When you look at your Lipid Profile, you’ll typically see the following components:Total Cholesterol (This includes good and bad lipids) Triglycerides (Overlooked for years, we now know they are bad) HDL (The good fat that protects our arteries, higher is better) LDL (The bad cholesterol we lower will all those polular “ statins”)
When you read labels in the grocery store, you see entirely different kinds of fat. So what’s a person to do? Here’s how foods turn into blood lipids.
First, TRIGLYCERIDES are made from sugar and from carbohydrates that quickly turn into sugar (alcohol, bread, potato, pasta, breakfast cereals etc.). This is why beer drinkers have big bellies; diabetics also have high triglycerides and tend to carry their extra weight around the middle. When faced with rising blood sugar, our bodies turn some of that sugar into the simple little fat particle we call Triglycerides.
Good Dietary Fats raise HDL and lower LDL levels, both good things to do. Such fats are found in Olive oil, fatty fish like fresh tuna, salmon, mackerel and herring, and also in tree growing nuts (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts), avocado and cashews (not in peanuts, which are legumes – “dried peas”).
Fats to eat in moderation are mixed blessings, since they raise both the good HDL and the bad LDL levels. These fats are found in all meat and in milk products.
The Deadly Fats are hydrogenated oils, also called trans-fats, and tropical oils, like palm oil. They lower levels of the good HDL and raise the bad LDL. Butter substitutes and margarine belong here, as well as vegetable shortening. You find these fats in commercially baked pastries, donuts, crackers, and even some breakfast cereals.
One scary thing about food labels: Anything less than 0.5 grams of trans-fat can be counted as zero, courtesy of the FDA.