FOODS, that is. I'm talking about those foods that aren't good for you, specifically because they raise the level of bad LDL cholesterol in your bloodstream. And I hope you've read enough of my Daily Messages to know why LDL cholesterol is bad for you. Just a reminder, it carries dangerous, artery-clogging plaque build-up that can lead to strokes and heart attacks. And the simple truth is that many people EAT their way to having high levels of LDL cholesterol. Don't let yourself or the ones you love fall victim to the unhealthy effects of LDL cholesterol. How do you reach that goal? By avoiding foods high in saturated fat, for one thing.
Typical sources of saturated fat include animal products, such as red meat, whole-fat dairy foods and eggs.
Typical sources of saturated fat include animal products, such as red meat, whole-fat dairy foods, eggs and a few vegetable oils, such as palm or coconut oil and cocoa butter. Saturated fat can increase your body's levels of bad LDL cholesterol. The role saturated fat plays in heart disease is still under debate but for now, I'd say it's safest to limit your intake of foods high in saturated fats.
But the worst culprit is trans fat and I've talked about them a lot, too. The bottom line is that the right amount of trans fat for you to consume on a daily basis is, well...ZERO! Trans fats are a byproduct of the chemical reaction that turns liquid vegetable oil into solid margarine or shortening. It also prevents liquid vegetable oils from turning rancid. Trans fats have NO nutritional value. Plus, we know for certain, they're BAD for the health of your heart. Trans fats increase LDL cholesterol and harmful triglyceride levels in your bloodstream while reducing the levels of GOOD HDL cholesterol.
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration has banned trans fats from our nation's food supply.
I've pointed out before that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has banned trans fats from our country's food supply. (Thank you, FDA!) The phasing-out process will take about three years and is already underway. The good news is that many of our country's major food suppliers and some restaurants, including some of the fast-food chains have already substituted healthier fats for trans fats.
One more way to reduce the level of harmful LDL cholesterol in your body is to lose weight! Being overweight or obese and not exercising affects the fats circulating in your bloodstream. Excess weight actually boosts harmful LDL cholesterol levels. Plus, an inactive, sedentary lifestyle depresses the levels of good HDL cholesterol in your body even more. One more good reason to lose weight and to exercise more often!
Okay, I've given you some ways to take OUT the bad. Come back tomorrow when I'll focus on how to go IN with the good. I'll have a list of foods you can eat that will actually help lower bad LDL cholesterol and raise the level of good HDL cholesterol in your body. So be sure and come back tomorrow, okay?