High blood cholesterol is a serious health issue in the United States. The prevalence of high cholesterol in the bloodstream is often the result of poor health choices (Standard American Diet, anyone?), but it’s also caused by hereditary factors, too.
What exactly is cholesterol, and why is too much dangerous? Cholesterol is one of the body’s primary substances that helps build new & healthy cells, and it also provides fuel to the brain and other organs. However, once there’s abnormally high levels of cholesterol in the blood, fatty deposits can build up, resulting in partially (or wholly) blocked arteries. Once this happens, the body is subject to heart-related diseases, strokes and other problems.
Cholesterol is categorized by two types: LDL (low-density lipoprotein), which is the culprit of artery blockage. The other kind, HDL (high- density lipoprotein) is called “the good cholesterol.”
High Cholesterol Diet
If you’ve been diagnosed with high cholesterol, dietary changes are one of the first things your doctor will suggest. Each particular case of high cholesterol is unique in its own way, but there are some general food choices that are considered heart-friendly. These five foods will help keep your LDL levels in check:
- Fish. Packed with protein, fish like tuna, swordfish, halibut and salmon are ideal for keeping tabs on your cholesterol. These fish are generally around 50mg of cholesterol per serving, which easily tops other protein sources like red meat.
- Steamed veggies. As long as you’re not drowning your veggies in vats of butter, this is a perfectly sensible choice. In fact, try some broccoli, carrots or cauliflower with some coconut oil (see below) for an unexpected savory treat!
- Olive oil, peanut oil & coconut oil. These oils are low in cholesterol – in the case of coconut oil, zero cholesterol! Use these oils on salads, in stir-fry recipes and more.
- Low-fat yogurt. Most varieties contain less than 10mg of cholesterol. Something to keep in mind when you see that “low-fat” tag, however: that usually translates to high sugar. And if you’re simultaneously battling high cholesterol and diabetes, sugar intake must be closely monitored.
- Nuts. The key here is moderation. Even though nuts are a cholesterol-free food, they’re also a calorie-dense food. A few handfuls can help stem hunger until dinnertime – all without adding to your LDL levels.
Staying on top of your high cholesterol requires consistent effort. Having medical professionals at your side certainly helps. Banner Urgent Care, the leading network of immediate care centers in Nevada and Arizona, has the know-how and ongoing medical attention you deserve. Contrary to popular opinion, urgent care facilities can also provide long-term care – which is exactly the type of treatment high blood cholesterol demands.