High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips
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High cholesterol is a silent killer which usually shows no symptoms, but it can have life-threatening complications, so it is best to ensure you lower your cholesterol level if you are at risk. Many people are unwittingly increasing their risk by consuming the wrong type of foods. According to numerous studies, avoiding two types of food can help to significantly lower your levels and risk.
You should limit both total fat and saturated fat, said Medline Plus.
The health site added: “No more than 25 to 35 percent of your daily calories should come from dietary fats, and less than 7 percent of your daily calories should come from saturated fat.
“Saturated fat is a bad fat because it raises your LDL (bad cholesterol) level more than anything else in your diet.
“Trans fat is another bad fat and can raise your LDL and lower your HDL (good cholesterol).”
Foods high in saturated fat include:
- Some meats
- Dairy products
- Baked goods
- Processed foods.
- Foods high in trans fat include:
- Hydrogenated oils and fats, such as stick margarine, crackers, and French fries.
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A study published in the National Library of Health, looked at saturated fatty acids and its increased risk of coronary heart disease (CVD) and cholesterol levels.
“Despite the well-established observation that substitution of saturated fats for carbohydrates or unsaturated fats increases low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in humans and animal models, the relationship of saturated fat intake to risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease in humans remains controversial,” began the study.
“Dietary saturated fat intake has been shown to increase low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and therefore has been associated with increased risk of CVD.
“This evidence, coupled with inferences from epidemiologic studies and clinical trials, has led to longstanding public health recommendations for limiting saturated fat intake as a means of preventing CVD.
“In humans, saturated fat intake increases LDL cholesterol in comparison with all nutrients except trans fats.
“Replacement of saturated fat with monounsaturated fat has been associated with decreased total, LDL, and HDL cholesterol.”
In another study, trans fats health risks and alternative approaches were analysed.
The study noted: “Research has proved the direct connection of trans fatty acids with cardiovascular diseases, breast cancer, shortening of pregnancy period, risks of preeclampsia, disorders of nervous system and vision in infants, colon cancer, diabetes, obesity and allergy.
“Trans fat increases low density lipoproteins (LDL), triglycerides and insulin levels and reduces beneficial high-density lipoproteins (HDL).
“Consumers should learn to recognise and avoid products containing trans fats.”
For foods to help lower cholesterol, these include:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Oily fish
- Oats and barley
- Foods with added sterols or stanols.
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