Dietary Fat Balance
Decrease the consumption of total fat
• Saturated fat, in particular, gets converted to cholesterol and adds to blood levels.
• It is recommended to consume no more than 10% of total calories as saturated fat.
• Trans-fatty acids are also implicated in high cholesterol and associated diseases and should be avoided (sources include partially hydrogenated oils and margarine).
Decrease the consumption of cholesterol
• Research shows that in some people, reducing dietary intake of cholesterol can lower blood levels of cholesterol if an intake at or below 300mg/day is maintained.
• Increase the amount of plants and plant products you consume- fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, seeds, and nuts. Remember, plants do not contain cholesterol.
Increase the consumption of dietary fiber
• Fiber, especially soluble fiber, aids in the excretion of cholesterol from the body. Legumes, oat bran, oatmeal, psyllium, and apples are excellent sources of soluble fiber.
• Antioxidants are effective at decreasing damage from the “bad” cholesterol. Good sources include fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, green and black tea, grape juice, garlic, raw and dry roasted nuts, and onions.
• Physical activity has been proven to raise the “good” (HDL) cholesterol. This kind of cholesterol helps rid your body of excess “bad” (LDL) cholesterol. Enjoy 30–60 minutes of vigorous physical activity on most (or all) days of the week.
• Fiber: legumes, oat bran, oatmeal, psyllium, and apples are excellent sources of soluble fiber, which is the most beneficial kind of fiber for lowing cholesterol.
• Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids: cold-water fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, and herring are excellent sources. Flax seeds and flax seed oil, and walnuts are good plant sources of essential fatty acids.
• Garlic has been shown to decrease cholesterol levels (both fresh and from extracts)
• Whole, raw, unsalted seeds and nuts are high in vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein. They are excellent sources of essential fatty acids. The serving size equals 3-4 tablespoons.
• Lecithin: soybeans and soy products are the best sources.
• Fish and poultry: in place of red meat and processed deli meats
• Whole grains, vegetables, and fruits
• Increase use of flavonoids from tea (especially green tea), onions and grapefruit.