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Sunday breakfast can raise cholesterol levels.

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Lower your cholesterol: the choice is yours.

Eating too much saturated fat (think Sunday breakfast with fried eggs, pancake and a slab of bacon) can cause high cholesterol. Beef, pork, veal, milk, eggs, butter, and cheese contain saturated fat. Packaged foods that contain coconut oil, palm oil, or cocoa butter may have a lot of saturated fat (think cookies, crackers, chips and many other enjoyable snacks).

Ideas:

  • Use walnuts not croutons on that salad.
  • Try vinegar and lemon juice instead of salad dressing.
  • Sip red wine not cocktails. Moderate alcohol intake can produce a slight rise in HDL (cholesterols so-called good cholesterol). But that won’t do you much good if you’re tossing back margaritas or mixed drinks with fruit juice, which contain carbohydrates. Not enough to start drinking if it is something that is not part of your established routine.
  • Instead of crackers and cheese, try edamame and nuts. Edamame is low in saturated fat and one cup contains about 25 grams of soy protein, which may lower LDL.
  • Try ground turkey instead of ground beef. Ground turkey has half the saturated fat of 85% lean ground beef. Tried scallops before? Eating more fish, which is very low in fat and contains heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, is something you can try.Quinoa is sold at most health food stores and is a tasty alternative to rice.

Besides your diet to blow cholesterol levels up, up and away these other factors can increase cholesterol levels.

Being overweight may increase triglycerides and decrease HDL, or good cholesterol. Lack of physical activity may increase LDL, or bad cholesterol, and decrease HDL, or good cholesterol. After you reach age 20, your cholesterol levels naturally begin to rise. In men, cholesterol levels generally level off after age 50. In women, cholesterol levels stay fairly low until menopause, after which they rise to about the same level as in men.

It's the New Year - have you made your appointment for an annual physical? And after you make it the trick is keeping it. Even if you dread getting on the scale on the way to your waiting room. Go over your personal heart disease risk with your doctor. Having certain diseases, such as diabetes or hypothyroidism, may cause high cholesterol. Make sure your doctor knows about your family history, it can affect your heart health. And by now if you’re a smoker you already know it lowers your good cholesterol and also it can KILL YOU.

If you have read this article to the end - congrats. If you are thinking to yourself I’ve read this type of information before – a conditionally fantastic is in order. High five if you are putting your knowledge into healthy practices.

One last idea: send this article to five people you know. If you forward this article to five people within 15 seconds a purple rainbow with an embedded link will appear on your screen with a coupon for $10.00 to a coffee shop of your choice. Or not.

Lois Trader writes first for herself and then for the audience. Yes you can never get enough good advice on how to be heart healthy. http://loistrader.com

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