Chicken eggs are high in cholesterol, and a diet high in cholesterol can contribute to high blood cholesterol levels. However, how much the cholesterol in your diet can increase your blood cholesterol varies from person to person. Although eating too many eggs can increase your cholesterol, eating four egg yolks or fewer on a weekly basis hasn’t been found to increase your risk of heart disease.
When deciding whether to include eggs in your diet, consider the recommended daily limits on cholesterol in your food: -If you are healthy, it’s recommended that you limit your dietary cholesterol to less than 300 milligrams (mg) a day. -If you have cardiovascular disease, diabetes or a high low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) blood cholesterol level, you should limit your dietary cholesterol to less than 200 mg a day.
One large egg has about 186 mg of cholesterol — all of which is found in the yolk. Therefore, if you eat an egg on a given day, it’s important to limit other sources of cholesterol for the rest of that day. Consider substituting servings of vegetables for servings of meat, or avoid high-fat dairy products for that day.
If you like eggs but don’t want the extra cholesterol, use only the egg whites. Egg whites contain no cholesterol. You may also use cholesterol-free egg substitutes, which are made with egg whites.
It’s not hard to whip up recipes that fit with the low saturated fat, low trans fat, low-cholesterol eating plan recommended by scientists to help you manage your blood cholesterol level and reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. Discover how easy it is to avoid excess saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol while enjoying mouth-watering dishes.
The American Heart Association recommends eating no more than six ounces of cooked lean meat, poultry (skinless), fish or seafood a day for people who need 2,000 calories. Most meats have about the same amount of cholesterol, roughly 70 milligrams in each three-ounce cooked serving (about the size of a deck of cards). But the amount of saturated fat in meats can vary widely, depending on the cut and how it’s prepared. Here are some ways to reduce the saturated fat in meat:
There are some cooking tips listed below will help you prepare tasty, heart-healthy meals. -Select lean cuts of meat with minimal visible fat. Lean beef cuts include the round, chuck, sirloin or loin. Lean pork cuts include the tenderloin or loin chop, while lean lamb cuts come from the leg, arm and loin.
–Buy “choice” or “select” grades rather than “prime.” Select lean or extra lean ground beef. -Trim all visible fat from meat before cooking. -Broil rather than pan-fry meats such as hamburger, lamb chops, pork chops and steak.
-Use a rack to drain off fat when broiling, roasting or baking. Instead of basting with drippings, keep meat moist with wine, fruit juices or an acceptable oil-based marinade. -Cook a day ahead of time. Stews, boiled meat, soup stock or other dishes in which fat cooks into the liquid can be refrigerated. Then the hardened fat can be removed from the top. -When a recipe calls for browning the meat first, try browning it under the broiler instead of in a pan. -Eat chicken and turkey rather than duck and goose, which are higher in fat. Choose white meat most often when eating poultry. -Remove the skin from chicken or turkey, before cooking. If your poultry dries out too much, first try basting with wine, fruit juices or an acceptable oil-based marinade and if that does not help, leave the skin on for cooking but remove before eating. -Limit processed meats to none or no more than two servings per week. Examples of processed meats include sausage, bologna, salami and hot dogs. Many processed meats — even those with “reduced fat” labels — are high in calories and saturated fat. They are often high in sodium as well. Read labels carefully and choose such meats only now and then. -Organ meats such as liver, sweetbreads, kidney and brain are very high in cholesterol. If you’re on a cholesterol-lowering diet, eat them only occasionally.
Diet can play an important role in lowering your cholesterol. Here are five foods that can lower your cholesterol and protect your heart.
Can a bowl of oatmeal help lower your cholesterol? How about a handful of walnuts or even a baked potato topped with some heart-healthy margarine? A few simple tweaks to your diet — like these, along with exercise and other heart-healthy habits — may be helpful in lowering your cholesterol. 1. Oatmeal, oat bran and high-fiber foods
Oatmeal contains soluble fiber, which reduces your low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the “bad,” cholesterol. Soluble fiber is also found in such foods as kidney beans, apples, pears, barley and prunes. 2. Fish and omega-3 fatty acids
Eating fatty fish can be heart healthy because of its high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce your blood pressure and risk of developing blood clots. In people who have already had heart attacks, fish oil — or omega-3 fatty acids — reduces the risk of sudden death. 3. Walnuts, almonds and other nuts
Walnuts, almonds and other nuts can reduce blood cholesterol. Rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, walnuts also help keep blood vessels healthy. 4. Olive oil
Olive oil contains a potent mix of antioxidants that can lower your “bad” (LDL) cholesterol but leave your “good” (HDL) cholesterol untouched. 5. Foods with added plant sterols or stanols
Foods are now available that have been fortified with sterols or stanols — substances found in plants that help block the absorption of cholesterol.
