Friday, April 5, 2013

The Lowdown on Cholesterol

The Lowdown on Cholesterol
Presented to you by: Sarah Recanati MS, RD, CNSC – Livingston Branch
Home Solutions Infusion Therapy

There are 2 types of cholesterol: High-density lipoprotein (HDL) also known as the good and Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) also known as the bad. Think of  ”good” and ”bad” cholesterol as two buses that transport cholesterol around the body.

The “bad” LDL cholesterol is like a one-way bus. It carries cholesterol from the liver, where it is made and recycled, and deposits it in the arteries, where it can cause blockage that leads to heart disease.

The “good” HDL cholesterol is like a second one-way bus. It picks up cholesterol from the arteries and brings it back to the liver, so the cholesterol does not harm arteries.

The less LDL you have and the more HDL you have, the lower your risk for heart disease.

Here are a few steps you can take for a healthier cholesterol profile:

Step 1: Limit your trans fat and saturated fat intake. Saturated fat raises your LDL (bad) cholesterol level more than anything else you eat.

Step 2: Opt for healthy fats such as monounsaturated fats (olives, avoados, peanut butter, nuts and seeds) and omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, flaxseed, canola oil and soybean oils.

Step 3: Eat enough fiber. Beans, whole-grain cereals, oatmeal and fresh fruits and vegetables are good sources of fiber.

Step 4: Practice weight management. Control the calories you consume to take action in managing your weight.

Step 5: Exercise regularly. Regular exercise can help raise HDL (good) cholesterol and lower LDL (bad) cholesterol.

Step 6: Live a healthy lifestyle. Manage stress, do not smoke, do not drink excess alcohol, and pay attention to food labels.

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