September is National Cholesterol Education Month and SupermarketGuru wants to remind you of some great ways to keep your cholesterol at a healthy balance.
September is National Cholesterol Education Month and SupermarketGuru wants to remind you of some great ways to keep your cholesterol at a healthy balance. Here are some tips to keep you on track and your cholesterol levels optimal.
Let’s start with some background: Cholesterol is one of those, gotta have it, but don’t want to have too much, or the wrong kind, of nutrients. Cholesterol is absolutely necessary for the formation of hormones and essential for many other basic cell functions, including cell repair. It is estimated that American’s daily dietary cholesterol intake is about 300-500 mg, and the oxidized version could account for up to 10 percent of this. American Heart Association recommends no more than 300mg cholesterol from dietary sources, and also reminds us that the body, particularly the liver, produces its own cholesterol.
Cholesterol from eggs, grass-fed meats, and dairy, when consumed within a whole-foods based diet, in moderation is not harmful. The oxidized, or overcooked, oils and other products are where we can run into trouble. A study from the Chinese University in Hong Kong isolated oxidized cholesterol in foods and found that it both increases total cholesterol levels and promotes atherosclerosis; the hardening of the arteries.
Six Must Share Tips With Your Shoppers:
Avoid trans-fat. Stay away from items that list “partially hydrogenated” oil on the label. Reading all food labels is essential, even if the nutrition facts states 0 trans fats.
Use fresh garlic when cooking. Garlic has been shown to help lower cholesterol levels.
Brew some green tea. The antioxidants in green tea help lower cholesterol and prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol.
Stock up on soluble fiber. Fiber, specifically soluble fiber helps lower cholesterol by binding with it in the digestive tract and helping it pass through the body. Great choices include: beans and lentils, apples, oats, barley, carrots and freshly ground flaxseed.
Snack on almonds. Studies have demonstrated almonds ability to lower LDL cholesterol as well as blood sugar levels – yes a 1-2 punch.
It is also recommended that you exercise – for at least 30 minutes a day and reduce excess weight for those with waist size more than 40 inches for men; more than 35 inches for women. And if you are a smoker, now is the time to quit!