Page 2 of 2
Now that you know which fats to include as part of your cholesterol-lowering plan, it's time to learn about the types of fats that are bad for your health.
To lower your cholesterol, avoid these unhealthy fats:
Although some fats (monounsaturated, Omega-3's) are healthier than others (saturated and trans fats), it's important to remember that fats are still high in calories. Consuming too many—even the healthy ones—can result in weight gain. So limit your total fat intake to less than 30% of your total calories each day. This is about 45-65 grams each day (more or less depending on your calorie needs).
Saturated fat is unhealthy fat that increases both your total cholesterol and your LDL (bad) cholesterol. Some experts say that limiting your saturated fat intake is one of the most important cholesterol-lowering tips you can follow. No more than 10% of your calories should come from saturated fats—that's about 15-25 grams daily, depending on your calorie needs. Keep this number as low as possible. Try to limit or avoid these sources of saturated fat: bacon, bacon grease, beef, butter, cheese, cocoa butter, coconut, coconut milk, coconut oil, cream, cream cheese, ice cream, lard, palm kernel oil, palm oil, pork, poultry, sour cream, and whole milk.
Trans fat is the unhealthiest fat you can eat! It increases your total cholesterol and your LDL (bad) cholesterol while lowering your HDL (good) cholesterol. Even eating a small amount of trans fats significantly increases your risk of heart disease—especially if you already have risk factors like high cholesterol. Limit your intake of trans fats as much as possible. Experts haven't established any level of trans fats as safe, so keep you intake near 0 grams. Food products that contain trans fat include vegetable shortenings, hard stick margarines, crackers, candies, cookies, snack foods, fried foods, doughnuts, pastries, baking mixes and icings, store-bought baked goods, and more.
Of course, there is more to a cholesterol-lowering plan than eating good fats and avoiding bad ones. Exercise, weight loss, a healthy diet and not smoking also play important roles.