Cholesterol is a natural substance found in our blood stream and body cells. However, if we have too much cholesterol in our blood, we have higher risk for heart disease and stroke. We can control our blood cholesterol levels by adopting a heart healthy diet.
Limit fat intake
Limit cholesterol consumption
Keep total fat intake at 25% to 35% of total calories. Limit saturated fat intake to no more than 7%, and trans-fat intake to no more than 1% of your total daily calories.
Keep your dietary cholesterol intake to no more than 300 mg per day. For people with high LDL blood cholesterol levels or those who are on cholesterol medication, they should consume no more than 200 mg of cholesterol per day.
Boost your fiber intake
Eat at least 25 to 30 grams of dietary fiber every day. Boost your fiber intake slowly by increasing 2 – 3 grams of fiber per day each week to prevent bloating, abdominal cramps, and stomach discomfort. Some good sources include fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains.
Watch sodium intake
Limit sodium to less than 2,400 mg per day for overall heart health. If you are African American, middle-aged, older adult, or have high blood pressure, aim to eat no more than 1,500 mg per day.
Consume alcohol in moderation
Limit alcohol to no more than one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men.
Eat a nutritious diet
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, high fiber foods, lean meat, and poultry without skin. Choose fat-free or low-fat dairy products. Limit egg yolks to less than 3 – 4 yolks a week. Substitute 1 egg with 2 egg whites or ¼ cup egg substitute when cooking. Eat fish at least twice a week.
Gundersen Nutrition Therapy can help you create your own goals to be healthier. Call (608) 775-3447 or (800) 362-9567, ext. 53447 to schedule an appointment.