Chat with Ruthie Healthy Cooking and Cholesterol
September is National Cholesterol Awareness Month… Do you know your numbers? If not, now is the perfect time see your doctor to get it checked. There are a lot of factors that can contribute to having high cholesterol.
Some of them are :
“Eating too much saturated fat and cholesterol is the main reason for high levels of cholesterol and a high rate of heart attacks in the United States. Reducing the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol you eat is a very important step in reducing your blood cholesterol levels.” Medicine.net has a really good article about Cholesterol Education.
Most of the cholesterol in the blood is carried by proteins called low density lipoproteins or LDL. This is known as the bad cholesterol because it combines with other substances to clog the arteries. A diet high in saturated fats and trans fats tends to raise the level of LDL cholesterol. For most people, an LDL score below 100 is healthy, but people with heart disease may need to aim even lower.
Up to a third of blood cholesterol is carried by high-density lipoproteins or HDL. This is called good cholesterol because it helps remove bad cholesterol, preventing it from building up inside the arteries. The higher the level of HDL cholesterol, the better. People with too little are more likely to develop heart disease. Eating healthy fats, such as olive oil, may help boost HDL cholesterol.
A big part of controlling Cholesterol has to do with cooking techniques. When it comes to healthy eating- cooking technique is everything. The way that food is cooked can turn healthy fare into junk food! The unhealthiest way to cook food is frying. It adds a lot of extra fat. Next, is boiling it is not unhealthy but it takes away a lot of the vitamins and minerals that are so beneficial for us.
Instead of those two methods give these a try:
Baking: dry heat, below 400 degrees for meat and fish, roasts, and vegetables.
Braising: browning the ingredients first and then covering with broth or water and slowly cooking.
Poaching: gently simmer ingredients in water or broth, using minimal amounts of liquid.
Steaming: quickly cooking foods above a small amount of water, allows food to retain most of the nutrients. AND when you smell it, it’s done!
Broiling: uses intense, direct heat. Broiling can be done under the broiler in an oven, or over the coals of a BBQ grill. High temperatures browns and crisps the outside while sealing in the juices.
Grilling: use leaner cuts and marinade meat to reduce to the HA formation which may cause colon cancer. Gas grills are better than charcoal for reducing HA.
Sauteing: quickly cooks relatively small or thin pieces of food.
Roasting: like baking, but at higher temperatures- using a rack under neath meat so excess fat can drip below.
Stir-frying: quickly cooks small pieces of food while rapidly stirring in a small amount of oil that’s almost to the smoking point.
The main rule of thumb for healthy cooking is to avoid cooking methods that require excessive fat. Remember to eat a lot of fresh fruits, vegetables, and drink plenty of water too. I try to incorporate healthy cooking techniques and use healthy oils, in moderate amounts, in all of my cooking… I call it “health-i-fying” recipes
High Cholesterol effects both men and women, it’s a good idea to get it checked by at least the age of 40 and then follow your doctors recommendations for repeat screenings. I had my almost 40 year old blood work (which cholesterol was part of) done a few months ago… as much as I hate being poked with needles, it was comforting to know that I have a clean bill of health!
I hope this week’s Chat with Ruthie… Healthy Cooking and Cholesterol has had some helpful information! AND cheer’s to good health all around