How is your cholesterol affected by your diet?
There is a lot of conflicting evidence in nutritional sciences, and we want to be sure to keep our patient’s up-to-date. Statin medications can cause side effects that no one wants to have to deal with, and sometimes taking action on your own through lifestyle changes can be the first big step towards change.
As with any diet change, it’s important that we value the art of balance. Anything works in extremes in the short term, but we want this to be a long term sustainable nutrition plan for you. If it sounds restrictive, then most likely it’s not something that you will stick with.
You want something that satisfies you, while also being low in saturated fats and cholesterol. There is a lot of nuance with this, because this does not mean that you don’t need cholesterol or saturated fats. The foods that encompass these are good for your health, and reducing it down to avoiding them altogether is not good either. You need cholesterol for the integrity of your cells, however you want to make sure that your overall diet is not overwhelmingly high in cholesterol.
The biggest culprits are typically egg yolks. Egg yolks have tons of great nutrition, and if that is in conjunction with a healthy diet, then this is most likely totally okay, however if you eating multiple whole eggs on a biscuit each morning before the day even begins, then this might be something to evaluate.
Overall, the biggest thing to consider is your days as a whole. Are you consuming multiple fast food meals in a day? Are you eating one fast food meal per day with other processed foods? Are you eating fried foods in conjunction with processed foods each day or multiple days per week? If you could switch that to the 20% of your diet, and the rest of the days, possibly during the week days when you’re at work, are healthy, lower fat and cholesterol foods, then you will be able to strict that balance easily without restriction or lacking satisfaction.
One key way to be satisfied in your diet is to eat fats. This creates a hormone called CKK (Cholecystokinin). Fat takes quite some time to reach the stomach where this will alert you that you are satisfied and sometimes we can eat in overabundance before we begin to notice. One tip for this to eat slower, and this allows digestion to occur. The other tool would be to aim for monounsaturated fats, which the body digests differently, and will be helpful in your goals towards lowering your cholesterol.
Some examples of mono unsaturated fats are : avocados, walnuts, peanuts, cashews, almonds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, olive oil, avocado oil, peanut butter, almond butter, cream cheese, muenster cheese, parmesan cheese, salmon, herring, and pumpkin seeds. There are many options to choose from, and it’s much easier to add things into your diet VS taking some out of it.
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