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Low Cholesterol Diet & Menu

Written by Sky Taylor, Diet Bites

The Low Cholesterol Diet Challenge

Jack has just exited his doctor's office who recommended a diet low in cholesterol in an effort to cut health risks.

Although Jack is thin, he has some cholesterol issues. His bad cholesterol levels are up and his good cholesterol levels are down.

If he can't get his cholesterol levels in tune, his doctor plans to prescribe medication - something that Jack wishes to avoid.

Because he is regularly active, Jack plans to follow his doctor's recommendations by working on shaping up his daily diet.

He has always been naturally thin and able to eat most anything that he liked without experiencing weight gain, just like his parents before him - both of which passed on due to heart-related diseases.

Once Jack reaches home, he grabs a bag of potato chips to munch on as he looks through his pantry to decide what he should eat for dinner.

Before diving into the bag of chips, he checked the label to ensure that they didn't contain cholesterol. Lucky for Jack, the potato chips appear to be cholesterol free. For dinner, he decides upon the following:

Jack's 'Low Cholesterol' Diet Menu

3 ounces of baked ham

1 baked potato with salt, cracked pepper, 1 teaspoon of margarine, bacon bits, sour cream & chopped chives

1/2 cup of baked beans

1 dinner roll with pat of butter

1 cup of whole milk

1 slice of apple pie

Jack carefully inspected all the labels, finding only the baked beans being loaded with cholesterol - about 9 mg.

However, calorie-content aside, Jack's perceivably low-cholesterol menu is actually extremely high in cholesterol. The secret weapon? Fat content.

Therefore, if you are in a situation as Jack, examining the fat content on the label - particularly saturated fats and Trans-fats, is a must when seeking attractive cholesterol numbers.

A low cholesterol diet menu looks like this:

Low Cholesterol Diet Menu

3 ounces of baked flounder sprinkled with lemon pepper

1 small baked potato topped with cracked pepper, 1 teaspoon of light sour cream

1/2 cup of pinto beans OR green/yellow wax beans - no fat added to the pot during the cooking phase

1 slice of whole wheat bread

1 cup of unsweetened tea

1 apple

Allow 1 serving of margarine for bread and potato if desired.

The Three Levels of Cholesterol

Cholesterol is essential to proper cell function within the body as well as in the formation of hormones, bile salts and in transporting fats in the bloodstream to body tissues.

LDLs (Low Density Lipoproteins) consist of a high percentage of cholesterol which is utilized by cells for essential functions within the body.

When a high level of LDL cholesterol is present in the bloodstream, an increased risk occurs for heart-related diseases.

HDLs (High Density Lipoproteins) are similar to LDLs in that they also consist of a high percentage of cholesterol.

However, HDL cholesterol acts much differently within the body, removing cholesterol from body tissues, then transporting to the liver for excretion. A high ratio of HDLs to LDLs may protect an individual against heart-related diseases.

VLDLs (Very Low Density Lipoproteins) convert into low density lipoproteins in the body which are comprised of a high percentage of triglycerides. In turn, triglycerides are utilized by the body for energy purposes, or may be stored as fat for future energy needs.

In Summary

It appears that Jack's cholesterol issues are associated with genetics. Although an individual is thin and active, they may not be immune from high levels of bad cholesterol.

In order for Jack to succeed in bringing down the bad cholesterol and increasing the good, he should consider fat intake into the Cholesterol Equation, particularly when reading labels.

And of course, just because a label indicates ' 0 cholesterol ' it doesn't mean that the food is desirable for those pursuing a low cholesterol diet.


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