15 Sep 2014

The Good, The Bad, and the Pretty: Cholesterol Levels

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September is National Cholesterol Education month. By now, who hasn’t heard about cholesterol? It’s so prominently discussed in terms of health conscience that to not mention it would be akin to not mentioning mopping when teaching your child how to house clean. Along with exercise, not smoking, and blood pressure, healthy cholesterol levels are one of the major prongs on the topic of optimal health.

The rub: Keep away from the “bad” cholesterol, or LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, and go for the “good” cholesterol.

The Bad 

LDL cholesterol is found in saturated fats and trans fats, such as:

  1. Hydrogenated Oils (Palm, Coconut)
  2. Partially hydrogenated oil (listed as such on ingredient labels)
  3. Processed Meats
  4. Vegetable Fats, such as vegetable shortening
  5. Whipped Cream

The Good

In contrast, the good cholesterol, or HDL (high-density lipoprotein) is the type of cholesterol which lowers the risk of heart disease by serving as an anti-inflammatory. These oils are:

  1. Olive oil
  2. Peanut oil
  3. Canola oil
  4. Omega-3 oils found in some seeds, nuts and fish, such as: Flaxseed, Walnuts, Brazil Nuts, Salmon, Sardines

The Pretty 

Thankfully, one can arrange a colorful, enticing, menu palate for healthy eating, based on the above guidelines in order to encourage the good cholesterol to flow through your body. Salmon with olive oil. Peanut oil cookies. Flaxseed atop salads. Walnuts on the go. Sardines as an Hors d’oeuvre. And to stay away from bad cholesterol, it’s mostly about staying away from processed foods, monitoring labels for their nutritional content.

At Rockaway Care Center, your menu is full of healthy choices. Using the guidelines above, you’ll be able to make the healthiest choices for your heart. That having been said, it’s all about moderation – no one said never have whipped cream in your coffee or chocolate ice cream again – they just say not every day.


American Heart Association
Center for Disease Control
Mayo Clinic



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