Friday, January 11, 2008

Foods That Prevent High Cholesterol

Foods That Prevent High Cholesterol

Foods That Prevent High Cholesterol
By adrian whittle

Cholesterol is thought to become a problem for people over 40. Although this is not strictly true (as some children and young adults can also have high cholesterol), it is often the consequence of eating the wrong types of foods for many years. Certainly the metabolism has begun to slow down and the person is probably not as active as they used to be. They are probably well advanced in a career and have responsibilities, like a mortgage and children to raise, so it becomes easy to lose focus of their personal wellbeing at the expense of the family. Thus 40 seems to be a good age to start considering personal health issues. This article will cover what high cholesterol is and some foods that prevent high cholesterol.

According to the American Heart Association, normal cholesterol levels should be less than 200mg/dl (milligrams per deciliter of blood). Anything from 200 – 239mg/dl is considered borderline high. Anything over 239mg/dl is considered high. The only way you can determine this level is by having a blood test. Your doctor can administer the blood test and advise you on possible treatment if your numbers are high.

In most cases the treatment is simple. Modifying your diet and taking on more exercise will help to lower your high cholesterol. In some cases drugs may be used, but they are only prescribed in cases where the reading is extremely high or the diet/exercise has had no affect on reducing the cholesterol level.

In terms of food to eat it is also simple. You don't need to go on any fad diet, just stick to a balanced diet that gives you the required vitamins and minerals. It should give you a good balance between carbohydrates, proteins and some fats.

Animals fats are the primary cause of excess cholesterol so you should avoid high fat dairy products. You should trim the fat off meat and look into eating leaner types and cuts of meat.

In terms of fats, you should restrict your fat intake to mono and polyunsaturated fats, like olive oil. You should avoid saturated fats and trans fats. These types of fats are often found in processed foods hence the reason to avoid packaged or processed foods. Fresh foods are best. This applies to meats but more so to vegetables and fruits. You should get as much fresh vegetables as you can. Steaming or boiling is best. This is the basic guideline for a balanced diet that will reduce or at least stabilize your cholesterol level. There are other foods that can actively reduce it.

Soluble fiber which can be found in oatmeal or porridge is thought to be good for reducing cholesterol. It works on two fronts. It prevents the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream. It cannot be completely metabolized by the body and is excreted, however, as it passes through the digestive system it attaches to LDL cholesterol thus helping to reduce the overall reading.

Another product that actively prevents high cholesterol is spreads that contain plant sterols. Plant sterols are the plant equivalent of animal sterols (or cholesterol) so they compete with animal sterols when they are being absorbed into the small intestine. Plant sterols are also added to things like fruit juices and yogurts.

About the author:High cholesterol is usually treated by making changes in your lifestyle. Get more tips on how to reduce cholesterol at . Adrian writes on issues related to reducing cholesterol and how to monitor cholesterol levels.
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