Reading In Between the Food Label Lines
Everyone needs some cholesterol. But too much cholesterol can be bad for your health and can put you at risk for heart disease. Approximately 1 in 3 Americans (over 100 million) have high cholesterol. Learning about cholesterol will help and will give you some valuable ideas on how to get lower your cholesterol down to where it needs to be.
HDL’s, or High Density Lipoproteins, are what’s known as “good cholesterol.” An HDL attaches itself to cholesterol and escorts it through your liver and out your body.
LDL’s, or Low Density Lipoproteins, are the “bad cholesterol” that we don’t want in our bodies. It’s the LDL’s that clog our arteries and can cause heart disease. Lowering cholesterol of this type should be a number one priority.
The Right Foods:
This is the area where so many people get “it” wrong and ties in closely with how to read those infernal food labels!
Most food labels will list the total cholesterol and many people, seeing a '0mg' or a 'less than 5mg' will stop right there and proceed to purchase that product. However, are you reading everything?
For instance, as I write this I have a can of Campbells Cream of Celery Soup by my side. The label states that the cholesterol is 'less than 5mg or 2% for one serving. (There are 2.5 servings in the entire can).
Now lets look at the fat content. Per the label, there is a total of 6g of fat per serving (or 15g for the entire can – not including the milk you may add). Of this 6g of fat, .5g is saturated fat and 0g is trans fat. Trans fat is unsaturated fat and Unlike other dietary fats, trans fats are not essential, and they do not promote good health. The consumption of trans fats increases one's risk of coronary heart disease by raising levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol and lowering levels of "good" HDL cholesterol. Health authorities worldwide recommend that consumption of trans fat be reduced to trace amounts. Again, lowering your cholesterol level – your LDL level – is the number one priority.
All right now, according to the label we have 6 total grams of fat, .5g of which is trans fat and 0g of trans fat. What about the other 5.5 grams? By elimination, the remaining fat should be unsaturated fat. It is unknown from this label whether this unsaturated fat is monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fat, but given the product I would ascertain that it is a polyunsaturated fat because it contains vegetable oil.
When choosing fats, your best options are unsaturated fats: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These fats, if used in place of others, can lower your risk of heart disease by reducing the total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels in your blood.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
All of this may seem complicated – and sometimes it is! “Demystifying Cholesterol”can explain it all in easy to understand terms. Lowering your cholesterol is more important than ever and you need to learn all about the deadly effects of high cholesterol before you become the next victim of heart attack or stroke!