To lower cholesterol and decrease your risk of heart disease and cancer, it is recommended that you lower the amount of saturated fat in your diet. However, it is important to get plenty of healthy fats. There are some simple changes you can make right now to achieve these goals. But first it is important to know where you are. So ask yourself these questions:

  1. How much meat, fish, chicken and turkey do you eat every day?
  2. How often do you eat cheese, including cheese added to sandwiches or cheeseburgers?
  3. What type of milk do you consume (whole, 2%, skim)?
  4. How many eggs do you consume per week?
  5. How often do you eat lunchmeat, hot dogs, corned beef, spareribs, sausage, bacon, or liver?
  6. How much and what type of dressing do you put on your salad?
  7. How many times per week do you eat sweets such as pastries, cookies, doughnuts, ice cream, and chocolate?
  8. Do you eat snack foods such as potato chips, french fries, crackers?
  9. How much butter do you use on bread or potatoes?
  10. Do you eat sour cream on burritos or potatoes?
  11. Do you eat fried foods?

Now that you have taken a close look at your habits, here is what you can do to decrease unhealthy fats and increase healthy fats:

  1. How Do I Lower Cholesterol?If you choose to eat meat, think of it as a side dish instead of the focus of your meal. Consider eating meatless meals several times per week.
    1. Eat more poultry and fish than beef, pork, or lamb.
    2. When you do eat red meats such as beef and pork, choose lean cuts, such as London broil, round steak, or pork tenderloin.
    3. When you eat chicken or turkey, remove the skin and eat the white meat instead of the dark.
    4. Trim off fat from meats before cooking. Drain off fat after you brown meat.
    5. You can reduce the fat in hamburger by rinsing it under water after browning.
    6. Try main dishes that feature whole grain pasta, brown rice, beans, and/or vegetables. This will provide enough protein without meat.
    7. Eat foods without adding cheese, or use fat-free or vegetarian cheese products.
    8. Choose skim milk.
    9. Try using more egg white than yolks, the majority of the protein is in the whites.
    10. Limit consumption of processed meats like lunch meat, bacon, sausage, hot dogs.
    11. Ask for salad dressings to be served on the side.
    12.  Avoid creamy dressings; instead use those made with olive or canola oil.
    13. Try to limit sweets…when you have a sweet tooth try altering recipes to make them healthier.
    14. Limit snack foods…if you are craving a salty snack…try air popped popcorn use an olive oil spray and just a small amount of salt.
    15. Instead of butter use olive oil or an olive oil spread on bread and potatoes or in recipes.
    16. Instead of sour cream use plain yogurt.
    17. Limit “battered” or fried foods.
    18. Cook with olive or canola oil, which are healthier for you than other oils.
    19. Use cooking methods that require little or no fat. You can bake, broil, steam, roast, poach, stir-fry, and microwave. You can sauté in small amounts of oil or use broth, cooking sherry, wine, or even water. You can also use vegetable cooking sprays or nonstick cookware.

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