If you're firing up the barbecue every weekend this summer, you may want to think about grilling vegetables or fish and laying off the cholesterol-laden meat. Too much cholesterol causes heart disease and for people with chronic kidney disease (CKD), heart disease is very common. To help reduce your total cholesterol levels, here are the top ten tips from the National Kidney Foundation.
- Increase physical activity to 30 minutes every day at a moderate level.
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Do not smoke.
- Do not drink alcohol excessively. (Limit alcohol to 1 drink a day with physician approval.)
- Eat foods that are low in saturated fat. Limit products made with coconut, palm kernel, palm oil, lard, shortening, bacon fat and cocoa butter. Use canola or olive oils instead of shortening, butter or other oils when cooking. Be sure to read labels on the foods you buy. Don't be misled by foods that are cholesterol-free but contain large amounts of saturated fat that your body will turn into cholesterol.
- Increase fiber in your diet -fruits, vegetables and grains
- Choose lean meats, poultry and fish. The loin and round cuts of meat tend to be leaner than rib cuts and organ meats.
- Steam, broil, roast or bake meat, poultry and fish. Place the food on a rack to allow the fat to drain away from the food. Do not fry foods.
- Use herbs and spices to season foods instead of sauces, butter or margarine.
- Use jelly, jam, honey or syrup instead of butter or margarine on toast, waffles, pancakes or muffins.
Click here for more information on different types of cholesterol, desirable levels, testing and treatment