What Foods Can Help Reduce My Cholesterol Levels? | Q+A

What Foods Can Help Reduce My Cholesterol Levels? | Q+A

 

Question:

My name is Alicia, I just got my results from my blood work and I am not too happy. I go 5 to 6 days to the gym, do cycling, yoga, eat very healthy — no red meat, a lot vegetables and fruit and I just don’t understand why my cholesterol is too high (250). Can you give me any advice what to do to lower it down?

-Alicia B.

 

 

Answer:

Here’s what you can eat to help push your high cholesterol down:

Soluble fiber is known to reduce cholesterol levels. It ‘sticks’ to cholesterol molecules and traps them for removal with other waste from the gut. Oatmeal, beans, Brussel sprouts, flaxseeds and apples are good sources, to name a few. Many fiber-enhanced foods contain inulin, a type of soluble fiber. Eat at least 10 grams of soluble fiber per day to reduce harmful LDL cholesterol.

Soy protein from soybeans, tofu, soy milk and the like may modestly reduce LDL cholesterol, and it will take at least 25 grams per day (from whole foods, not supplements) for an effect.

In some instances, 250 mg/dl total cholesterol is okay. That’s when the beneficial HDL to total cholesterol ratio is 3.5:1 or lower. For you, that would mean at least 72 mg/dl of HDL.

Plant sterols/stanols are components of plants that help block the absorption of cholesterol.

They are found naturally in grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds, and added to functional foods, like certain juices and heart-healthy margarine spreads. You’ll need at least 2 grams of plant sterols or stanols for a cholesterol-lowering effect.

Omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish & fish oils, walnuts and chia seeds) reduce triglyceride levels, a free-floating fat not bound to cholesterol in the blood. They are also anti-thrombotic and anti-inflammatory to keep your cardiovascular system healthy. Consume fish at least 3 times per week and eat nuts or seeds daily.

Blood cholesterol reduction may not be achieved though diet and exercise alone. You can thank your genes for that! Some people simply have a greater liver production of cholesterol.

This article should not replace any medication, dietary instructions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

 

 

In some instances, 250 mg/dl total cholesterol is okay. That’s when the beneficial HDL to total cholesterol ratio is 3.5:1 or lower.

For you, that would mean at least 72 mg/dl of HDL.

 

Plant sterols/stanols are components of plants that help block the absorption of cholesterol.

They are found naturally in grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds, and added to functional foods, like certain juices and heart-healthy margarine spreads. You’ll need at least 2 grams of plant sterols or stanols for a cholesterol-lowering effect.

Omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish & fish oils, walnuts and chia seeds) reduce triglyceride levels, a free-floating fat not bound to cholesterol in the blood. They are also anti-thrombotic and anti-inflammatory to keep your cardiovascular system healthy. Consume fish at least 3 times per week and eat nuts or seeds daily.

Blood cholesterol reduction may not be achieved though diet and exercise alone. You can thank your genes for that! Some people simply have a greater liver production of cholesterol.

References:

American Heart Association, National Cholesterol Education Program, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

 

Ask our Dietitian

QA_icon

Have a nutrition question? Our registered dietitian is ready to help!

Email nutrition@lafitness.com or submit your question below and it may be featured in an upcoming article!

6 + 6 =

LA Fitness Living Healthy subscribe button

Want more? SUBSCRIBE to receive the latest Living Healthy articles right in your inbox!

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Suggested Articles

How Can I Meet My Fitness Goal with Meal Planning? | Q+A

How Can I Meet My Fitness Goal with Meal Planning? | Q+A

 

Question:

I am asking for help with calculating my macro goals and with meal planning (when, how much and what to eat)?

Thanks!

-Michelle V.

 

Answer:

Consistency

After 20 years as a Registered Dietitian it is my humble professional option that you need to tackle consistency in your meals before you attempt to aim for specifics. If cooking isn’t your thing, you need to be a savvy shopper to get healthy prepared foods and stock up on mini-meals and snacks for your alternating schedule. What are you willing to fix? What foods are best suited to bringing to work?

