Managing Cholesterol with Healthy Eating Habits

Estimated time to read 3 min, 508 words (disclaimer)

Main Points

1. 39% of the world population has high cholesterol
2. Cholesterol is important for the body but too much can be a problem.
3. Life style changes may be better than crash diets.
4. List of recipes.

Cholesterol is produced by the liver and is important for creating cellular integrity, hormones, vitamin D, and bile acids. But, too much can be a problem because it may cause fatty deposits in the blood stream. When these fatty deposits break off, it can float to the heart to cause a heart attack or brain to cause a stroke.

Approximately 39% of adults in the world have high cholesterol which is associated with 2.6 million deaths per year! Smoking, hereditary issues, diabetes Type II, obesity, lack of physical activity, and what we eat may increase risk of developing high cholesterol.

What we eat will affect risk factors and well as directly change blood cholesterol levels. Changing how we eat is a challenge, but there are a few things we can do that may make it easier to accomplish.

1. Understand that we will have ups and downs and lifestyle changes are better than going on a diet. Also, changing eating habits in a way that is slow and tolerable is often better than going on a crash diet, unless it is absolutely necessary due to health concerns.

2. Paying attention to the foods that we eat can have a huge impact. A simple way to begin a lifestyle change is to add snacks into our meal plan that are low in cholesterol, high in fiber, or high in HDLs.

Low CholesterolHigh in FiberHigh in HDLs
fish such as tuna and salmon
black bean chips
fruit smoothies with almond milk
parfaits with Greek yogurt
celery with peanut butter
chicken
oatmeal
chickpeas
edamame
apples
okra
popcorn
hummus
flax seed chips
kale chips
fruit salad
granola bars
sweet potatoes
nuts or trail mix (walnuts, 
pumpkin seeds, pecans, and almonds)
avocados / guacamole

2. Modify portions of foods that increase cholesterol. When we are starting a new program, we can eat the same foods, just with a smaller portions. For deserts, use a small utensil to make it last longer while taking our time to enjoy it. It can be difficult and effort is often needed and we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves when we are always successful.

3. Have side dishes then progress to complete meals that focus on decreasing cholesterol.

There are a lot of recipes online. Yummly.com, allrecipes.com, applesandbeans.com, the Food Network, are sites that lists many different recipes. . The nice thing is that readers will comment with changes they made to make them better.

Don’t forget that it is a good idea to consult a physician as well as a dietician or nutritionist before making changes to prevent any unwanted side effects.

References:

WHO: cholesterol

Zampelas A, Magriplis E. New Insights into Cholesterol Functions: A Friend or an Enemy? Nutrients. 2019 Jul 18;11(7):1645. doi: 10.3390/nu11071645. PMID: 31323871; PMCID: PMC6682969.

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