If your cholesterol is creeping upward, your doctor has probably told you that diet and exercise—the traditional cornerstones of heart health—could help to bring it down. A major analysis of several controlled trials involving hundreds of men and women found that dietary changes reduced LDL and total cholesterol while exercise alone had no effect on either.
However, adding aerobic exercise did enhance the lipid-lowering effects of a heart-healthy diet. The people in the studies followed a variety of diets, from Mediterranean to low-fat to low-calorie. However, the most effective controlling cholesterol via diet and exercise substituted foods with the power to lower cholesterol for those that boost cholesterol. While you may have to say goodbye to a few snacks and fast foods, you can replace them with others that are equally satisfying.
She suggests a few ways to start getting your cholesterol under control and keep it normal. There is so much evidence implicating trans fats in heart disease. Trans fats are created by adding hydrogen to a liquid fat to help it solidify. Food manufacturers started using trans fats because they extend the shelf life of packaged baked goods. Fast-food purveyors took to them because they can be reused again and again. To avoid eating them inadvertently, scrutinize the labels on food packages before you put them in your shopping cart.
If you see "partially hydrogenated" in the list of ingredients, pass that product by, controlling cholesterol via diet and exercise. She also gives a nod to red meat, shrimp, lobster, high-fat cheeses, butter, and organ meats—but only to small portions of each one every couple of weeks or so.
Both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids help lower LDL. Most plant-derived oils, including canola, safflower, sunflower, olive, grapeseed, and peanut oils, contain both. Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, trout, herring, and mackerelseeds, nuts, avocados and soybeans are also great sources. Fruits and vegetables have scads of ingredients that lower cholesterol—including fiber, cholesterol-blocking molecules called sterols and stanols, and eye-appealing pigments.
The heart-healthy list spans the color spectrum—leafy greens, yellow squashes, carrots, tomatoes, strawberries, plums, blueberries. As a rule, the richer the hue, the better the food is for you. Whole grains are another controlling cholesterol via diet and exercise source of fiber. Instead of refined flour and white rice, try whole-wheat flour and brown or wild rice, controlling cholesterol via diet and exercise.
Old-fashioned oatmeal is also a good choice, but not the quick-cooking versions, which have had much of the fiber processed out. Food manufacturers may boost the sugar content of low-fat salad dressings and sauces to add flavor. If you see sugar, corn syrup, or any word ending in "ose" near the top of the list of ingredients, choose a higher-fat version without trans fats instead. All fatswhether good or bad, have nine calories per gram—about calories a tablespoon. While you switch to a heart-healthy diet you may need to keep tabs on your calorie intake for a while.
For more information, check out "11 foods that lower cholesterol. You can begin to reduce your "bad" LDL cholesterol naturally by dam safety inspection and maintenance plan a few simple changes in your diet.
October 2, Published: Heart Health Cholesterol Healthy Eating.