Cholesterol: What should I eat? |
|PHOTO: ZAID JABBAR, |
MD, EDWARD MEDICAL
Have you heard it’s ok to eat eggs? Did you know that certain low carb diets really don’t work? Zaid Jabbar, MD, Edward Medical Group helps you sort through the latest information about cholesterol.
1. Eggs are not evil: While eggs are high in dietary cholesterol (185 milligrams in one), they are an excellent source of protein and unsaturated fat. The American Heart Association recommends 300 milligrams of dietary cholesterol daily. In moderation, it is perfectly fine to include eggs in your overall healthy diet (one or two eggs weekly).
2. Anyone can have high cholesterol: Cholesterol is not just a problem for middle-aged people or the obese. High cholesterol can start as early as age eight. Latest statistics show that one in five Americans have high cholesterol. Remember, skinny people can have poor cholesterol, high blood pressure, type 2 Diabetes and heart disease, too. A Body Mass Index (BMI) of less than 18 puts a person at increased risk for certain diseases.
3. Cholesterol isn’t all bad: Your body needs cholesterol to support the membranes of your bodies’ cells. Some cholesterol comes from your diet and some is made by your liver. LDL cholesterol (the bad one) circulates through your blood stream and can collect in the walls of your blood vessels, leading to plaque and over time, causing the blockages of atherosclerosis. That’s why it is important to have your cholesterol checked at least annually and aim for an optimal LDL level of less than 100 mg/dL. LDL levels above 160 are considered high.
4. Low carb diets often contain more fat, and may not be heart healthy: These diets often include more red meat, so it is important to choose lean protein (such as chicken and fish) and high fiber food (brown rice, sweet potato or wheat pasta).
5. Certain foods can lower your cholesterol: Research shows that certain “power foods” lower your cholesterol. The next time you’re grocery shopping, fill your cart with these super foods: green tea, beans, walnuts or almonds, fish, yogurt, chicken breasts, edamame, apples, oranges, oatmeal and leafy greens.
For healthy recipes, visit www.edward.org/edwardhealthykitchen.