Diana Kelly Levey

The Worst Eating Habits if You Have High Cholesterol

June 9, 2016 | Categories:

Having high cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease. Here are the eating mistakes you’re making and how to choose foods that lower cholesterol.

You’re not eating healthy fats.
If your doctor says you have high cholesterol, it means the LDL reading (bad cholesterol) is building up and may cause blockages in your arteries. A healthy cholesterol reading from a blood test is less than 200 mg/dL. “While it used to be thought that eating cholesterol-rich foods would raise blood cholesterol levels, we now know that consuming too many saturated fats and not enough unsaturated, heart-healthy fats is what actually affects blood cholesterol levels the most,” says Sarah-Jane Bedwell, RD, LDN, host of Cooking with Sarah-Jane. Eating foods that contain monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats (like avocados) can help prevent and manage high levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides while increasing “good” HDL cholesterol levels, says Bedwell. Drizzle some olive oil or sunflower oil on salads and veggies since both are good sources of monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats.

You skip fish.
Certain types of fish—like salmon, mackerel, trout, and herring—contain higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, “good fats” that don’t affect LDL cholesterol levels. Omega-3 fatty acids also help to increase “good” cholesterol, reducing your triglycerides, a type of fat in your blood, and reducing blood pressure, according to MayoClinic.org. Aim to eat a 3.5-ounce serving of fish at least twice per week, preferably those higher in omega-3 fatty acids. Ask for salmon as the protein on your salad at lunch or grill up a salmon burger when you’re barbecuing this season.

Your only source of dairy is the milk in your coffee.
Increasing the amount of calcium in your diet can increase HDL “good” cholesterol and decrease total and LDL cholesterol concentrations, according to research. Dairy products are the richest source of calcium with hard cheese having the highest concentration levels. Incorporate low-fat or fat-free milk, cheese, and yogurt as part of your meals and snacks.

Read the full article on ReadersDigest.com.

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