Lower Your Cholesterol

Food choices may be the answer to keeping your doctor happy.

| September 4, 2009

Hamilton Township, New Jersey – September is National Cholesterol Education Month – a time when attention is brought to the serious condition that can lead to heart disease. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), more than 65 million Americans have high cholesterol. The good news is that there are some natural ways to help reduce your bad cholesterol levels. In addition to adopting a regular exercise routine, there are foods that help to do the job.

“Eating is something that most of us do two to three times a day. So this can have a big impact on our cholesterol levels,” says John Kuropatwa, executive chef of Spigola Ristorante, located in Hamilton Township, New Jersey. “We really have to make an effort to opt for choices that will help us out in this department. Choosing good whole foods is a tasty and powerful way to meet the cholesterol problem head-on.”

According to the NIH, foods that make the bad cholesterol (LDL, low density lipoprotein) rise include saturated fats which largely come from animals, trans fats in the form of hydrogenated oils and fats, and cholesterol, which only comes from animal products. Decreasing the foods that have those factors is advised. Then, there are foods you can eat to lower the bad cholesterol and help raise the good. Try including these foods each week:

● Fiber. The key is to get plenty of fiber which can be found in whole grains, cereals, breads and pastas. It is also in fruits and vegetables. Opt for whole fruit, rather than drinking juice, so you get the fiber.

● Fruits and veggies. Add a variety of fruits and vegetables to your daily menu, including putting them in your cereal, smoothies, and serving a side of fruit with each meal. Also, mushrooms, garlic and onion have all been cited as good options for lowering cholesterol.

● Beans. They are healthy and have a lot of fiber. You can easily find ways to add kidney, pinto or other beans to casseroles and soups. Lentils are also a healthy choice.

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