5 Things Your Dietitian Wants You To Know About High Cholesterol
When it comes to lowering your cholesterol levels, you need to do more than just eat.
Have you recently been diagnosed with high cholesterol? So you need to be aware that some foods will help lower your cholesterol, while others need to be restricted – or removed from your diet altogether. A registered dietitian can be a valuable resource, especially when it comes to managing your diet and high cholesterol.
Here, dietitians share their thoughts on what they want you to know if you – or someone you love – has high cholesterol.
- Saturated fats and trans fats can have a major impact on blood cholesterol levels
We use the same words to describe dietary cholesterol and cholesterol measured during a blood test at the doctor’s office, but there are important differences between the two. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the liver naturally produces the cholesterol needed to build cells. However, eating certain foods can increase these natural levels and produce too much LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol in the blood. However, cholesterol is usually not the biggest culprit.
Many studies have shown that eating cholesterol-containing foods does not affect blood cholesterol levels in most people as much as doctors once thought, says Lisa Dierks, a dietitian and director of the University of Minnesota Regional Extension Program in Wanamingo, Minn. director says. Instead, saturated and trans fats raise LDL cholesterol levels more than the diet, according to the American Heart Association (AHA).
That doesn’t mean a high-cholesterol diet is a good idea. Limiting cholesterol is no longer part of the USDA’s latest dietary recommendations for Americans, but a study of 30,000 people published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in March 2019 found that cholesterol affects blood cholesterol levels, which in turn affects the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) The study found that this appears to have an impact on According to a study by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, a person regularly consumes a combination of fats and carbohydrates has the greatest impact on blood cholesterol levels, rather than the amount of cholesterol they get from food, but even so, limiting the amount of food a person eats, especially if they have diabetes, is important, he says.
It turns out that foods high in cholesterol are also high in saturated fat. It’s especially important to limit saturated fats, which are found in animal products such as meat and whole dairy products, and trans fats, also known as partially hydrogenated oils, which are found in many fried foods and baked goods such as cookies, cakes and crackers, according to the USDA guidelines. In particular, saturated fats should not exceed 10% of daily calories.
There is much debate about whether eggs contribute to high cholesterol, so if you want to lower your LDL levels, Dr. Francisco Lopez-Jimenez of the Mayo Clinic recommends eating egg whites, which are high in protein but not cholesterol. The panel also noted that shrimp is another cholesterol-rich food but low in saturated fat and rich in other nutrients, such as protein. According to the AHA, shrimp are a healthier choice than cuts of meat high in saturated fat, as long as they are not fried.
- Not all blood cholesterol is bad
If you’ve been diagnosed with high cholesterol levels, you need to be careful; the three numbers given for cholesterol levels can be confusing. However, not all cholesterol is bad. The three numbers you usually see are “good” HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, “bad” LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, and total cholesterol.
High levels of HDL cholesterol are good for heart health because it removes bad cholesterol from the blood. However, according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, high levels of LDL cholesterol increase the risk of heart disease and stroke because deposits stick to the walls of arteries, known as plaque formation.
- The same goes for lowering bad cholesterol and raising good cholesterol
You also have some control over the so-called “good” HDL cholesterol. According to the Mayo Clinic, people with a group of conditions in metabolic syndrome – including obesity, high blood pressure, high triglycerides and high blood sugar – usually have low HDL cholesterol. Therefore, you can raise your HDL cholesterol levels through diet and exercise to lose weight. In addition, following dietary recommendations that may lower LDL cholesterol may increase HDL cholesterol at the same time.
According to the Mayo Clinic, HDL-stimulating drugs do not reduce the incidence of heart attacks, but a study published in July 2018 in the journal Advances in Preventive Medicine found that high-dose niacin supplements can raise HDL cholesterol levels by 35. percent, the study found.
- One food alone cannot lower cholesterol
Just as there is no one food that can raise cholesterol levels, there is no one food that can save the situation.” There is no “magic food.” You have to look at the whole diet,” says Judith Wiley Rosette, RDN, PhD, professor of epidemiology and population health at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York. The best way to lower cholesterol is to follow a generally healthy diet that includes lean meats, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat or fat-free dairy products, and to limit saturated and trans fats.
Research has shown that a plant-based diet is an effective way to lower LDL cholesterol; in November 2017, Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition published the health benefits of vegetarian and vegan diets. A meta-analysis of 96 studies found that a plant-based diet significantly reduced total and LDL cholesterol levels. In another study published in August 2019 in the Journal of the American Heart Association, researchers compared the results to previous studies on heart disease and diet. Published: As suggested in the previous study, the new study also found that people who ate less meat and followed a diet similar to a vegetarian diet had a lower overall risk of heart disease.
- The key to a cholesterol-controlling diet is fruits, vegetables and whole grains
Choosing foods that contain healthy unsaturated fats, such as olive oil and avocados, and limiting foods that contain unhealthy saturated and trans fats are key to lowering LDL cholesterol levels. But that’s only part of a healthy diet.” “We tend to focus on fat first,” says Dirks, “but other components of the diet can help, too.” Are you eating enough fruits, vegetables and whole grains? The fiber in these foods can help lower your cholesterol levels. According to the Mayo Clinic, just 10 grams or more of soluble fiber per day can help lower LDL cholesterol levels. Reducing added sugar can also have a positive impact on cholesterol levels: A prospective study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association in February 2020 found that people who consumed sweetened beverages such as soft drinks, fruit-flavored beverages, sports drinks, and pre-sweetened coffee and sweetened beverages. Sweetened beverages, such as tea, were consumed at least once a day, and adults who drank more than 12 ounces had lower HDL cholesterol and higher triglyceride levels, both of which are associated with heart disease. Take a look at your overall diet and decide where you need to make changes.