Choose Healthy Fats In Your Daily Diet For Lowering Cholesterol
A low fat diet as part of a healthy lifestyle is one the best weapons you have to fight cardiovascular disease. Healthy eating habits can help you reduce three of the major risk factors for cardiovascular disease; high cholesterol, high blood pressure and excess body weight. The secret isn't just to eat less fats, it's to also eat good fats when following a diet for lowering cholesterol. But how do you know which fats are the bad ones and which are good? Let's see if we can clear up that mystery!
The Healthier Choices - The Good Fats
Good fats are polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, these are the two unsaturated fats. Both these fats may help lower your blood cholesterol levels and should be part of your healthy eating plan.
Monounsaturated fats come from plants and are the best fats for you. These types of fats remain liquid even at cold temperatures. Replacing saturated fats in your diet with monounsaturated fats has been shown to lower LDL (the bad) cholesterol without lowering HDL (the good) cholesterol. You can find these helpful fats in most nuts, avocados, olives, canola oil, peanut oil, flaxseed oil, sesame oil, corn oil, olive oil and grapeseed oil. You may find it interesting that grapeseed oil has many health benefits and is one of the best foods known that not only reduces LDL cholesterol, but raises HDL cholesterol levels.
Polyunsaturated fats have been shown to lower bad cholesterol, they also tend to lower good cholesterol at the same time. These fats can also be found in grain products, corn oil, sunflower oil, fish and sea food such as herring, salmon, trout, mackerel, halibut, soybeans, and fish oil.
Omega 3 fatty acids are a special type of polyunsaturated fat found in high fat fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, sardines and tuna. Plus flax seeds, its oil, eggs, meat and walnuts. They not only have anti-inflammatory effects; they have also been shown to lower triglyceride levels and benefit the heart of healthy people, as well as those at high risk of, or who have, cardiovascular disease.
Saturated Fats - The Bad Fats
Saturated fats mostly come from animals and even though they are natural fats, saturated fats have been linked to higher levels of bad cholesterol. These types of fats are usually a solid at room temperature. Foods that contain saturated fat include: butter, lard, high fat meats such as beef and pork, and poultry, milk, cheese and dairy products. Coconut oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil are also high in saturated fat, even though they're vegetable oils and have no cholesterol. Check the labels as manufacturers are required by law to list the ingredients and tell you how much saturated fat the product contains.
Trans fats, also known as hydrogenated fats, are man made fats. These were created to extend the shelf life of some foods. When looking for foods low in trans fat, be sure to check the ingredients list, not just proclamations on the box. When something says it has "no trans fat" that actually means it has less that .4 grams. Trans fats are the least healthy and are known to raise LDL (bad) cholesterol and total cholesterol. Only a few Watkins products contain trans fats to prevent them from spoiling, our Cream soup base is one example.
More Diet Tips For Lowering Cholesterol
Remember fats aren't all bad! They give you energy, add to the flavor and improve the texture of the foods you eat, and they can help you absorb certain vital fat soluable vitamins. Try to limit your total fat intake to less than 25Ð35 percent of your total calories each day. All fats contain about 120 calories per tablespoon. When you are trying to cut fat out of your diet, be sure to read labels carefully and be selective. Choosing the right fats will not only help you reduce your cholesterol levels, it can prevent certain diseases and cancers.
Here are some more tips for lowering your cholesterol with diet:
- Choose a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole-grain, high-fiber foods, and fat-free and low-fat dairy products.
- Eating oatmeal or oat bran may help to lower your cholesterol.
- Eating cinnamon may reduce your bad LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol and triglycerides.
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