Keep Your Heart Healthy and Control Cholesterol with Food First
Heart disease is America's number one killer of both men and women. Regardless of gender, high cholesterol puts everyone at increased risk for heart disease. But there are some important and simple steps you can take toward keeping cholesterol in check and improving overall health.
Your diet is an important factor in controlling cholesterol. A healthful low-fat eating plan, combined with regular physical activity, is key to heart health. In fact, new National Cholesterol Education Program guidelines recommend that one in three Americans need to make diet changes to lower their risk for heart disease. Foods high in soluble fiber, like oatmeal, beans and peas, barley, and many fruits and vegetables (such as apples, oranges, and carrots) are now recommended to help lower cholesterol levels.
Get to Know Cholesterol - The Good and the Bad
Think of "good" and "bad" cholesterol as two buses which transport cholesterol around the body:
Boost the Good and Lower the Bad
Bottom line? The less LDL you have, and the more HDL cholesterol you have, the lower your risk for heart disease.
The best way to increase your HDL, "good" blood cholesterol, is to stay active and trim away excess pounds if you're not already at a healthy body weight.
When it comes to LDL, the "bad" cholesterol, your food choices are key. A heart-healthy eating pattern -- a diet that's high in soluble fiber with moderate amounts of fat and cholesterol -- can make a difference and can help reduce LDL levels.
To lower LDL, try eating more foods high in soluble fiber. Studies have shown that oatmeal helps to lower LDL cholesterol, without lowering HDL.
Quick Ways to Fit Fiber In
• Eat foods from all five food groups -- And eat a variety of foods within each food group. That way you'll get a full benefit package from food.
Heart Health -- A Special Note To Women!
Women's risks for heart disease, though generally later in life, are as great as those of men. But it's never too early for women to make hearthealthy choices.
If we can be of additional service to you, please contact our registered dietician: Sarah Peterson at 307-885-5932.