Every one of us consumes Cholesterol with daily food intake. It is a normal thing. Certain nutrients transform into a fat-like substance found our blood when digested. In a case of high cholesterol, this fat clogs arteries and finally hardens creating a blockage, cutting off blood flow, and consequently oxygen transport to the heart. The result often is a deadly heart- attack – the number one killer of women and men in the United States.
The risk for illness of the heart or stroke because of Cholesterol is categorized in four risk levels that are defined by measurements of LDL (bad Cholesterol) and HDL (good Cholesterol) levels.
The desirable value for your total cholesterol is 200 mg/dL.
Diet, weight, physical activity, age and gender + heredity affect cholesterol. Influences like cigarette smoking intensify the possibility of getting sick. The overall risk for heart disease differs from person to person, but there are ways to calculate one’s cholesterol levels and the connected risk with a formula that is, for example, available on the website of the Heart and Lung Association. (https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/files/docs/public/heart/wyntk.pdf)
Another way to find out exact numbers is to simply consult a physician.
Now, when you have your numbers you know where you stand. Do you need to intervene? What can be done to lower cholesterol? What can I eat? What can I not eat?
There are ways of keeping cholesterol values in check. An active way is a combination of maintaining a healthy diet and weight management with physical activity. A passive, but also a very important way is medication. Drug treatment usually is only necessary for higher risk classes but is still combined with the change of habits and lifestyle. Most experts will say that being active for a minimum of 30 minutes a day is crucial for young and old. More if possible.
Those active ways are Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes known as “TLC”. Every single one of us can practice those by making healthy choices:
“Foods low in saturated fat include fat-free or 1 percent dairy products, lean meats, fish, skinless poultry, whole grain foods, and fruits and vegetables. Look for soft margarines (liquid or tub varieties) that are low in saturated fat and contain little or no trans fat (another type of dietary fat that can raise your cholesterol level). Limit foods high in cholesterol such as liver and other organ meats, egg yolks, and full-fat dairy products. Good sources of soluble fiber include oats, certain fruits (such as oranges and pears) and vegetables (such as brussels sprouts and carrots), and dried peas and beans.”
The better the habits, the lower the dose of prescription drugs can be. Obesity supports higher risk and some recommended nutritional values to avoid lacking nutrition are, as rule of thumb, to consume less than 7% saturated fat of all calories a day and an increased amount of soluble fiber with every meal.
At Robin’s Nest Café low-fat salads are available!
Try for example “The Perfect Garden” with Hummus as the choice for a topping and cranberries and sunflower seeds, to combine with delicious Italian Dressing.
Another popular choice is:
Laughingull – Fresh Tuna Steamed & Chilled Blended with Fine Chopped Celery, Sweet Onion, Parsley & House Dressing on a Greek Flat Bread Dressed with Lettuce and Tomato, which is delicious!