Tips on managing cholesterol from our Fareway dietitian - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Tips on managing cholesterol from our Fareway dietitian


Cholesterol Education Month

September is Cholesterol Education Month - a perfect opportunity for you to get yours checked!

· Cholesterol is a waxy substance that can build up on artery walls if your body has too much

· Functions of cholesterol

o Create flexibility in cell membranes

o Produce bile in the liver. Bile helps digest fat and fat soluble vitamins

o Hormone productions. Hormones are formed with a cholesterol-base

o Vitamin D production

· HDL "good" cholesterol

o Returns cholesterol back to the liver so it can be recycled

· LDL "bad" cholesterol

o Builds up on artery walls

· Cholesterol is produced in the liver. Research is contradictory on whether cholesterol in food affects cholesterol in your body. Until research proves otherwise, it is best to limit total cholesterol to less than 300 mg each day.

o However, saturated fat and trans fat can increase your cholesterol levels more than cholesterol from food.

· High cholesterol has no signs. In fact, 1 in 6 Americans has high cholesterol

o High cholesterol increases your risk of heart disease and stroke, which are the first and third leading causes of death in the United States.

· Recommended to get to cholesterol checked by your health care provider every 5 years

Normal Levels

Total cholesterolLess than 200 mg/ ("bad" cholesterol)Less than 100 mg/ ("good" cholesterol)60 mg/ or higherTriglyceridesLess than 150 mg/· Factors that affect cholesterol levels

o Those you cannot change

§ Heredity

§ Age

§ Sex

o Those you can control

§ Diet

§ Weight

§ Physical activity

Here are some tips how to improve your cholesterol and heart health through smart food choices.


· Know your fats: saturated, unsaturated and trans

· Increase fiber. Fiber helps rid cholesterol from your body. It can also aid in weight management.

· Plant sterols and stanols occur naturally in many plants. They help block the absorption of cholesterol from the digestive tract, which can help lower LDL without affecting HDL. Sources include certain margarines and fortified foods like orange juice. However, these products are not calorie free, and you may need to cut calories elsewhere to stay within your needs and healthy weight range.

· Breads/cereal/grains - 6 or more servings, depending on calorie needs. Choose more complex carbohydrates, like whole wheat and whole grains.

· Vegetables/beans/peas - 3-5 servings

· Fruits - 2 -4 servings

· Dairy - 3 servings of low-fat or fat-free

· Eggs - 2 or fewer yolks per week, including those used in baked goods

· Meat/poultry/fish - 5 ounces

· Fats/oils - depends on calorie levels

· Easier to control your weight

· Manage stress

· Increase energy

· At least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity everyday

Healthy weight

· Even a small weight loss can improve your health if you are overweight

· Remember, no quick fixes.

· It takes 15 minutes for your brain to realize that you have eaten, so slow down.

· Use smaller plates

· Become physically active

· Don't skip meals

· Drink plenty of water

· Lower overall calorie intake

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