Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in bloodstream and in all cells of the body. It is produced by liver and performs a number of vital functions, e.g. it helps to form cell membranes and some hormones. However, too much cholesterol in one’s blood can result in coronary heart disease, which eventually leads to a heart attack.
“Good” and “Bad” cholesterol
There are two kinds of cholesterol: High-Density Lipoproteins (HDL) and Low-Density Lipoproteins (LDL). The HDL and LDL molecules circulate in blood in globular packages called lipoproteins. HDL molecules are smaller than LDL ones and are responsible for transporting cholesterol to the liver. This kind of cholesterol is actually useful for your body because it helps to clean cholesterol from arteries and protects against dangerous blockades in the arteries that can result in strokes. HDL also does not leave sticky plaques on artery walls.
LDL molecules carry the most of cholesterol through the bloodstream and therefore are bigger than and not as dense as HDL molecules. Due to this they tend to oxidize and leave plagues and arterial walls that clog arteries and lead to heart disease.
How to know how much fat I can use?
There is a simple formula which helps to find out how much fat you can consume on a daily basis. By doing simple math you will not only help the level of cholesterol to decrease but prevent it from going up.
The first to know is that the amount of fat cannot be bigger than 30% of your daily calories. To calculate what 30% of total calories is, multiply the total day's calories by 0.30. For example, 1800 calories x 0.30 = 540 fat calories allowed for a person who eats 1800 calories per day. You can also calculate how many grams of fat that 30% is. To do that, divide the calories from fat by 9, because each gram of fat is 9 calories. For example, 540 calories from fat ÷ 9 = 60 grams of fat per day.
What to eat and how?
Of course, to follow an effective cholesterol diet , avoid high fat processed meats such as sausages, hot dogs, bologna, salami, fatty, untrimmed red meats, and fried foods. When preparing food, bake, broil, microwave, poach, grill or roast products because these ways of cooking tend to produce lower saturated fat levels.
In order to keep your blood cholesterol level low, include only the leanest meet, poultry, fish and shellfish into your menu. Buy chicken and turkey without skin or remove it before eating. Substitute meat and chicken by fish or shellfish because it has less saturated fat. And despite the fact, that the leanest meat, poultry, fish, and shellfish have less saturated fat than other foods, they still contain it. Therefore limit the total amount of these products up to six ounces per day.
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