Diet has a major influence on cholesterol levels.
Cholesterol absorption in the small intestine can be partially blocked by plant stanols and sterols compounds that have a similar size and shape. These substances, sometimes called phytosterols, are in most plant-based foods, but even on an optimum diet you may only get half a gram a day, far short of the recommended 2 grams per day intake. There are a wide variety of new foods on the market with added stanols and sterols that can be substituted in your current diet to reach this intake, including cooking oils, salad dressings, yogurt, milk, snack bars, juices, and margarine.
Cholesterol intake can also be reduced by eating soluble fiber. The cholesterol gets trapped in the fiber, letting it leave your body. Five to ten grams a day is recommended. A variety of fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains are high in soluble fiber, particularly oats.
Eggs are well known for their high cholesterol content, but almost all of this is contained in the yolk. Switching to egg whites can help. Egg substitutes are really egg whites with added flavoring; many restaurants are offering them as an option on their breakfast menus.
Saturated fats and partially hydrogenated should be reduced because they both increase cholesterol released into the blood. Saturated fats are easy to identify: they're solid at room temperature. This includes animal fats, dairy fat, shortening, and margarine. Yes, you can get margarine that will help you get phytoserols, but this should still be done in moderation. Hydrogenated fats are being phased out. If you aren't sure about a food, look at the nutrition facts label: hydrogenated fat content is now listed under the total fat.
Are you noticing a pattern here? Eat more plant-based foods.
One more thing: obesity seems to be linked to high cholesterol, although no one yet knows why this is. Losing a few pounds can have a major effect on your blood cholesterol levels.
Posted 5077 day ago