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Get the facts about cholesterol.

Facts about cholesterol

Is the cholesterol in egg yolks the "good" or "bad" type? Can one "burn" cholesterol by exercising? Which one has more cholesterol, a spoonful of butter or a cup of peanut butter?

Most people know that fat is bad for them, but two-thirds of Americans are confused about how cholesterol differs from fats. The issue of fat is actually the most clearly defined theme in nutrition. Yes, most Americans should cut the fat. They need to do it now and for the rest of their lives, for the sake of their hearts, their health and their waist.

Cholesterol and exercise

Can you burn cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a type of lipid, just like fats are. However, unlike fat, cholesterol can not be exercised, sweated or burned for energy. It is found only in products of animal origin, such as meat, chicken, fish, eggs, organ meats and high-fat dairy products.

Is the cholesterol good or bad?

In the same way that homemade oil and vinegar dressing is separated into an aqueous pool with a greasy coating, so would fats and cholesterol if they were poured directly into the blood. To solve this dilemma, the body transports fat and cholesterol by coating them with a water soluble "bubble" of protein. This protein-fat bubble is called lipoprotein.

Low density lipoproteins (LDL) transport cholesterol to tissues. This is the "bad" cholesterol, since high LDL levels They are linked to an increased risk of heart disease. High-density lipoproteins (HDL) carry excess cholesterol to the liver, which processes and excretes cholesterol. HDL are "good" cholesterol; How much more HDL you have, the lower the risk of developing heart disease. HDL and LDL are only found in the blood, not in food.

Test your cholesterol

Your risk to heart disease It can be evaluated with a blood cholesterol test. In this test, your total cholesterol reading should approximate the sum of your LDL, HDL, and other lipoproteins. If you have 3.5 mg of total cholesterol, or less, for every 1 mg of HDL, then your cholesterol ratio is ideal. In accordance with the guidelines of the National Cholesterol Education Program:

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Total cholesterol should remain below 200 mg / dL, unless HDL is high. LDL should be less than 130 mg / dL. HDL should be 40 mg / dl or more.

However, if you have a risk factor for heart disease, you want your LDL to be even lower, less than 100 is optimal.

What are triglycerides?

The fats that supply calories, float in the blood and accumulate in the thighs and hips are called "triglycerides. "They can be saturated or unsaturated, and the unsaturated ones can be monounsaturated or polyunsaturated. For every ounce of triglycerides you eat, add 250 calories (or 9 calories per gram, the weight of a raisin) to your diet. Only saturated fats increase the levels of cholesterol in the blood and the risk of heart disease.

Which ones are saturated?

In general, the harder a fat is, the more saturated it is. Meat and dairy fats are mostly saturated fats. Liquid oils are usually unsaturated fats, including monounsaturated fats in olive and canola oils, and polyunsaturated fats in safflower, corn, soybean and fish oils. Coconut, palm and palm kernel oils are exceptions to the rule; These liquid vegetable oils are highly saturated fats.

Fear of frying

Eating foods with a lot of saturated fat increases the risk of heart disease; this causes the amount of defective LDL in the blood to increase while good HDL decreases. Cut the saturated fat and your blood.cholesterol levels and your risk of heart disease decreases. Your risk to Cancer It also decreases. A diet with more polyunsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats, reduces total blood cholesterol levels, but unfortunately also lowers HDL levels, so you lose both good and bad cholesterol. Olive oil is another story. This oil reduces the total cholesterol in the blood and LDL cholesterol without causing HDL levels to fall. By using olive oil, you can lower your total cholesterol levels while maintaining your HDL levels, which lowers your risk of heart disease. Fish oil also reduces the risk of heart disease. Consequently, olive and fish are the oils of choice.

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The low in trans fat

Hydrogenated fats are creamy liquid vegetable oils when manufacturers convert some of the unsaturated fats into saturated ones through a process called "hydrogenation". This process also reorganizes the molecular form of the remaining unsaturated fats. The resulting form is an abnormal "trans" shape.

Trans fatty acids constitute up to 60% of the fat in processed foods that contain hydrogenated fats. The AGT increase the levels of cholesterol in the blood and increase the risk of heart disease as well as saturated fats. Knowing your fats gives you an advantage when it comes to buying and preparing the right foods to eat. And when you move away from saturated fats and trans fatty acids, you can live a heart-healthy life. The conclusion is:

Eat less fat, especially saturated fat. Limit your consumption of fatty meats, fatty dairy products and processed foods that contain hydrogenated vegetable oil. Use olive oil, but in moderation if you are watching your weight. Fill your plate with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish and legumes.


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