Focus on eating less saturated fat rather than eating less cholesterol, because saturated fats more often effect on blood cholesterol levels and many of the foods that are high in saturated fat are also high in cholesterol anyway.
Cholesterol is a fatty substance produced naturally by your body and found in your blood.
You can also get cholesterol from some foods. However, while it is used positively for many things in your body, too much cholesterol in your blood can be a problem.
There is strong evidence to suggest that lifestyle changes, like eating a healthy diet and doing regular physical activity, can significantly improve the blood cholesterol levels of people with diabetes.
Body weight and blood glucose levels have independent effects on cholesterol levels. Therefore, losing a moderate amount of weight (5-10% of your initial body weight) and eating the right amount and type of carbohydrates will help you achieve optimal results.
In Australia, eating less saturated fat is one of the most practical ways to lower cholesterol. Low cholesterol or cholesterol free foods may be useful for some people, but check that they also low in saturated fat.
If a food does make a low cholesterol claim, check the amount of saturated fat in the nutrition panel. For oils, margarines and other similar foods that are nearly 100% fat, look for those with less than 20g of saturated fat per 100g.
For other foods, if they have less than 2g of saturated fat per 100g they are probably a good choice for your blood cholesterol.
It is worth noting that most of the foods that are high in cholesterol are from animals, because cholesterol is manufactured in the liver. So low cholesterol claims on rice and bread are pretty meaningless!
However, some plant-based foods have animal fats added to them when they are prepared, like many biscuits and cakes, so some can contain significant amounts of cholesterol.
If you try a low saturated fat diet for a few months and it doesn’t improve your blood cholesterol levels enough, you should try reducing your dietary cholesterol for a further couple of months.
Visit your local YouSave Chemist to see what steps you can take to tackle cholesterol.
Reference: www.diabetesaustralia.com.au , www.heartfoundation.com.au