LIMIT your intake of full-fat dairy products such as milk, cheese, butter, sour cream, ice cream, and yogurt as they can be very high in unhealthy saturated fat.
UP your intake of non-fat or 1% dairy products like milk, cheese, and Greek yogurt which are also good protein and calcium sources. Try veggie-based or LF yogurt-based cheeses or part-skim cheese sticks.
LIMIT your intake of egg yolks, particularly if your cholesterol is already high. When you purchase eggs, try to buy those that are higher in omega-3 fatty acids (like Nature’s Promise and Eggland’s Best) suggesting their yolks are lower in cholesterol and the chickens are eating healthy grain.
UP your intake of egg whites or Eggbeaters. Opt to eat omelets or egg salad prepared with 1 whole egg + 1-2 additional egg whites for extra fat-free protein.
AVOID large amounts of (artery clogging) saturated and trans fat found in red meat (beef, pork and veal) and processed meats (bacon, sausage, hot dogs, bologna, salami), poultry skin, whole milk dairy products (and soups, stews or dressings made with whole milk or cream) and snack foods or desserts with partially hydrogenated oil in the ingredient list. Also limit foods prepared with butter, bacon fat, lard, cream, stick margarine and full-fat mayonnaise.
MAINTAIN a moderate daily intake of heart-healthy fat which is essential to prevent dry skin, for production of certain hormones and most importantly for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A,D,E and K). Heart healthy fats (mono- and polyunsaturated) include vegetable oils (olive oil, peanut oil, etc.) and those found in some soft “buttery” spreads (Olivio, Smart Balance, etc.), avocado, nuts, nut butter, hummus and most vinaigrette-based dressings. You can prepare delicious creamy sauces, soups and dressings prepared with plain non-fat Greek yogurt instead of sour cream, cream or whole milk.
PREPARE proteins by baking, broiling, grilling, steaming, poaching or prepared so fat is cooked out of your protein (rather than sealed in and consumed.) Try not to roast vegetables or potatoes in the same pan with chicken or meat or they will absorb a lot of unhealthy fat. Roast separately in a pan with a bit of olive oil or sprayed with non-fat cooking spray (Pam, etc.) Crock pot cookery usually involves leaner cuts of meat so vegetable and starch can accompany the protein in the crock pot.
INCORPORATE a variety of high-fiber, protein- containing legumes (chick peas, red, black, white or pink beans, split peas and lentils) into your diet in lean chilis, stews and crock pot meals. They contain more cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber than an equal serving of most fruits and vegetables. Soluble fiber helps remove “bad” (or LDL) cholesterol from your body.
BE ACTIVE in your activities of daily living (ADLs) like avoiding elevators, parking far from your destination, etc. but also work up to 150+ minutes of aerobic exercise/week. Walking, swimming, dancing, cleaning the house, jumping rope, playing tag, soccer, basketball and bike riding are all excellent forms of aerobic exercise. Regular physical activity will help (1) keep your heart strong, (2) raise your good cholesterol (HDL) and (3) lower your overall risk for heart disease.
READ LABELS and avoid foods that contain high amounts of (1) total fat like deep fried foods, creamy sauces and gravies, (2) saturated fat like tropical oils (coconut or palm kernel), beef and pork fat (lard), butter, egg yolks, cream, whole milk and cheese and (3) trans fat (partially hydrogenated vegetable oils found in poorer quality baked goods) like cookies, crackers and snack foods) which have been linked closely to cardiovascular disease.
Be FOOD-SMART with your
HEART. You only get one!