Tuesday, April 15, 2014

High Cholesterol: Cutting Out Dairy

So, you have high cholesterol? Or, perhaps high triglycerides? As such, you've been advised to make changes to your diet and lifestyle. The idea is to cut down on such fats in your blood stream so they don't cause damage that can lead to illness including heart disease or stroke. You may have been told to avoid high-fat dairy (whole milk, cheese, yogurt). But, does cutting the fat out of your dairy intake make a difference on your bad blood fat?

Dairy is a source of many saturated fats, including cholesterol, as well as some helpful fats like CLA. There could be benefits to cutting out whole fat milk if you're trying to consume less saturated fat. But, how effective is it?

A recent study published in the April issue of Nutrition Journal, suggests that restricting your dairy intake may not be an effective means to improve blood fats. The study was conducted by New Zealand scientists who admit it's not perfect and had limitations: a randomized study with about 180 patients who increased or decreased their dairy intake, which was reported on dietary forms. The study did not see very large changes in the levels of bad fats in people's blood streams after they restricted their dairy intake. Here's the study: The Study: http://www.nutritionj.com/content/13/1/32

...As such, it's important to look at other ways to improve your blood's fat profile.

Helpful Ways to Eat Your Way to Better Triglyceride and Cholesterol Levels:
- Eat more fibre
- Consume omega-3 and -6 fatty acids
- Promote growth and colonization of Lactobacillus Probiotics in your gut
- Beta-sitosterol
- Garlic
- Eat more fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds
- Eat less processed, baked and fried foods

My Confession:
High cholesterol is a family trait that I've been struggling to keep in check through a diet rich in whole foods (fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans), omega-3s (particularly fish), grains with fibre and...trying oh, so hard to stay away from fried and baked goods (even though they taste soooo good!!!).

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