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Lipids: The good, the bad, and the ugly (pt. 2)

What causes my cholesterol to be too high?
• Eating too much cholesterol, i.e. saturated fats and trans fats
• Not getting enough exercise
• Being overweight, BMI >25.
• Smoking
• Family history of high cholesterol, genetics
All, except family history of course, can be controlled.
Which foods can lower my cholesterol?
• Fish, oily, such as tuna or salmon and flaxseed or soybean oil. These foods contain Omega-3 fatty acids that reduce triglyceride levels.
• Nuts, beans, corn, rice, oat and bran. These foods contain soluble fiber proven to lower triglyceride levels.
• Whole grain breads, foods lower overall cholesterol levels.
• Most fruits and vegetables, lower overall cholesterol levels.
Additional lifestyle changes to improve cholesterol:
• Increase physical activity or exercise (strive for 2.5 hours/week)
• Weight loss or maintenance of a healthy weight (BMI<25)
• If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation (not more than 2 drinks/day)
• Stop smoking, talk to your doctor or look on websites such as: American Heart Association, American Lung Association, CDC.
Taken from American Heart Association, 2009, “Lipids (Blood Fat): The Lowdown.”

Lipids: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly!

 

Lipids

What are lipids? LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, which are all types of cholesterol or what we think of as “fat”.What is cholesterol? A waxy substance occurring naturally in the body and in foods, used by the body to make new cells. Too much of “bad” cholesterol leads to a buildup in the body, i.e. cardiovascular disease, as evidenced by strokes, heart attacks, and high blood pressure.
What is “bad” cholesterol? LDL or low density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides are “bad” and should be kept under specific levels for optimum health.
What is “good” cholesterol? HDL or high density lipoprotein cholesterol is protective against heart disease.
What is a healthy level of cholesterol? LDL < 100mg/dL, total cholesterol < 200mg/dL, triglycerides 40 mg/dL for men, >50 mg/dL for women, > 60mg/dL is considered protective against heart disease.

Taken from American Heart Association, 2009, “Lipids (Blood Fat): The Lowdown.”