If you are 33 year old woman, it’s worth a try to start pay attention on your dietary cholesterol. Although high cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia) occurs more often in men, but this doesn’t mean that women can ignore it. Women of childbearing age have female hormones that tend to increase good cholesterol (HDL). But as they age, their risk of developing hypercholesterolemia increases. To cope with this risk, your cholesterol diet can play a key role!
While cholesterol is often considered bad and harmful for your cardiovascular health, in fact it’s also required by the body. But when it spikes, higher than normal, it can be dangerous for your health.
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So it’s important to control your blood cholesterol. But unfortunately, not all women completely understand about how to do it.
Hypercholesterolemia is a man’s problem
Women, especially for those who are still at their childbearing age, tend to have more HDL than men. Because their female hormone estrogen can help raise HDL, as noted before! With this benefit, they have more protection from heart disease.
But as they age, their risk of hypercholesterolemia increases. One of factors to blame is the decline of the estrogen production, which is quite common in postmenopausal women.
Premenopausal women don’t have to worry!
Even though they still have more estrogen to help keep boosting their HDL, this doesn’t mean that they are safe. Hypercholesterolemia can be attributed by a number of different factors. Diet is one of the main ones for anyone, including for women of childbearing age.
Being thin is everything!
It’s true that being obese can raise the risk. But again, the condition is attributed by many factors. Being thin doesn’t completely remove the risk. Anyone with any body type can have the condition.
However staying at your best, healthy weight is important. It can help reduce your risk. The key point to remember, check your cholesterol regularly even though if you’re being thin!
Whatever you age – balanced, healthy diet is what you need. It is not only helpful to control your cholesterol, but also provides other numerous benefits. But although it sounds very familiar, you may still don’t have idea where to start!
Furthermore, cholesterol diet may vary from woman to woman. For example, our bodies respond different foods in different ways, depending on some factors such as genetics.
Finding the best one that works may take some time. But in general, here are some checklists to follow.
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Go good fat, NOT without any fat!
When it comes to lowering cholesterol, your dietary fat is one of the most important checklists to remember. Many people have been led to believe that dietary fat is to blame for weight gain and the increased blood cholesterol. There is nothing wrong with this perception, but it is much better to reframe the rule as ‘dietary fat is bad, should be restricted – but Not for good fat’!
As the name suggests ‘good’, healthy fat can help fight against bad cholesterol (LDL), because it can help boost your HDL. It is also necessary to keep your weight healthy, support your brain function, improve your mood, and good for the look of your nails, hair, & skin.
Good fats are divided into two groups, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.
- Polyunsaturated fats can be found in foods such as fatty fish (like herring, sardines, and salmon), walnuts, and flaxseed.
- Monounsaturated fats include nuts (such as pecans and almonds), avocados, seeds ( sesame and pumpkin for examples), and olive oil.
What you need to restrict is saturated fat (bad fat). It can significantly affect your blood cholesterol. Even the effect is greater than your dietary cholesterol. It is mainly derived from animal sources of food such as full-fat dairy products, red meat, and poultry.
Trans-fat is another harmful dietary fat to restrict. It can also reduce HDL and increase LDL, putting you at risk of life-threatening conditions such as stroke and heart disease. It is easily found in baked foods (such as cookies, frozen pizza, cakes, or pie crusts), stick margarines, fried foods, and any packaged snack foods with ‘partially hydrogenated oil’ label.
Fill up on dietary fiber!
Getting plenty of fiber in your diet is essential to help keep your body from absorbing bad cholesterol (learn more in here). Countless studies show that fiber can control LDL and provide a number of other health benefits (such as to lower the risk of diabetes, improve your skin health, and good for your weight control).
But just make sure to increase your dietary fiber gradually, especially true if your body is not used to it. Too much fiber at one time can lead to abdominal problems such as diarrhea, bloating, or cramps.
Women aged 33 should get at least 25 grams of fiber a day. How to get more fiber? The following are some helpful tips to remember: