September is National Cholesterol Awareness Month. That being said, where is your cholesterol coming from, and what can you do about it?
Saturated fat is one of the main sources of LDL cholesterol. Hiding in dairy products, red meats and oils, you can prevent a rise in your cholesterol numbers by avoiding cheese and ground beef, which are the two largest sources of saturated fat, according to Dietary Guidelines reports.
Another thing to avoid is trans-fat. This tends to be found in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils used in fried and processed foods like baked goods and desserts. Make sure to read the label before you buy to see if you’re getting 0g trans-fat.
Some foods to avoid as much as possible for those watching their cholesterol: prime rib, coconut milk, dried coconut, coconut oil, palm kernel oil, cake donuts, ricotta cheese or ground beef.
How do you lower your cholesterol if it’s already high? Get some soluble fibers. Things like cooked oatmeal, oat bran, avocados, broccoli, carrots, prunes, and sunflower seeds are all excellent sources of soluble fibers that can raise your HDL cholesterol levels and lower your LDL cholesterol.
Some other ideas:
- Eat 6 to 8 small meals daily instead of 1 or 2 large meals.
- 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity every day goes a long way.
- Limit sugar and fructose intake.
- Limit coffee drinks made without a paper filter.
- Use sterol and stanol rich margarines and salad dressings.
For more information about cholesterol and tips for controlling your levels, check out our “Cholesterol: Control Your Numbers” Handout, Item # 4139 at www.ncescatalog.com or in our catalog.