How to Lower Your Cholesterol through Your Diet
Learning how to lower your cholesterol through your diet is a key-component of maintaining heart health. The American Heart Association recommends a total cholesterol count of less than 200 mg/dL. The organization further differentiates between good cholesterol -- high-density lipoprotein (HDL) -- and the bad kind (low-density lipoprotein (LDL). HDL levels should be at 60 mg/dL or higher, while the LDL should be below 100 mg/dL.
- Get a medical checkup before changing your diet. Medication does assist in lowering critically high cholesterol levels, but learning how to lower your cholesterol through your diet is the preferred means of encouraging heart health. That being said, only a physician can truly evaluate your health and offer input about the possible need for medications.
- Bulk up on fiber. Soluble fiber in particular acts like a broom; it sweeps out excess cholesterol from the body. Fiber-rich foods include flax seeds, legumes, oats, nuts, bananas and also apples. As a general rule of thumb, men between the ages of 19 and 50 years of age should eat about 38 grams of fiber per day. When you consider that one cup of baked beans contains more than ten grams, it quickly becomes obvious that this is a flavorsome task. Who said that learning how to lower your cholesterol through your diet cannot be tasty?
- Cut your saturated fat intake. Beef, butter, coconut oil and whole milk are tasty, but when working out how to lower your cholesterol through your diet, it may be necessary to leave them out of the fridge. Turkey, olive oil and skim milk are healthier options. If you just cannot get past the taste of skim milk, follow the advice of the American Heart Association and limit your saturated fat intake to less than seven percent of the total daily calories you take in.
- Exercise daily for 30 minutes. While discovering how to lower your cholesterol through your diet is a good first step, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute urges Americans to go further and commit to at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. There is good news: the 30 minutes may be broken up into ten minute increments, which makes this an entirely doable recommendation.
There are no two ways around it: learning how to lower your cholesterol through your diet is a crucial step for continued heart health. That being said, there is no need to fear a bland diet or one that is devoid of all the taste-bud tingling delicacies or plain man-fare that you crave. Exercise common sense as well as a good nutrition IQ and the cholesterol should be dropping quickly.