1. Consume foods that are naturally high in fiber, especially soluble fiber. Soluble fiber is found in legumes, fruits and root vegetables, as well as oats, barley and flax. For every 1 or 2 grams of soluble fiber you consume daily, you will lower your LDL by 1%. Try to consume 10-25 grams of soluble fiber per day. Psyllium husk may help those who have trouble consuming enough; talk to your physician if this is the case.
2. Eat 6 to 8 small meals daily instead of 1 or 2 large ones.
3. Use only nonfat dairy products. Regular dairy products like whole milk, butter, cheese, cream cheese and ricotta cheese are very high in saturated fat. Cheese is the number one source of saturated fat in the American diet..
4. Accumulate 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week, to help raise HDL. Ideally, try to walk a least 2-3 miles per day at least 5-6 days a week. Start gradually and work up slowly.
5. Limit the amount of saturated fat you consume from red meat, restaurant meals, frozen foods and tropical oils. Ideally, you should consume no more than 5% of your daily calories from saturated fat (around 10-11g for most people).
6. Avoid foods with added trans-fat. This fat comes from partially hydrogenated vegetable oils often found in fried foods and processed foods like crackers, baked goods and desserts. Choose foods with 0 g trans fat on the label and be aware of foods that contain partially hydrogenated oils because they can contain up to .49 g per serving and still claim 0g.
7. Limit your daily cholesterol intake to no more than 100 mg. Cholesterol is found in high amounts in egg yolks, squid and animal organs like liver.
8. If you are overweight, lose weight. This will help lower your total cholesterol and raise your HDL.The best way to lose weight and keep it off is to exercise and eat a diet that is high in fiber and low in fat and added sugar.
9. Limit your intake of sugar and fructose.This should lower triglycerides, aid weight loss and will help lower LDL.
10. Consider using foods that have added sterols. These include margarine, yogurt and orange juice. The National Cholesterol Education Program's Adult Treatment Panel III (ATP III) says, "daily intakes of two to three grams per day of plant sterol/stanol esters will reduce LDL cholesterol by 6 to 15 percent." (see the Feb 08 issue of CFFH for a list of foods.)
Base most of your meals on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes, with a minimum of animal protein foods low in saturated fat like nonfat dairy, fish & egg whites. Updated from 2001 issue of CFFH Newsletter.
By Dr. James J. Kenney, PhD, RD, FACN.
Judy’s passion for cooking began with helping her grandmother make raisin oatmeal for breakfast. From there she earned her first food service job at 15, was accepted to the world famous Culinary Institute of America at 18 (where she graduated second in her class), and went on to the Fachschule Richemont in Switzerland where she focused on pastry arts and baking. But after learning that the quality of a croissant directly varies with how much butter it has, Judy sought to challenge herself by coming up with recipes that were as healthy as they were tasty.
Judy received The Culinary Institute of America’s Pro Chef II certification, the American Culinary Federation Bronze Medal, Gold Medal, and ACF Chef of the Year. Her enthusiasm for eating nutritiously and deliciously leads her to constantly innovate and use the latest in nutritional science to guide her creativity, from putting new twists on fajitas to adapting Italian brownies to include ingredients like toasted nuts and cooked honey. Judy’s publishing company, Food and Health Communications, is dedicated to her vision that everyone can make food that tastes as good as it is for you.