The right kinds of fat
Eat the right kind of fats and the right amount
Eating a low fat, healthy diet can help lower blood cholesterol by about 5%. The type of fat you eat also affects your blood cholesterol. Just as there is good cholesterol and bad cholesterol, there are good fats and bad fats:
"Good" Fats. Unsaturated fats help lower blood cholesterol. There are two kinds - monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Unsaturated fats are found in: vegetable oils (e.g., canola, sunflower, peanut, soybean and olive oil); soft, non-hydrogenated margarine; nuts, seeds and peanut butter; avocados; olives; and fatty fish (e.g., char, herring, salmon, sardines, and trout)
For heart healthy eating
Replacing saturated fats with polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats from vegetable oils helps reduce blood cholesterol.
Choose more often:
- vegetable oil
- soft, non-hydrogenated margarine
- fatty fish
- skim, 1% milk or 2% milk
- nuts, seeds, nut butter
Choose less often:
- lard, shortening
- butter, ghee, hard margarine
- fatty meats
- full fat milk products
- cookies, crackers, snack foods
TIPS: Focus on the good fats
- limit the amount of saturated fat you eat and avoid trans fat
- use soft, non-hydrogenated margarine instead of butter, ghee or shortening to cook and bake
- look for foods made with vegetable oils such as canola, olive and soybean oils instead of coconut or palm oils
- snack on small amounts of nuts and seeds rather than cookies, donuts or fried foods.
Watch the cholesterol in your diet
In addition to watching the amount and kinds of fats in your diet, it's important to watch the cholesterol you eat. When you have high blood cholesterol, try to ear no more than 200mg of cholesterol per day.
Cholesterol is found only in animal-based foods such as meat, poultry, seafood and milk products. Egg yolks, squid, shrimp, and organ meats (such as liver) have higher amounts of cholesterol, so choose them less often.
To eat less cholesterol, choose lean cuts of meat and poultry, and lower fat milk products. Enjoy a variety of vegetables, fruits, grain products, nuts and seeds - they are all cholesterol-free foods. Vegetable oils are cholesterol free too, so prep;are and cook foods with vegetable oils and soft non-hydrogenated margarine made from vegetable oils rather than butter, ghee or hard margarine.
TIP: 3 easy switches to cut back on cholesterol in your diet
- substitute 2 eggs whites for one whole egg when you cook or bake
- have canned light tuna in water, salmon, trout or halibut in stead of shrimp or squid
- switch from using cream and whole mile to 2% milk, 1% milk, skim milk or a fortified soy beverage.