According to the American Heart Association, an estimated 98.6 million Americans have total blood cholesterol higher than 200 mg/dl, the diagnostic threshold for having high cholesterol. The first step your doctor will advise is to have a good look at your diet. The average American diet of people on the go is loaded with calories, saturated fat, trans fats and sodium. Given that high cholesterol is one of the six risk factors for heart disease (along with hypertension, obesity, diabetes, a sedentary lifestyle and cigarette smoking), lowering the cholesterol in your diet is one of the easiest and most effective places to start in reducing your risk for heart disease.
The American Heart Association mention that “Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are the two unsaturated fats. They’re found mainly in many fish, nuts, seeds and oils from plants. Some examples of foods that contain these fats include salmon, trout, herring, avocados, olives, walnuts and liquid vegetable oils such as soybean, corn, safflower, canola, olive and sunflower.”
Avocados contain significant amounts of oleic acid, a healthy monounsaturated fat that helps boost good fats and lower bad. Avocados are also rich in fiber and a plant chemical called beta-sitosterol, both of which help keep cholesterol in check.
Good Fats are the Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) normally found in plant foods like nuts, avocados, olive oil and canola oil, and in poultry. MUFAs can actually lower cholesterol levels, and, in doing so, your risk of heart disease. In fact, a Journal of the American Medical Association study showed that replacing a carb-rich diet with one high in monounsaturated fats can do both, and reduce blood pressure, too. Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are good too and are found in fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel.
Like MUFAs, PUFAs have been shown to improve cholesterol levels and reduce heart disease risk. One type is the omega-3 fatty acid, which is plentiful in some kinds of fish — not to be confused with omega-6 fatty acids, found in meats, corn oil and soybean oil. Some research finds that Americans eat about 20 times more omega-6 than omega-3; we should be aiming to get closer to four times as much. To do so, substitute in fish for meat when you can.
So how much “good” fat you should get? The American Heart Association recommends that unsaturated fats make up 18 to 28 percent of the calories in our diets, with no more than 7 percent of our daily calories coming from saturated fat. But here’s an easier rule of thumb: “Just make sure that the fats eaten come from healthy food sources — like avocados, vegetable oils, fish, legumes, nuts and other plant-based foods.” If you do that, then there’s no need to count.
America’s obesity epidemic skyrocketed even while our fat intake went down. So experts are getting off the “fat is evil” bandwagon these days — and we should, too. Our diet should have a balance of all nutrients to keep us in shape and healthy. We will talk about how balance our food intake to get all the nutrients we need in our next post. Like the post if it was of value for your. Thank you for reading it.
Tip: Ole Avocado is made out of fresh avocados that significantly increase absorption of immunity-boosting antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables. Add a couple of spoons of diced avocado to your next meal or better yet use the 90 calorie single portion pack of Ole Avocado Guacamole, fresh, delicious and ready to eat. Look for it at H-E-B stores in the meat section.
Source: American Heart Association.