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April 2013
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Making the change to a healthful diet is the first step in lowering cholesterol. Most important: Limit the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in your diet.

Foods to avoid or limit include:
— Whole milk, cream, and ice cream
— Butter, egg yolks, and cheese — and foods made with them
— Organ meats, such as liver, sweetbreads, and kidney
— High-fat processed meats, such as sausage, bologna, salami, and hot dogs
— Fatty meats that aren’t trimmed
— Duck and goose meat (raised for market)
— Baked goods made with egg yolks and saturated
— Fried foods
— Saturated fats, including coconut oil, palm oil, and palm kernel oil
— Solid fats, such as shortening, partially hydrogenated margarine, and lard

Follow a Low-Fat Diet

Just as some foods increase cholesterol, others help lower it. Foods you should eat include:

— Fruits and vegetables: 8 — 10 daily servings, especially high-fiber items such as beans and peas

— “Good fat” fish (i.e. salmon): 2 or more servings per week

— Whole grains: 6 or more daily servings

— Nuts and seeds: 4 — 5 servings per week

— Nonfat and low-fat dairy: 2 — 3 daily servings

— Lean meat and poultry without skin: 5 — 6 ounces daily

— Unsaturated vegetable oils: including canola, corn, olive, safflower, and soybean oils (but limit the amount of margarines and spreads made from them)

Control Portions

Portion sizes are notoriously large in America. By balancing your portions, you can help lower your cholesterol and lose weight at the same time.

Serve smaller portions of higher-fat dishes, and serve bigger portions of lower-fat dishes, such as rice, beans, and vegetables.

Risk Factors You Can Control

Risk factors for high cholesterol you can control:

Weight: Being overweight can increase cholesterol levels.

Exercise: Regular physical activity can lower LDL and raise HDL.

Type 2 diabetes: High blood glucose increases cholesterol levels and damages the lining of your arteries.

Smoking: Cigarette smoking lowers HDL and increases the likelihood of blood clots.

Medications: Certain medications can increase your cholesterol. Talk to your doctor about any medications you are taking.

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