Diets For People With High Cholesterol
Diets for people with high cholesterol are easy to come by, either from one's physician, or by simply looking on the Internet where there are a number of sites that carry information on the subject. There are some guidelines that anyone with high cholesterol (LDL) should follow regarding their daily intake of food. Less than 7% of the day's total calories should come from saturated fat; 25-35% or less of the day's total calories from fat; less than 200 milligrams of dietary cholesterol a day; no more than 2400 milligrams of sodium per day; and just enough calories to achieve or maintain a healthy weight and reduce blood fat level. Diet plans and menus are available that will keep track of all of these things for anyone with a high cholesterol problem.
On the positive side, there is also a list of low cholesterol foods to help keep the LDL numbers down. Either fat free or 1% dairy products are safe, and meats with little or no fat are permissible. Fish and shellfish and skinless poultry are permitted, as well as whole grain foods, fruits, and vegetables. Preparation is important, so even a lean steak that is chicken fried is not allowed, and french fries are no longer a food of choice. In other words, baking, broiling, poaching, grilling or roasting is preferred. Foods may be lightly stir-fried or sauteed in cooking spray, small amounts of vegetable oil, or reduced sodium chicken broth. Overall, diets for people with high cholesterol are not as difficult as one might think. While thinking about those items that can be included in a menu, it's a good time to remember from whence all our sustenance comes. "He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth;" (Psalm 104:14)
Unfortunately, a list of low cholesterol foods does not include hot dogs or sausages, and lunch meats like bologna or salami. For people who are fond of any of those will feel the loss for a while, but the improvement in health that results from not including them in a person's diet will compensate for the deprivation. The food industry is taking great strides to help people get their cholesterol counts down. It is now possible to buy no fat margarine, salad dressings, and yogurt, and these items remain quite tasty. Stores even carry fat free ice cream so no one has to give up frozen desserts altogether.
High cholesterol doesn't usually have any symptoms a person can identify. A blood test is the only way a person's level can be determined, and most physicians require that lab work as part of a routine physical. The first line of defense against this problem is found in the diets for people with high cholesterol, so the doctor has on hand all the dietary information a patient needs to begin eating in a way that will bring those numbers down. In many cases, this problem accompanies weight gain. There are exceptions, but most people who are overweight also have a high LDL problem.
The dangers inherent in having high fat levels in the blood are heart disease and stroke, and those can be life-threatening problems. Even when a person survives after a heart attack or stroke, the changes in his life after that event will be significant. Avoiding those things by sticking to the list of low cholesterol foods is obviously the best gift a person can give ones self. However, diets for people with high cholesterol are not the only answers for high LDL levels. Exercise is equally important, and may require a substantive lifestyle change. The couch potato will have to move around. The short walk to the corner store once a week may have to be extended to a mile or more and increased daily to reap the desired benefits.
There are instances where diets for people with high cholesterol and an exercise program are not enough. If that is the case after six months or a year of trying, then a person's physician will usually prescribe a medication to bring the LDL levels to an acceptable level. There are several on the market from which to choose, and the doctor will decide which to prescribe according to the individual case. Taking medicine does not mean that a person doesn't need to pay attention to the list of low cholesterol foods any more. The dietary requirements will remain the same, and the exercise program should stay in place as well.
Poor diet and sedentary lifestyles are not the only causes of high LDL counts in one's blood stream. The tendency toward having this problem is sometimes genetic in origin. A parent often passes this on to children, so anyone who knows one of his parents is battling this problem will need to be conscious of this when talking to his doctor. Once the problem is identified, the list of low cholesterol foods can be obtained and the new regimen begun.
Diet To Control High CholesterolA diet to control high cholesterol is essential for those who are likely to develop heart disease. If a persons level is very high, they may need an aggressive treatment regimen including diet to lower high cholesterol and exercise. This substance is found in both the human body and in foods making this sometimes difficult to monitor as well as control. Some people are genetically predisposed to higher levels, which in many cases cannot be controlled or lowered by diet alone. When a predisposition for this problem is genetically inherited and a poor diet is consumed, the likelihood of heart disease is very high.
Over 65% of all heart disease is caused by high cholesterol in both men and women and accounts for more deaths after the age of 45 than any other health factor. This problem presents a serious risk for anyone and a nutrition plan will need to be implemented. Since many foods that Americans consume daily contain high levels of this substance, it is not easy task to commit to a diet to lower high cholesterol. There are many alternate food choices to be found when changing eating patterns through a diet.
Some of the biggest food offenders are red meats and products of animals such as eggs, cheese and whole milk. For those who are used to eating a juicy beefsteak two or three times a week topped off with cheesecake or ice cream for desert, it can be a rude awakening to switch to a nutritious lifestyle. Refined sugar is another problem. Meats and sugar are very popular food choices in American foods, especially fast food restaurants. Kicking these habits can be unusually hard for many patients, but it is vital to do this when taking part in a diet to control high cholesterol.
For many Americans, taste is king where menu selections are concerned. Alternatives to offending foods are not always satisfying. There are, however, a growing number of food substitutes that are proving to be satisfying to the discriminate eater and can be very helpful for the individual taking part in a diet to lower high cholesterol. Many people are turning to stevia and other sources of natural sweeteners in order to satisfy their sweet tooth while giving up processed sugar. Some alternative sweeteners are not synthetic but are derived from natural sources such as plants. A sweetener such as stevia can be used for cooking and is quite sweet to the taste.
Other healthy substitutes individuals can choose include turkey, chicken, and fish in place of red meats. For those who love to eat eggs, egg whites have become an alternative as well as egg substitutes that are available at a local grocery store. Cheeses, sour cream, mayonnaise and butter are other problem foods for those who need a diet to control high cholesterol. Substitutes can be found at health food stores as well as local grocery stores. It can become quite challenging to replace all the foods in a typical American diet, but this can be done.
The interested individual can find help with menu planning through many online sources as well as a local bookstore. Choosing the health food route and staying away from preservatives, food colorings and other synthetic alternatives is a great nutrition plan. There are many sources that offer entire books with recipes and weekly menu plans for those needing a diet to lower high cholesterol. There are also some foods and supplements that can be added that can actually get rid of some of this substance in the body. Oats are one scientifically proven source that can actually rid the body of this substance as fiber sweeps through the intestines. With approximately 40 scientific studies to prove its worth, oatmeal has become a favorite part of a diet to control high cholesterol.
A cup day of oatmeal a day will help control or lower a patient's levels. Another natural source that can be added to a food plan is red yeast rice. Red yeast rice supplement can be purchased at most health food stores and easily added to a diet. This has been known to significantly lower some patients levels without the aid of medication. Virgin olive oil is another easy addition to any diet to control high cholesterol and is known to lower the levels by an addition of two tablespoons a day in patients.
"O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together." (Psalm 34:3). Sensibly adding the right foods and subtracting the wrong foods can produce a diet to lower high cholesterol for many people. Of course, the addition of exercise to any health management program is also very important. A nutrition plan may also require medication prescribed by a doctor if levels have already caused heart damage or are extremely high. Checking with a doctor or online source for menus and recipes for nutrition information and exercise plans can provide a great start to a healthy life.