Cholesterol Advice

Eat Less Saturated Fat and Decrease the Level of Cholesterol

High cholesterol levels in the body are a result of increased intake of dietary cholesterol and foods which are rich in fats like saturated fats and trans-fats. Reducing the consumption of such foods is highly essential if cholesterol levels are to be kept within control.

Saturated Fats and its Relationship with Cholesterol Levels
While trans-fats are widely known as bad fats, saturated fats are generally overlooked. In fact, the two of them are equally bad for the body, especially for those who have been already diagnosed with high cholesterol levels. Saturated fats, like trans-fats, tend to increase the levels of LDL cholesterol in the body. It has also been indicated that saturated fats decrease the levels of healthy HDL cholesterol.

Health Risks of Saturated Fats
The most prominent health risk faced by an individual who consumes high amount of saturated fats is the risk of atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries) and coronary heart disease. Further, people who have been diagnosed with high levels of cholesterol experience negative cholesterol profile changes if they consume high amount of saturated fats.

Apart from these risks, there are some theories which indicate that high consumption of saturated fats results in increased risk of developing breast and prostrate cancer. However, these are only indicative reports and need to be further corroborated with the help of extended research and user trials. Till then, there shouldn't be any heightened cause for concern.

Saturated Fats- What Foods to Avoid?
The ideal level of total cholesterol in blood (which is made up of cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and triglycerides) should be around 100 mg/dL. Things which can result in high cholesterol levels include the following saturated fats-rich foods:

* Butter
* Ground beef
* Dark Chocolates
* Palm and Palm kernel oil
* Coconut oil
* Dairy products
* Eggs
* Soyabean oil
* Salmon fish
* Cashews

Saturated Fats- How Much Should You Consume?
Ideally, you should not eat foods rich in saturated fats. However, attaining this objective is close to impossible. What can be done instead is that you can reduce the consumption of saturated fats to a safe limit of 7 per cent of total calories consumed. Since each gram of any type of fat contains 9 calories per gram, the safe figure comes out to be around 20 grams of saturated fats per day. You can add/subtract 3 grams to that figure.

People who have been already diagnosed as suffering from high cholesterol levels should drop this figure to almost zero. Doing so would minimize any chances of negatively affecting their cholesterol profile. Also, people who are not suffering from high levels of cholesterol shouldn't wait to become one to minimize their consumption of saturated fats.