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Question of the week: What Can I Eat to Lower My Cholesterol?

Posted Jul 21 2010 6:12pm
The following question was submitted by one of my readers, "I just had an appointment with my doctor and she said my A1C was 6.7 and that my cholesterol was also high. I guess I have been eating too much cheese and eggs, which raised my cholesterol. What diabetic friendly foods can I eat to help me lower my cholesterol?"

The A1C test is a common blood test used to diagnose type 1 and type 2 diabetes and to later gauge how well you're managing your diabetes. The A1C test reflects your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months. A non-diabetic person will have an A1c result between 4% and 6%. Someone with diabetes would have an A1c level of 6.5% or higher while someone with pre-diabetes would have an A1c of 5.7% - 6.4%.

You don't have to completely give up eggs or cheese in order to lower your cholesterol levels. Substitute whole eggs with egg whites or egg substitutes and switch to low or fat free cheeses. Cholesterol is found in foods of animal origin.

Other tips to help lower your cholesterol (Source: American Heart Association)
Focus on low-saturated-fat, trans fat-free, low-cholesterol foods such as these• A variety of fruits and vegetables (choose 8 to 10 servings per day)
• A variety of grain products like bread, cereal, rice and pasta, including whole grains(choose 6 or more servings per day)
• Fat-free and low-fat milk products (2 to 3 servings per day)
• Lean meats and poultry without skin (choose up to 5 to 6 total ounces per day)
• Fatty fish (enjoy at least 2 servings baked or grilled each week)
• Beans and peas
• Nuts and seeds in limited amounts (4 to 5 servings per week)
• Unsaturated vegetable oils like canola, corn, olive, safflower and soybean oils (but a limited amount of margarines and spreads made from them)
*Foods high in soluble fiber such as Oats. Oatmeal contains soluble fiber, which reduces your low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the "bad" cholesterol. Soluble fiber is also found in such foods as kidney beans, apples, pears, barley and prunes.

Soluble fiber can reduce the help the absorption of cholesterol into your bloodstream. Just five to ten grams or more of soluble fiber a day decreases your total and LDL cholesterol.(Source: Mayo Clinic).

Exercise can also assist in lowering your cholesterol levels. Consult your personal physician before starting any new exercise regimen.

Weight loss can help to lower your cholesterol.

In some cases, where high cholesterol levels may be genetic, and diet has been modified, it may be necessary to consult a doctor about prescription medication.
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