Knowing about Cholesterol and Fats will help you reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke can be greatly reduced by being aware of the type of food you eat.
Knowing about Cholesterol and Fats will help you reduce the risk.
Cholesterol is a fatty substance that’s needed by our bodies. It’s found in animal foods (dairy products, eggs and meat) and is also made by the body. Cholesterol only becomes a problem when the level in the blood becomes too high. The most common cause of high cholesterol is too much fat in the diet.
Cholesterol is transported around the body attached to protein. This fat-protein combination is called a lipoprotein. Lipoproteins can be high density (HDL), low density (LDL) or very low density (VLDL).
LDL (low density lipoprotein).
About 70% of cholesterol is transported as LDL, it’s mostly fat and not much protein. High levels of LDL increase the risk of heart disease. LDL is sometimes referred to as “bad cholesterol”.
HDL (high density lipoprotein) actually prevent cholesterol building up in the arteries. Low levels of HDL increase the risk of heart disease. HDL is sometimes referred to as “good cholesterol”.
A high level of HDL and a low level of LDL is what we should all aim for.
Easy tips on reducing your risk of heart disease.
• Eat less fat.
• Use the right type of fat.
• Increase your fibre intake.
• Increase your intake of oily fish.
• Reduce your salt intake.
• Watch your weight.
• Do more exercise.
Eat the right type of fat.
Saturated fats found in animal products such as lard, butter, cream, hard cheese. It is these fats, which cause the most damage to arteries and heart, and increase LDL levels.
Polyunsaturated fats, found in vegetables and seeds e.g. sunflower, soya, corn and fish oil. These can help lower LDL but may also lower HDL levels.
Monounsaturated fats, found in olive oil, olive oil spreads and rapeseed oil. These fats help lower LDL levels and do not lower HDL levels.
Remember all fats are high in calories, look at reducing your overall fat intake.
Increase your fibre intake.
Eat plenty of fibre, especially soluble fibre, found in fruits and vegetables, beans and oats. Eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables each day
Limit cholesterol-rich foods, pawns, roe and offal (e.g. kidney, liver) to no more than once every 2 weeks and eggs to no more than 3-4 a week.
Eat more oily fish, a source of Omega 3, these include, mackerel, sardines, kippers, salmon, trout, tuna (fresh).
Watch your weight, by reducing the fat that you eat you will help reduce your weight.
Do more exercise, a lack of exercise may increase LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and decrease HDL (“good”) cholesterol.