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Monday, August 27, 2012

Oh No, High Cholesterol!

Lower your cholesterol challenge.

You just had your yearly check-up and your doctor announced your cholesterol is 220 milligrams.  You thought your high fiber diet would have been enough to take it down to under 200 milligrams; but no, you are hit with 220 milligrams.  So what do you do?  How about going meatless on Mondays and eating only fish on Wednesdays and Fridays?  I'm doing it so why not join me?

Cholesterol is a lipid(fat) like substance that is naturally produced by the liver.  Your cell walls contain cholesterol and your body uses cholesterol to make some hormones, vitamin D and bile salts to help you digest fat.  Cholesterol is found in foods from animal sources such as, milk, cheese, high fat meat, and foods high in saturated fat.  So, contrary to what most people think, foods like potato chips have no cholesterol but if they are cooked in animal fat, they could be high in saturated fat. This is depended upon the oil they are cooked in.  Always read the labels; they are not perfect, but they are extremely helpful.

The National Cholesterol Education Program recommends a consumption of less than 200 milligrams of cholesterol per day.  Too much cholesterol can lead to plaque forming in your arteries, which in turn can lead to heart disease.  Those for whom heart disease runs in the family, should take these recommendation seriously.  Use an online food diary to track your calories, fiber and cholesterol intake.  Daily monitoring is very helpful as it helps you stay on track.  Besides, when you watch what you eat, you tend to eat less; therefore, you are addressing cholesterol and weight issues at the same time.

You can give yourself a few months before revisiting your doctor to get your lipids rechecked. Because I am also cholesterol conscious, I invite you to join me in this challenge.  Simply subscribe to Fat Secret online food diary to track your calories, fiber, cholesterol and etc.

Foods high in cholesterol and/or saturated fat

Egg yolk
High fat cuts of beef
Organ meats such as liver
Processed and luncheon meats
High in fat milk, cheese and butter
Partially hydrogenated vegetable oils
Baked goods/candy make with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils

The Challenge Rules:
Meatless Mondays
Fish on Wednesdays and Fridays
Track your cholesterol on an online food diary.
Report back here with your results.


  1. Thanks for the FatSecret Link...Wow I guess I need to cut back on my egg in take.

  2. I've never really worried about Cholesterol. But, I would definitely be interested in knowing my levels. Most of the foods you've listed, I TRY to stay away from -- although that is easier said than done!!

  3. Bernadette you can get it checked at Walgreens, they are doing the whole lipid panel now.

  4. I love eggs especially the yoke but I don't eat them everyday. I've never had a cholesterol problem though. One thing you mentioned that I always do, is reading food labels. It's amazing the things you catch by simply reading. I try to stay away from foods that have come through or include too many chemicals and I prefer to cook my own food. That coupled with your workout tips can work wonders.

    1. When my thyroid was radiated and I began to suffer from hypothyroidism my cholesterol started going up slowly. This was very depressing for me being a fitness professional but I thought you could have worse things happen to you, so I got over that quickly. This is opening up a new world for me because I've been refreshing my knowledge on everything cholesterol related. I want to become an expert in it.

  5. Hey, I just wanted to thank you for the really great post! This is just another reason why National Cholesterol Education Month is such an important thing. People need to understand that while high cholesterol over a long period of time can be detrimental, the body still really needs cholesterol in order to function. People also may be surprised by how much they can affect their cholesterol levels with a shift in their daily habits. In the end, the signs of high cholesterol can be non-existent, so it is up to us to be more aware.

  6. Hello! Thanks for the post:) You might want to read about how it is being disproved that cholesterol is the culprit for heart disease. Our bodies need cholesterol and GOOD fats. To put those in the same category as vegetable oils is misleading. I would recommend anything by Dr. Mary Enig. Enjoy!

  7. I think it is really interesting to think about the difference in cholesterol between genders. For men, we need to be wary about elevating cholesterol levels until we hit 50. While women tend to keep relatively stable levels of cholesterol until they hit menopause. Still, I was really surprised when I read about a recent study on high cholesterol levels. Apparently, American adults have better cholesterol levels now than they did 20 years ago! It just seems shocking that our overall cholesterol levels could be better when our waistlines have gotten bigger.

    1. Hey, I just wanted to say thanks for providing a link to that really eye-opening article. Considering the issues this country has with obesity, it is surprising to read that we are doing better with our cholesterol levels. Except, a new study might throw a bit of a wrench into the mix on this topic. More specifically, we might need to worry about a different form of cholesterol. Instead of beating bad cholesterol levels, we may need to shift our focus to what they call the ugly cholesterol.

    2. That's great comment for this blog. I love it