Wednesday, September 26, 2012

An Autumn Health Tip, Just For You


Can I just say how obsessed I am with this cold weather? There is honestly nothing better than unpacking my scarves from the giant cardboard box in my closet! I know I'm not the only one ;)  Anyway, I'm not here to brag about my extensive scarf collection. Instead, I thought I'd share some helpful information about cholesterol, being that September is National Cholesterol Education Month!

If you're over the age of 20, you should have had a cholesterol (lipid) profile done. The best test is a fasting test (I know, I know - but hear me out). You'll receive all 4 numbers if you fast.  If you'd rather not fast, you can still get your cholesterol and HDL (high density lipoprotein) levels. The best plan is to talk to your healthcare provider about ordering these tests.

SO, now that THAT'S out of the way, let's talk about a cholesterol friendly eating plan. Much more fun, right? The National Association of Margarine Manufacturers (NAMM) provides a simple food chart, which I've included here:

FoodsChoose More OftenChoose Less Often
Meat, Poultry, Fish and ShellfishLean cuts of meat with fat trimmed; poultry without skin; fish and shellfish; lean luncheon meat (e.g., turkey)Fatty cuts of meat; bacon and sausage; organ meats; fried chicken, fried fish and shellfish; high-fat luncheon meat (e.g., salami)
Eggs and DairyEgg whites; egg substitutes; skim or 1% milk; low-fat or nonfat cheeses; low-fat or non-fat yogurtEgg yolks; whole milk or 2% milk; whole milk products (example: cheese, yogurt)
Fats and OilsSoft spread margarine; liquid cooking oils; seeds and nuts.Butter, tropical oils; lard; bacon fat; shortening; partially hydrogenated vegetable oils
Breads, Cereals, Pasta, RiceBreads, cereals, pastas and rice made from whole grainsRefined breads and grain products; granola-type cereals
Fruits & VegetablesFresh, frozen, or canned prepared plain or with lemon juice, broth or small amounts of unsaturated oils or margarine spreads; fresh, frozen, canned or dried fruit; 100% fruit juiceVegetables prepared with butter, cheese or cream sauce; fried fruit or fruit served with butter or cream sauce


As you can see, there are plenty of delicious options. The key is to realize which foods you should eat more often (like lean cuts of mean, egg whites, soft spread margarine, whole grain pasta, and fresh fruits and eggies), and which foods to eat less often (fatty cuts of meat, whole milk, butter, refined breads, and fried fruit (?!)).

To find more information and helpful ways to stay cholesterol savy, visit the NAMM website at

Happy Autumn!