Cholesterol Levels, Hints to Decrease

1.       Definition of Cholesterol


A.      It is a fat-like substance in the bloodstream which is produced by the liver and is found in all foods of animal origin.

B.      Some cholesterol is required by the body, but too much is dangerous.

C.      High cholesterol transported by large amounts of low density lipoprotein can increase risk of atherosclerosis (a narrowing of blood vessels resulting in coronary heart disease or stroke and other circulatory problems).

D.      Types of dietary fat affect cholesterol levels.

i.         Saturated fat, which usually comes from an animal, may increase cholesterol levels.

ii.        Polyunsaturated fat, which usually comes from vegetable, lowers cholesterol levels.

iii.      Monosaturated fat has no effect on cholesterol levels.


2.      Foods High in Cholesterol


A.      Organ meats, red meats, fatty poultry, shrimp, bacon, cold cuts, hot dogs.

B.      Saturated fats found in animal fats and coconut oil, palm kernel, and cocoa butter and hydrogenated fats.

C.      Baked goods made with eggs and shortening.

D.      Whole milk and whole milk dairy products.

E.      Chocolate, margarine, nondairy substitutes, salad dressings, peanut butter.

F.       Egg yolks (limit to three eggs per week).

G.      Fried foods.


3.      Foods Low in Cholesterol


A.      Fish.

B.      Low-fat dairy products.

C.      Fruits and vegetables.

D.      Grains, herbs, and spices.

E.      Lean meats.

F.       Lean Poultry.

G.      Egg substitutes.

H.      Polyunsaturated oils.


4.      Foods to Increase Protein without Cholesterol


A.      All nuts except cashews, coconut, and macadamia nuts.

B.      Milk and dairy products such as low-fat milk, low-fat cottage cheese, and low-fat yogurt.

C.      Soybeans (a good meat extender).

D.      Cereal and legumes (dried peas and beans).


5.      Suggestions to Decrease Cholesterol for Various Food Groups


A.      Milk and milk products.

i.         Use skim milk instead of whole milk.

ii.        Substitute sherbet, ice milk, or nonfat frozen yogurt for ice cream.

iii.      Use low-fat cheese.

B.      Meats.

i.         Buy lean grades of meat and trim the fat.

ii.        Substitute meat with fish, poultry, and legumes.

iii.      Broil, roast, or stew meat instead of frying.

iv.      Remove the skin from poultry.

v.       Avoid or limit organ meats and shell fish.

vi.      Limit egg yolks or eat egg substitutes.

C.      Fats.

i.         Use polyunsaturated margarine instead of butter.

ii.        Use polyunsaturated oils (corn, cottonseed, safflower, and soybean).

D.      Fruits and vegetables.

i.         Buy fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables.

ii.        Read labels carefully when buying.

iii.      Add fiber with fresh fruits and vegetables to lower cholesterol.