You have no doubt heard the word cholesterol more than once in the last few years, but what exactly is this substance called cholesterol ? Cholesterol is a waxy, faty, sticky white goo that runs around in your blood stream. And, just like fat, some is necessary for your body to operate properly. Also, like fat, if you get too much it can eventually kill you ! Your body, wonderful creation that it is, already produces all the cholesterol that it needs. All animals naturally produce it, which is why you don't find any in vegetables, as vegetables do not produce cholesterol.

Ok, so what's all this business about cholesterol contributing to heart disease ? One thing certain, and that is easy and inexpensive to do, is to have your cholesterol level checked to see just how much of it is in fact roaming around in your blood. This simple test can also, as a by-product detect a whole series of other potential problems. You believe your body to be in good health ? get a cholesterol test and be sure! Keep in mind that a high meat diet is also a diet that is high in cholesterol; as noted before all animals produce it, so it goes to reason that the more animals you eat the more cholesterol you are getting.

Here are a couple of simple charts depicting the cholesterol levels in some more widely eaten foods:

Animal Product     Mg cholesterol per 100gr portion
whole eggs 550
beef kidney 375
beef liver 300
butter 250
oysters 200
cream cheese 120
lard 95
beef steak 70
lamb 70
pork 70
chicken 60
ice cream 45

Vegetable Product   Mg cholesterol per portion
all grains 0
all legumes 0
all nuts 0
all cereals 0
all fruits 0
all vegetable oils 0

10 Tips to Better Health
1 Less fatty meat 2Ideal weight 3Whole grains 4Omega-3 Oils 5More Exercise
Reduce your meat portions by adding them to a vegetable stir fry. Include more skinless chicken or seafood to reduce fat. Men should weigh 105 lbs for the first 5 feet of height, then add 6 lbs for ea inch over 5 feet. Women should weigh 100 lbs for the first 5 ft , and add 5 lbs for each inch. Whole grain cereal makes a good breakfast. Avaoid calorie-rich, nutrient-free muffins or deli-style bagels. Two 3 oz sevings of fatty fish per week. (sardines, mackerel herring, salmon and tuna) Start an exercise program. 30 minutes 3 times per week or as recommended by a doctor.
6Quit Smoking 7More Soy 8Healthy Snacks 9Study the Menu 10Healthy Salad
Smoking alters not only LDL ("bad" cholesterol) by making it sticky but also HDL ("good" cholesterol) as well. Quitting is recommended. Soy protein lowers LDL. Try soy based foods for it's cholesterol lowering effects. Instead of snacking on high fat foods, try fruit or other low-fat items. When described as "crispy", "fried", "creamy", or "cheesy" avoid them. At the salad bar go for the dark greens then add carrots, broccoli, peppers and some nuts. Most dressings are high in fat.

And there you have it! A pretty good idea of what's what in the cholesterol world. And did you know that it is the function of your liver to transform saturated fat into cholesterol ?? Cholesterol is not hard to get! When you consume more than your body needs it doesn't just flush it out, it stores it in your arteries! Animals, like humans, already produce all the cholesterol they need, so when you dump in all kinds of extra cholesterol you the start to develop all kinds of health problems due to this surplus. And this is killing people by the thousands.

The following is what is the recommended numbers for cholesterol count:

Average N.American under 30    :180 mg/dl
The over 30crowd    :200 mg/dl

The lower the number; the lower the risk ! The higher the cholesterol count, the greater risk for heart disease! A low saturated fat, low cholesterol count equals a low heart problem risk. You don't always die from a heart attack, it can leave you in a terrible state ! A stroke is no joke!

Those countries, like Japan, who have a high fish and vegetable diet are also those who boast of a low heart disease rate, and by the same token, those,like the United States and Finland, who have a very high meat consumption rate are also plagued by numerous types of heart problems. The choice is, inveriably, yours .

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