idea to include foods with a high soluble fiber content because this can lower cholesterol. These foods include beans, oats, barley, many fruits, and psyllium husk fiber that can be found in supplements like Metamucil.
Foods that you should avoid
On the other hand, there are foods that you should avoid in order to keep your cholesterol low. Most of these foods contain too much saturated fat. Saturated fat is a type of fat that raises the cholesterol level in the body. You can find saturated fat in many foods, including dairy products.
Which is why we should choose milk, yogurt, and cheese that are low or non-fat. There's also saturated fat in meats like beef and pork, and in chicken skin. It's better to consume lean meats like skinless chicken, or turkey, and fish, and fewer of other highly processed fatty meats like ground beef, hot dogs, sausages, and cold cuts.We also have to minimize our consumption of fried and processed foods because these often contain a lot of saturated fat.
Another harmful fat is trans fat
It's an artificial fat that is found in processed foods like doughnuts,
frozen pizza, stick margarine, and many other products. In recent years, they've worked to reduce the presence of trans fats in our food supply. You can read the nutrition facts label to avoid foods with trans fats.
Dietary cholesterol is not a very significant factor in raising blood cholesterol levels compared with dietary saturated or trans fats. Some experts recommend limiting dietary cholesterol to 300 milligrams per day. Dietary cholesterol is found in animal products like seafood, beef, chicken, dairy products, and eggs. Preparation method also affects cholesterol levels. To lower cholesterol, avoid fried food, and use other methods of preparation like boiling, roasting, baking, or steaming. Apart from fats, it's also recommended to limit consumption of added sugars in order to lower cholesterol levels. This means limiting sweets like cakes, cookies, ice cream, jelly, and sugary drinks. Apart from your diet, there are other ways to lower cholesterol. You can also lose weight, increase physical activity,
stop smoking, or take cholesterol-lowering medication.
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