In order to avoid serious health problems like heart disease, you must maintain a healthy cholesterol level. There are several factors that can increase your cholesterol to unhealthy levels. A person’s weight is not only a risk factor for heart disease on its own, but being overweight can also increase your cholesterol. By losing weight you can lower your bad cholesterol and total cholesterol levels, as well as increase your good cholesterol. Plus, things like exercise, age, and gender also play an important part in whether you are at risk for having high cholesterol. Plus, your genes play a role in determining how much cholesterol your body makes. High cholesterol can run in families. Certain diets can also lower your cholesterol level.
The best way to improve your cholesterol is to stick to a low-cholesterol diet. By cutting the bad cholesterol that you eat by ten to twenty percent, you can improve the health of your heart. Include foods that are rich in healthy fats like vegetable oils and fish. You should also avoid foods that are high in saturated fats and trans fats. One easy way to change your diet to a low-cholesterol diet is to replace the butter, trans fat margarines and polyunsaturated oils that you might typically use with canola oil, olive oil, or plant sterol spreads. Use white wine vinegar to keep your pan moist while cooking instead of butter. It does not change the taste of the food and it is low in cholesterol. You can also use a cholesterol-free egg substitute instead of whole eggs.
As important as it is to change your diet to increase your health, it is equally as important to change your diet in the right way. Some people are looking to change their diet to loose weight but are not making changes in their diet in the right way. Actually, low-fat, high-carb diets can raise your cholesterol levels. Cholesterol is so important to the human body that your body has a backup plan in case you were to be in a situation where you were starving like if you were to experience a famine.
What happens is that your liver will start to produce cholesterol to guarantee your body a baseline level. By eating a low-fat, high-carb diet, high levels of insulin are introduced and trigger the body to siphon off excess blood sugar into the liver to make cholesterol and triglycerides (which are used for energy and fat storage). Rather then staying away from anything that has cholesterol in it, it is important to continue to eat foods that contain good cholesterol. Your liver only makes 75% of the cholesterol that you need. The rest of the cholesterol you need comes from the things that you eat.
If you decrease the amount of cholesterol that you are eating too much and make up those calories in carbs and sugar, your metabolism goes into famine mode and your liver overproduces cholesterol to make up the difference and stock up. This overdrive state will not shut off until you start eating cholesterol again. In truth, a low-cholesterol, high-carbohydrate diet can actually lead to high cholesterol!