Meal Ideas

Frozen skillet meals can be enhanced with fresh ingredients on hand — only one pan to clean, plus leftovers! For portable meals, consider a cold vegetable/pasta/protein dish from the service deli counter at your grocer. Think outside the box of what’s typical “breakfast” fare. A bowl of chili with a piece of cornbread at 8 am might wrap up your waking/working hours before daytime sleep. Write out some ideas for the week and shop accordingly.

As far as building lean tissue on your lean frame, focus on adding 200-300 calories on the days you work out, divided equally between pre- and post-training. Wrapping your head around this small quantity is simpler and may be more effective than trying to pinpoint each macronutrient gram in an entire day’s worth of eating. 150 calorie snacks to support workouts include:

2 C. kale chips or light microwave popcorn (1/3 bag)

1/2 apple with tablespoon peanut butter

1/4 C. hummus with crudités

1 scrambled egg with diced ham and broccoli

Mini pizza: 1/2 English muffin + tomato sauce + shredded mozzarella

For personalized assistance you can find a nutritional professional near you, use the “Find An Expert” feature from The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

-Debbie J., MS, RD

 

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Ask our Dietitian

QA_icon

Have a nutrition question? Our registered dietitian is ready to help!

Email nutrition@lafitness.com or submit your question below and it may be featured in an upcoming article!

2 + 8 =

LA Fitness Living Healthy subscribe button

Want more? SUBSCRIBE to receive the latest Living Healthy articles right in your inbox!

Suggested Articles

Which Fruits Contain the Most Sugar? | Q+A

Which Fruits Contain the Most Sugar? | Q+A

 

Question:

My doctor said that I was a borderline diabetic, and that I need to cut down on some of the fruit I was eating at breakfast.  The fruits I am eating are: strawberries, red grapes, cantaloupe, watermelon, pineapple, apple, banana, cherries (in season).  I need to know the sugar content of each fruit or which fruit has the most sugar.

-Charlie C.

 

 

Answer:

Consider that if the serving is larger, you could get more sugar from any one of the fruits you’ve listed. Even with two amounts of fruit with the same weight, the sugar content varies due to density differences, or the amount of water and fiber contained in each fruit. A typical portion* of each fruit differs, as we’re accustomed to eating a certain amount. While you’re focusing on the sugar, you also need to consider the total carbohydrate as it all contributes to blood sugar.

 

For an equal volume of 1 cup of sliced fresh fruit, from highest to lowest sugar content:

  • Red grapes – 104 calories, 27 gm Carb, 23 gm sugar
  • Cherries (sweet) – 97 calories, 25 gm Carb, 20 gm sugar
  • Banana – 134 calories, 34 gm Carb, 18 gm sugar
  • Pineapple – 74 calories,   20 gm Carb, 14 gm sugar
  • Cantaloupe – 52 calories,   13 gm Carb, 12 gm sugar
  • Apple (w/skin) – 57 calories,   15 gm Carb, 11 gm sugar
  • Watermelon – 46 calories,   11 gm Carb, 9 gm sugar
  • Strawberries – 53 calories,   13 gm Carb, 8 gm sugar

 

 

 

 

* By serving size, based on usual consumption patterns:

  • 3” apple – 95 Cals,   25 gm Carb, 19 gm sugar
  • 1/16 watermelon —     86 Cals,  22 gm Carb, 18 gm sugar
  • 15 cherries – 77 Cals,   20 gm Carb, 16 gm sugar
  • 3/4” pineapple ring – 79 Cals,   21 gm Carb, 5 gm sugar
  • 1 medium banana — 105 Cals, 27 gm Carb, 14 gm sugar
  • 15 grapes – 51 Cals,   13 gm Carb, 11 gm sugar
  • 10 large strawberries – 58 Cals, 14 gm Carb, 9 gm sugar
  • 1/8 large cantaloupe – 35 Cals,   8 gm Carb,   8 gm sugar

CHERRIES have the most sugar in them comparatively, as they appear in the top 3 of each list.  And the only fruit in the bottom 2 of each comparison with the lowest sugar — STRAWBERRY!