Margarines, orange juice and yogurt drinks with added plant sterols can help reduce LDL cholesterol by more than 10 percent.
Eating fatty fish can be heart healthy because of its high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce your blood pressure and risk of developing blood clots. In people who have already had heart attacks, fish oil — or omega-3 fatty acids — reduces the risk of sudden death.
The American Heart Association recommends eating at least two servings of fish a week. The highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids are in: Mackerel
You should bake or grill the fish to avoid adding unhealthy fats. If you don’t like fish, you can also get small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids from foods like ground flaxseed or canola oil. You can take an omega-3 or fish oil supplement to get some of the benefits, but you won’t get other nutrients in fish, such as selenium. If you decide to take a supplement, just remember to watch your diet and eat lean meat or vegetables in place of fish.
Different foods lower cholesterol in various ways. Some deliver soluble fiber, which binds cholesterol and its precursors in the digestive system and drags them out of the body before they get into circulation. Some give you polyunsaturated fats, which directly lower LDL. And some contain plant sterols and stanols, which block the body from absorbing cholesterol. -Oats. An easy first step to improving your cholesterol is having a bowl of oatmeal or cold oat-based cereal like Cheerios for breakfast. It gives you 1 to 2 grams of soluble fiber. Add a banana or some strawberries for another half-gram. -Barley and other whole grains. Like oats and oat bran, barley and other whole grains can help lower the risk of heart disease, mainly via the soluble fiber they deliver. -Beans. Beans are especially rich in soluble fiber. They also take awhile for the body to digest, meaning you feel full for longer after a meal. That’s one reason beans are a useful food for folks trying to lose weight. With so many choices — from navy and kidney beans to lentils, garbanzos, black-eyed peas, and beyond — and so many ways to prepare them, beans are a very versatile food. -Eggplant and okra. These two low-calorie vegetables are good sources of soluble fiber. -Nuts. A bushel of studies shows that eating almonds, walnuts, peanuts, and other nuts is good for the heart. Eating 2 ounces of nuts a day can slightly lower LDL, on the order of 5%. Nuts have additional nutrients that protect the heart in other ways. -Apples, grapes, strawberries, citrus fruits. These fruits are rich in pectin, a type of soluble fiber that lowers LDL. Fatty fish. Eating fish two or three times a week can lower LDL in two ways: by replacing meat, which has LDL-boosting saturated fats, and by delivering LDL-lowering omega-3 fats. Omega-3s reduce triglycerides in the bloodstream and also protect the heart by helping prevent the onset of abnormal heart rhythms.
Dietary modifications combined with weight loss can lower LDL cholesterol by as much as 20 to 30 percent. Heart-healthy diets promote fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes and limit foods high in sugar, sodium, and saturated fat. Vegetable shortening and any item made with hydrogenated oil contains trans fat and should be avoided. What sets heart-healthy diets apart from others is the emphasis on good fats, such as those found in fish, nuts, olive oil, avocados, and seeds. When used in place of saturated and trans fats, these oils—known as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats—can help reduce cholesterol. Some research also indicates that avoiding refined carbs may boost “good” HDL cholesterol and lower triglycerides. Refined carbohydrates include white rice, white bread, soft drinks, and baked goods. People who are obese—having a body mass index more than 30—tend to have lower levels of “good” HDL and higher levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides than people of normal weight. Losing weight can help bring your good cholesterol up and your bad cholesterol down. Research shows that for every kilogram (2.2 pounds) of weight that an obese or overweight person loses, they may be able to raise their HDL by .35 mg/dL.
Some research suggests that what you eat to lose weight may also affect your cholesterol outcome. According to a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine, people who ate a low-calorie, low-carbohydrate diet high in plant-based protein (such as tofu, beans, and nuts) had the biggest LDL-lowering benefit compared to people who lost weight on other kinds of diets.