By Michelle Slowey, MA, RDN, CDCES
Cholesterol is a waxy fat-like substance that your body produces. It makes new cells, hormones and produces bile, which helps you to digest food. There are 2 types of cholesterol:
HDL- (good cholesterol) Helps to carry the “bad” cholesterol to the liver where it’s broken down and exits the body.
LDL- (bad cholesterol) Contributes to a fatty buildup in the arteries and forms plaque, thereby reducing blood flow.
Triglyceride is a type of fat that comes from the food in your diet.
Desirable Blood Lipid Levels are:
Chol- <200 mg/dl
HDL 60 or higher
LDL <100 mg/dl
Triglyceride <149 mg/dl
Nutrition Tips for a Healthy Heart:
- Soluble fiber can help lower blood cholesterol levels.
To get more soluble fiber in your diet eat more: oatmeal, oat bran, barley, beans, asparagus, Brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, apples, pears, mangoes, prunes, apricots, oranges.
Include foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. Eat more: mackerel, halibut, salmon, and sardines.
Choose unsaturated oils like olive or avocado oil.
Include flax seeds, walnuts, chia seeds, leafy green vegetables in your diet.
Avoid hydrogenated oils in baked goods, coffee creamers, packaged snacks, margarine.
Avoid high sodium foods such as processed meats, cheeses, fast food, convenience foods.