By Sally Hansley Odum, eHow Contributor
There are two types of cholesterol--one is "good" (HDL) and one is "bad" (LDL). Cholesterol cannot dissolve in the blood and must be transported to and from the cells by carriers known as lipoproteins. LDL stands for Low Density Protein. HDL stands for High Density Protein. Both of these lipids, in conjunction with triglycerides and Lp(a) cholesterol make up your total cholesterol count.
What Does LDL (Bad) Cholesterol Do?
· It is believed that HDL (good cholesterol) carries cholesterol away from the arteries and back to the liver, from whence it will eventually go out of the body. Scientists further believe that LDL (bad cholesterol) can slowly build up in the arteries that carry blood to the heart and brain, thereby increasing the risk of heart attack or stroke.
The amount of LDL cholesterol in your diet is important if you are a healthy individual with no diseases, as a preventative measure. However, if you have any type of heart disease or high blood pressure, limiting the amount of LDL or "bad" cholesterol in your diet becomes even more important.
Foods That Increase LDL Cholesterol
· Organ meats--liver, gizzards and hearts. They tend to be high in cholesterol and should be eaten sparingly.
Beef--steaks, roast beef, beef stew, pot roast, hamburgers and ground beef. All of these are high in cholesterol and will increase your LDL. Eat them sparingly. When you simply have to eat red meat, be sure to choose the leanest cut possible. The leanest cuts of beef are the round, chuck, sirloin and loin. Trim off any visible fat. Choose extra lean or lean ground beef. Try cooking your hamburgers at home on a grill instead of ordering at a fast food restaurant. Red meat is the biggest culprit for increasing LDL cholesterol.
Lamb--Choose the leanest lamb cuts from the loin, arm and leg.
All Fried or Deed Fried Foods--These will increase LDL cholesterol by virtue of the cooking method. Frying foods necessitates something to fry them in, be it oil, Crisco, lard or butter. Adding these to food will increase your LDL cholesterol. The best cooking method for those looking to lower cholesterol are baking, grilling or broiling. These remove some of the fat from the meat and they do not add additional fats. Foods that are commonly deep fried include: southern fried chicken, hush puppies, onion rings and blooming onions.
French Fries--These starchy, tasty morsels are deep-fried in oil or fat. As good as they may be, they should not be consumed by those wanting to lower LDL cholesterol.
Any food that is basted with fat drippings -- What's the good of grilling, baking or roasting a turkey, chicken or ham if you're just going to baste it with fat drippings?
Food that is seasoned with fat, pan drippings, bacon, ham hocks, neck bones Even though you cook a delicious, healthy pot of collards or other greens, once you add the seasoning meat (usually high in fat), you've added cholesterol to the pot. Try other methods of seasoning including herbs and specialty seasoning mixes.
Processed Foods--These include hot dogs, sausages, salami and bologna.
Lard, Butter, Whole Milk, Whole Cheese and other Dairy Products--Lard is animal fat. Stay away from it if you want to lower your cholesterol. Whole dairy products contain a high level of fat. Choose the low-fat varieties or skim milk if you want to lower your LDL cholesterol.
Eggs -- The yolk is the part of the egg that has higher cholesterol. Egg whites do not contain that much. In many recipes, it is possible to substitute just the egg whites rather than to use the whole egg. It's also possible to buy egg substitutes that are cholesterol-free. There have been some studies showing that free-range chickens with an organic diet lay eggs with lower cholesterol than large production chicken farms.
Cakes, pastries and pies--At first glance, it may not seem as if these sweet items are dripping in cholesterol, but often they are. Butter is a very common ingredient in all these delicious items. Sometimes pastries are deep fried in oil, such as apple turnovers.
Increase Life Expectancy by Lowering LDL Cholesterol
· Eating a heart-healthy diet can help save your life, increase your life span and give you a better quality of life. Just a few minor adjustments to your diet can bring tremendous rewards in good health. According to "High Speed Healing," "In one massive study in the United States, lowering daily cholesterol intake by 200 milligrams / 1,000 calories led to a 37 percent lower risk of death from any cause and added 3.4 years to total life expectancy."
M Junaid Tahir
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