less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving.
Reading the ingredient list can help you
spot trans fats by looking for ingredients
referred to as “partially hydrogenated oils.”
The American Heart Association
recommends that adults who would benefit
from lowering LDL-C limit their saturated
fat intake to 5 percent to 6 percent of total
calories each day. For a person who needs
2,000 calories a day, this is about 11 to 13
grams of saturated fat.
Bottom line, for dietary changes to
have an impact on lowering LDL-C, keep
a keen eye on your intake of saturated
fat and trans fat, they are more likely to
increase your levels than dietary cholesterol
itself. The American Heart Association
recommends emphasizing intake of
vegetables, fruits and whole grains; low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish, legumes,
nontropical vegetable oils and nuts.
Limit intake of sweets, sugar-sweetened
beverages and red meats.
LOWERING LDL-C: DIET MAY NOT
For some people, lowering saturated fat
intake may not lower LDL-C levels enough,
and a healthcare provider will recommend
cholesterol-lowering drugs. Various
medications can lower blood cholesterol
levels. The most common cholesterol-lowering drugs are called statins. Statins are
recommended for most patients because they
are the only cholesterol-lowering drug class
that has been directly associated with reduced
risk for heart attack and stroke.
Statins disrupt production of cholesterol
by blocking an enzyme inside the liver
cells. This means less cholesterol is being
released into the bloodstream. Your doctor
may consider other medications as well,
especially if you have serious side effects or
your body doesn’t respond to statin therapy
alone enough to meet the health goals you’ve
Some statins also reduce the inflammatory
process in the vessel wall. This helps stop
plaque buildup in arteries, keeping them
stronger and less likely to rupture.