Cholesterol Education

 

Cholesterol

Produced by Balanced Habits RD Andrea Marincovich

 

What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a lipid molecule that is essential to synthesizing certain vitamins (especially vitamin D), steroid hormones, and is a part of the outer layer of cells The body accumulates cholesterol in two ways; it’s regularly produced by the liver and

through the food we consume. Which is why it’s important to monitor your consumption of high cholesterol foods (animal products or foods containing animal products) because the body already creates cholesterol on it’s own, therefore any amount in excess from your diet is dumped into the bloodstream and can become problematic if occurring regularly.

 

Different Types of Cholesterol

Low-density lipoproteins (LDL): known as the “bad” cholesterol because when there is excess LDL in the bloodstream it can build up and form plaque in the arteries causing inefficient blood flow and possibilities of leading to more serious complica- tions (such as: heart attack and stroke).

High-density lipoproteins (HDL): known as the “good “ cholesterol because it removes LDL and Triglycerides (the most com- mon type of fat found in the food that we consume) from the blood to be excreted through urine and bowels.

 

What Can You Do to Lower Your Total Cholesterol, LDL, Triglycerides and Increase Your HDL?

The most efficient way to do this is by controlling the food we consume and exercising regularly.

  • Minimize consumption of high cholesterol foods (including animal products or foods containing animal products):

    • Steak, ground beef, sausage, bacon, and all other fatty meats.

    • Butter, cheese, and whole milk products.

    • Baked goods such as: croissants, muffins, cookies, etc.

  • Increase consumption of these foods:

    • High fiber foods: fruits, vegetables, beans, oatmeal, whole grain bread, whole grain pasta, brown rice, quinoa, flax seeds and chia seeds.

*Fun fact: when you consume fiber it travels through the bloodstream and attaches itself to cholesterol molecules and

the body excretes it through bowel movements. Pretty cool!

    • Omega-3 rich foods: fatty fish (salmon, herring, and sardines), walnuts, olive oil, chia seeds, flax seeds, and tuna.

    • Lean meats: turkey, chicken, fish, lean cuts of pork.

  • Exercise Regularly

-Any type of cardio for at least 30 minutes is beneficial, whether that’s walking, running, biking, or swimming—all will help lower your cholesterol.

 

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