EAT LESS SATURATED FAT: Saturated fat is found in varying amounts in most foods from animals such as meats and whole milk dairy products like cheese.
- Choose skim milk (try Skim Plus or Simply Smart or Skim ‘n more)
- Choose fish (broiled, baked, grilled) not fried
- Avoid butter in food preparation “Hold the butter!” in restaurants
- Choose chicken (white meat without the skin)
- Avoid red meats (except pork chops and pork tenderloin)
- Choose no-fat cheeses or 2% cheeses
- Low-fat cheeses should have <1.5 grams saturated fat per ounce
- Avoid fried foods (even if cooked in vegetable oils)
- Avoid palm and coconut oils
- Avoid partially hydrogenated oils
- Avoid trans fat
AVOID PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED OILS: Hydrogenation is a chemical process that changes liquid oils into more solid fats, called Trans fats. These can raise your cholesterol levels.
- Check labels and list of ingredients on crackers, chips and cookies
- Choose softest tub margarines with water as the first ingredient
CHOOSE MONOUNSATURATED FATS: These are mainly liquid oils and some nuts. These are low in saturated fat. Including these can increase your level of HDL but the portions need to be small. 1 tablespoon olive oil = 120 calories, 1.8 grams saturated fat and 14 grams total fat.
- Avocados and olives used in small amounts
- Use canola oil or olive oil in cooking or salads
- Check label on your salad dressing for the kind of oil used
- Use nuts such as almonds or cashews or seeds like sunflower, sesame or poppy
- If you use peanut butter (1-2 tablespoons) buy the non-hydrogenated kind like Teddie or Smuckers. Try soy nut butter.
- Small amounts of oils provide flavor so measure before you add to pan.
- Oil sprays can be used freely
EAT LESS HIGH CHOLESTEROL FOOD: Cholesterol is found in all animal products. Too much cholesterol in your diet can raise your cholesterol levels, when you eat it with saturated fats or trans fats.
- Limit eggs to six (Yolks) a week (Unlimited egg whites)
- Substitute 2 egg whites for 1 egg or use egg substitutes in recipes
- Try “egg beater” omelets with vegetables and low fat cheeses
EAT FRUIT: Don’t let a day go by without fruit in your diet. Fruit provides fiber and vitamins and minerals. Remember to eat 5 to 9 servings of fruit and vegetables every day.
- Choose whole fruit rather than juice for the fiber
- Choose high fiber fruits like apples, pears and berries
- To normalize blood glucose levels and triglycerides, eat 3-4 servings of fruit per day
EAT VEGETABLES: Vegetables are sources of high fiber and carbohydrates. They are low in calories too.
- 50% of your plate should be vegetables or salads
- Choose leafy greens like romaine, spinach, collards and bok choy
EAT FOODS HIGH IN FIBER: Fiber is the part of food that your body can’t digest. Fiber can help fill you up and also lower your cholesterol level.
- Choose oatmeal, oat bran and whole oat cereals
- Choose beans and lentils, salads and vegetables
- Choose apples and pears
AVOID OR DECREASE REFINED CARBOHYDRATES: White flour and sugar containing carbohydrates are caloric and can raise triglycerides and blood glucose levels. Although these are often low in fat, portion-control is key to including these in your diet.
- Eat less white pasta (choose whole wheat varieties)
- Avoid large, white, bagels (1 bakery-size bagel contains 350 calories which is equal to 4 slices of bread!)
- Include snacks that are controllable (ie: portion controlled): try low- and no-fat cheeses, whole fruit and vegetables.
- Limit no-fat frozen yogurt and no fat cookies because these still may contain lots of sugar, and the calories can make weight loss more difficult
- Aim for < 5 grams of sugar on food labels!
- For yogurts, aim for < 10 grams of sugar
WORK ON LOSING WEIGHT IF YOU ARE OVERWEIGHT: Weight loss often helps improve cholesterol levels and makes us feel better. Even a seemingly small change in weight (5-10%) can have positive effects on your health. Losing weight is often a gradual process. Aerobic exercise burns calories and builds muscle. To lose weight, add 4-5 days – 30 minutes of aerobic exercise every week, like walking.
- Portions are key
- High fiber foods help you stay full longer
- Eating vegetables, salads and lean protein helps
- Keep portions of added fats small
- Food records help you become more aware of your eating habits
TAKE VITAMINS AND MINERALS AS RECOMMENDED:
- Calcium if needed
- Multivitamin and mineral
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