[Related blood test : Lipid profile]
Learn about saturated fats to control the kind of fats in your diet.
If you are watching your diet closely you may be wondering how to keep your cholesterol low, it may come as a surprise to you that you need to control the fats you eat and manage them better, rather than the level of dietary cholesterol in your food. It may be interesting to note that while eggs in moderation don’t affect cholesterol levels much, butter popcorn may do some serious damage.
“Dietary cholesterol in food can increase blood cholesterol, but the biggest culprit is saturated fat,” says dietitian Joan Salge Blake, RD, a clinical associate professor at Boston University and author of Nutrition and You.
Saturated fat is the kind of fat that stays solid even at room temperature, such as fatty meats, full-fat dairy products such as whole milk, cream and butter. There’s no need to worry though as low- and no-saturated fat options exist and are common enough for them to come to your rescue.
There are a few food items that have been questioned for having high cholesterol for a long time now. Let’s get acquainted with them, with a grain of salt.
Say cheese for calcium! Full-fat cheese means indulging in a concentrated package of fat, as just a 30 gram cube is packed with 100 calories, most from saturated fat. Opt for low-fat cheese, as cheese is a good source of calcium nonetheless.
Like your eggs white and flowers yellow. Eggs undergo more scrutiny than most and is research on often. Eggs are now considered a relatively healthy choice within moderation. Anything more than a day should be avoided. Just one egg contains about 186 milligrams of dietary cholesterol, which is even more than half of the 300 daily limit. However, egg whites are only about 15 calories each while the yolk is loaded with cholesterol.
Nuts about coconut? The debate keeps shifting from good to bad, and vice versa. Let’s bring some clarity. It’s better to opt for a vegetable or nut-based oil, such as olive oil, canola and peanut. Switch them and use instead of going for coconut oil, as it’s one of the oils with a higher level of cholesterol.
“Cocoa is a fruit, I could live on chocolate” Yes, you would have read up the internet and got your facts right on this one. We agree. Dark chocolate is actually good for your heart, however in moderation. Studies indicate that flavonoid-rich cocoa lowers bad cholesterol and boosts good cholesterol. Remember though that chocolate is not a food group, but rather a high-calorie food with saturated as well as unsaturated fat, so indulge but don’t be greedy.
Meaty affair: A daily small serving of lean beef can lower bad cholesterol by close to five percent, as per a study that compared the effects of different amounts of red meat in the diets of 36 people with high cholesterol. It would be smart to take a varied approach to proteins—two fish meals a week has the potential to lower the risk of heart disease. However, ensure you stick to 150 to 210 grams a day.
It’s always us versus greed. Stay aware and know your portions!