I was recently diagnosed with high cholesterol; could you tell me how many grams of carbohydrates I should consume per day to lower my cholesterol? Also, should I take into consideration the amount of cholesterol listed on a product? – Christine H.
I think it’s great that you’re looking into a dietary management of your high cholesterol!
1. The carbohydrate grams that directly relate to blood cholesterol levels are those from FIBER. Aiming for 25 or more grams of fiber per day is effective. Soluble fiber (from oats, beans, nuts, fruits) should comprise over half of fiber intake with the rest coming from insoluble fiber (from grains, vegetables, bran). Carbohydrates should contribute 50-60% of your calories for the day; mostly from whole grains, vegetables, fruits and low-fat or fat-free milk products. Also of benefit, is another plant compound called stanols or sterols—2g/day is a therapeutic amount to lower LDL cholesterol.
2. Yes. Your dietary cholesterol intake should be kept under 200 mg/day. More importantly, take into consideration the amount of saturated fat and trans fat listed on the Nutrition Facts panel. These are the types of fat your liver uses to produce cholesterol. Limiting saturated fat intake to less than 7% of your daily calorie total and avoiding trans fat are recommended. To achieve this, cut back on animal fats (including dairy fat), reduce solid vegetable fats (coconut, palm kernel), hydrogenated vegetable oils and omit processed foods with any trans fat listed.
- Debbie J., MS, RD
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