-Debbie J., MS, RD 

 

All nutritional values taken from the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Ask our Dietitian

QA_icon

Have a nutrition question? Our registered dietitian is ready to help!

Email nutrition@lafitness.com or submit your question below and it may be featured in an upcoming article!

2 + 1 =

LA Fitness Living Healthy subscribe button

Want more? SUBSCRIBE to receive the latest Living Healthy articles right in your inbox!

Suggested Articles

Competition, Community and a Championship

Competition, Community and a Championship

Competition, Community and a Championship

Bump, set, and spike your way into the LA Fitness Club Leagues volleyball championship game! Joining an LA Fitness Club Leagues team is a chance to show off your skills, be a part of a community, and build relationships with your teammates that can ultimately lead to a successful season!

In Irvine, California the Ducks and Team LAF took to the court for the final volleyball game of the season. The Ducks took the victory and brought home the title. This particular Club Leagues volleyball team had a competitive roster as most of the players on the Ducks played either in high school or college. Playing in Club Leagues through LA Fitness has been an outlet for them to compete and continue playing the sport they love.

“It’s been a while since I played volleyball in college” said Cameron. “Indoor competitive leagues aren’t too common, so it was nice to find one. It just keeps getting better every year and I have gotten to know some of the other guys a lot more!”

“The best experience is just to be able to play volleyball again at a high level” said Logan C., a former college volleyball player. “One thing you miss when you get out of high school and college is competing. We’ve got rotations down, started to feel comfortable with each other and it has just been a great place to come to once a week and compete!”

 

“I had a couple of buddies who were looking for the last player on their team” said Kohlman, a first time Club Leagues player. “The new team and exercise have both been really good for me! It’s just a great excuse to get fired up after work and get to spend time with a few of my friends. It’s fun to adapt to each different team you compete against and to get to know other players.”

 

“This season has been the best experience with these guys” said Bryan, who recently joined LA Fitness. “I just love the competitiveness of this particular league. I was dormant for a good two years as far as fitness goes. When I joined LA Fitness, that’s when I started playing volleyball again. I was very out of shape when I first started, and playing volleyball has helped me get back into shape. I have played volleyball my whole life and this league is bringing back great memories!”

 

Get Involved

LA Fitness offers competitive leagues for those looking for a higher level of play and a way to stay in shape. LA Fitness also offers recreational leagues for those just learning or for those looking for a way to get involved with the LA Fitness community. So if you are looking to get involved, learn a new sport or even compete in a competitive atmosphere, check out the upcoming Club Leagues volleyball schedule.

LA Fitness Living Healthy subscribe button

Want more? SUBSCRIBE to receive the latest Living Healthy articles right in your inbox!

Commit to Fit | Member Spotlights

Commit to Fit | Member Spotlights

Commit to Fit

Do you have a fitness goal? Let us know here! To learn more about Commit to fit, click here.

Goals, Commitments, Community

These are our most recent members who have committed to their fitness goals.

Stephany N.

Going to the gym 3-4 times a week, Stephany’s goal is to gain 35% muscle and get her body fat to 15%! We are excited to see her commitment.

Thomas W.

Lung cancer survivor and gym-goer who enjoys long walks on the beach, Thomas wants to make it to be 100 years old! Let’s cheer him on together!

Christopher M.

Commitment has been a key factor in Christopher’s fitness journey. He now strives to maintain his healthy lifestyle and stay fit!

commit-button

Ready to make a commitment? Get started here.

4 + 11 =

**Selected submissions will be featured on the LA Fitness blog and possibly other LA Fitness digital media entities & websites. By making a submission, you hereby grant LA Fitness a non-exclusive, perpetual, worldwide, irrevocable license to use and make copies of the contents of such submission for any purpose and in any medium whatsoever, and you hereby waive and relinquish any copyright or other intellectual property right you may have in the contents of such submission and your right to pursue any claim for LA Fitness’s violation of those intellectual property rights   

SUBSCRIBE TO

LIVING HEALTHY

Be the first to know about exclusive

content, deals and promotions

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest