Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Cholesterol




Before I was even chosen to enter the field of Dietetics/Nutrition, I was a patient in need of the care of a Dietician. 
Picture a young woman, being given dietary restrictions by a medical professional without any directive as to any possible alternatives.
I was reduced to a diet of bun and cheese and water for that period of my life. I was not suffering from a Cholesterol related illness, rather a digestive disease. 
I realized quickly that scare tactics and restrictions do not help someone who has recently been given diet restrictions. For every food that is restricted an equivalent should be suggested.

Having this experience has given me the presence of mind to investigate the types of foods that will aid  in the treatment and control of a condition. 


Cholesterol lowering foods 


Five cholesterol lowering foods


1. Oatmeal, oat bran and high-fiber foods
Oatmeal contains soluble fiber, which reduces your low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the "bad" cholesterol. Soluble fiber is also found in such foods as kidney beans, apples, pears, barley and prunes.
2. Fish and omega-3 fatty acids
Eating fatty fish can be heart-healthy because of its high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce your blood pressure and risk of developing blood clots. In people who have already had heart attacks, fish oil — or omega-3 fatty acids — reduces the risk of sudden death.
Doctors recommend eating at least two servings of fish a week. The highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids are in:
  • Mackerel
  • Herring
  • Sardines
  • Salmon
3. Walnuts, almonds and other nuts
Walnuts, almonds and other nuts can reduce blood cholesterol. Rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, walnuts also help keep blood vessels healthy.
All nuts are high in calories, so a handful will do. To avoid eating too many nuts and gaining weight, replace foods high in saturated fat with nuts. For example, instead of using cheese, meat or croutons in your salad, add a handful of walnuts or almonds.

4. Olive oil

Olive oil contains a potent mix of antioxidants that can lower your "bad" (LDL) cholesterol but leave your "good" (HDL) cholesterol untouched.


5. Foods with added plant sterols or stanols
Foods are now available that have been fortified with sterols or stanols — substances found in plants that help block the absorption of cholesterol.
Margarines, orange juice and yogurt drinks with added plant sterols can help reduce LDL cholesterol by more than 10 percent. 

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