Nutrition and Diets
Choose a diet that is low in saturated fat and cholesterol and moderate in total fat
Fats supply energy and essential fatty acids, and they help absorb the
fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, and carotenoids. You need some fat
in the food you eat, but choose sensibly. Some kinds
of fat, especially saturated fats, increase the risk for coronary
heart disease by raising the blood cholesterol. In contrast, unsaturated
fats (found mainly in vegetable oils) do not increase blood cholesterol.
Fat intake in the United States as a proportion of total calories is lower
than it was many years ago, but most people still eat too much saturated
fat. Eating lots of fat of any type can provide excess calories. Choose
foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Tips
on limiting the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol you get from
your food. Taking these steps can go a long way in helping to keep your
blood cholesterol level low.
Foods high in saturated fats tend to raise blood cholesterol. These foods include high-fat dairy products (like cheese, whole milk, cream, butter, and regular ice cream), fatty fresh and processed meats, the skin and fat of poultry, lard, palm oil, and coconut oil. Keep your intake of these foods low.
Foods that are high in cholesterol also tend to raise blood cholesterol. These foods include liver and other organ meats, egg yolks, and dairy fats.
Trans Fatty Acids
Foods high in trans fatty acids tend to raise blood cholesterol. These foods include those high in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, such as many hard margarines and shortenings. Foods with a high amount of these ingredients include some commercially fried foods and some bakery goods.
Unsaturated fats (oils) do not raise blood cholesterol. Unsaturated fats
occur in vegetable oils, most nuts, olives, avocados, and fatty fish like
salmon. Unsaturated oils include both monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated
fats. Olive, canola, sunflower, and peanut oils are some of the oils high
in monounsaturated fats. Vegetable oils such as soybean oil, corn oil,
and cottonseed oil and many kinds of nuts are good sources of polyunsaturated
fats. Some fish, such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel, contain omega-3 fatty
acids that are being studied to determine if they offer protection against
heart disease. Use moderate amounts of food high in unsaturated fats,
taking care to avoid excess calories.
Get most of your calories from plant foods (grains, fruits, vegetables). If you eat foods high in saturated fat for a special occasion, return to foods that are low in saturated fat the next day.
Fats and Oils
Choose vegetable oils rather than solid fats (meat and dairy fats, shortening).
If you need fewer calories, decrease the amount of fat you use in cooking and at the table.
Meat, Poultry, Fish, Shellfish, Eggs, Beans, and Nuts
Choose 2 to 3 servings of fish, shellfish, lean poultry, other lean meats, beans, or nuts daily. Trim fat from meat and take skin off poultry. Choose dry beans, peas, or lentils often.
Limit your intake of high-fat processed meats such as bacon, sausages, salami, bologna, and other cold cuts. Try the lower fat varieties (check the Nutrition Facts Label).
Limit your intake of liver and other organ meats. Use egg yolks and whole eggs in moderation. Use egg whites and egg substitutes freely when cooking since they contain no cholesterol and little or no fat.
Choose fat-free or low-fat milk, fat-free or low-fat yogurt, and low-fat cheese most often. Try switching from whole to fat-free or low-fat milk. This decreases the saturated fat and calories but keeps all other nutrients the same.
Check the Nutrition Facts Label to see how much saturated fat and cholesterol are in a serving of prepared food. Choose foods lower in saturated fat and cholesterol. Foods at Restaurants or Other Eating Establishments
Choose fish or lean meats as suggested above. Limit ground meat and fatty processed meats, marbled steaks, and cheese.
Limit your intake of foods with creamy sauces, and add little or no butter to your food.
Choose fruits as desserts most often.