Have you asked your doctor (s) / nurse (a) to follow a diet low in cholesterol, but you do not know what to do? Are you confused (a) of what is cholesterol? Let’s talk about cholesterol and the different types of fat.

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a fat that comes from animal products. Your body makes cholesterol, but you also get cholesterol from the foods you eat. All foods of animal origin contain cholesterol. Some examples of foods that contain cholesterol are:



Dairy Products

Organs (like liver)


Too much cholesterol in your body can cause heart problems in the future.

Remember: Only animal foods contain cholesterol.

What is fat?

Fat is important for our bodies, since it is used to transport some vitamins. Fat adds flavor to food (which is why foods that are high in fat taste good). Fat also gives a feeling of satiety (when we eat foods high in fat, we feel full for a long period of time, because fat takes longer to digest).

Where is the fat?

Fat is found in a variety of foods, including dairy products, meats, sauces and desserts. Some foods are all fat, like butter, margarine, and oils. Other foods are a combination of fat, protein and carbohydrates, such as burgers, cheese, crackers, and pizza. You can easily see the fat in some foods such as fat around the meat or butter on bread. However, 75% of the fat in food is hidden. You eat it but you can not see it! You can not see it because the fat is part of the food or is added during preparation or cooking. To lower the fat in your diet, you first need to know where to find it.

Why is not healthy to eat too much fat?

It is important to know how much fat in the foods you eat. Although fat is important, only small amounts need to be healthy. Also you should know about the fat that you or your family members are added to food during cooking. The fat adds calories. Means excess calories to gain weight. The fat also increases blood cholesterol. Cholesterol can increase your risk for future heart problems.

How much fat do we need?

The American Heart Association and American Dietetic Association recommends that 30% of the calories we eat come from fat. For example, if you need 2,200 calories a day, 660 calories should come from fat (73 g fat and 1 gram of fat = 9 calories). Total fat you should eat for a day includes the fat in food and fat used in preparing meals. Makes no sense to be contant each gram of fat we eat but we have a general understanding of our food.

Certain types of fat increase cholesterol levels. For that reason is that we worry about the fat. One of the most important things you must do to maintain good cholesterol levels is to lower consumption of fat in your diet, especially animal fat.

Are there different types of fat?

The two types of fat are animal fat and vegetable fat. You must download both in your diet, but especially animal fat. Animal fat increases cholesterol levels more than vegetable fat.

Vegetable fats are usually liquid at room temperature. Some examples are:

Canola oil

Olive oil

Corn oil

Peanut oil

Safflower oil

Salad dressing


The animal fats are usually solid at room temperature. Some examples are:


Fat meat

Chicken skin


Saturated fat, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated affect cholesterol levels in different ways. Vegetable fats can be saturated, polyunsaturated or monounsaturated. It is important that checks the type of fat you use in cooking.

Saturated Fat: It’s the economy raises cholesterol levels. This type of fat is usually solid at room temperature. Some examples are:

Coconut oil

Palm oil



Animal fat (tallow, lard and bacon grease)

Chicken fat

Also the fat in whole milk, cheese, yogurt and cream regular.

Polyunsaturated fat: It is usually liquid at room temperature. This type of fat helps lower total cholesterol, both the good and bad cholesterol. Some examples are:

Corn oil

Safflower oil

Soybean oil

Cottonseed oil

Walnut oil

Sesame oil

Monounsaturated fat: This type of fat is believed to lower the “bad” cholesterol while maintaining levels of good cholesterol. ” Some examples are:

Canola oil

Olive oil

Peanut oil


Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are appropriate and can be used in moderation.

The best alternative is the monounsaturated fat.

Message: Use vegetable oil instead of animal fat, monounsaturated fat instead of saturated fat. Vegetable fats do not affect cholesterol levels as much as animal fats. When you use some kind of fat, vegetable fat is a better alternative to animal fat, but not too much fat even use vegetable fat.

What are trans fatty acids?

Trans fatty acids are made during the process of hydrogenation of oils to make margarine or butter. The hydrogenation process increases the duration of medication in the container and provides stability to the flavor. Trans fatty acids are found in:


Some margarines



Snack food

There are some studies reporting an increase in levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) and a decrease in HDL (good cholesterol) when fatty acids are consumed. The debate over how much trans fatty acids people need to eat continues. No official dietary guidelines on trans fatty acids. There is little evidence that one should eat less of certain foods because they contain trans fatty acids. Let’s talk about what foods you choose to lower the amount of fat in your diet.


Milk: Use 1% milk, low fat or nonfat milk instead of fat.

Cheese: Eat cheese with less than 4 grams of fat per 1 oz.


Red Meat: Limit your consumption of red meat to 2-3 ounces 2-3 services per week.

Chicken: Eat the chicken skin.

Turkey brands with lower fat ground turkey are: Perdue, Carolina, Cuddy.

Cold cuts: Buy cold cuts with less than 1 gram of fat per ounce.

Fish: Fish is a very good alternative as it contains a different fat called omega-3 fatty acid. This type of fat helps prevent platelets to coagulate or stick to artery walls causing blockages. You should eat at least 4 servings (4-6 ounces per serving) per week. Use tuna in water instead of oil. If you mix the tuna with mayonnaise, use low-fat mayonnaise or fat. Grilled, baked or boiled fish instead of frying.

The most important point is to lower the total amount of fat you consume. All animal fats contain cholesterol, unless the fat is removed (eg food as fat-free cream cheese and nonfat milk). For this reason you should lower the amount of animal foods you eat, because the solid fats and cholesterol can increase your risk of developing future heart problems.

Grain Group:

Grains are usually low in fat, but the amount of fat in them depends on how you prepare and how much fat is added.

Examples: Macaroni and cheese (can be high in fat if you use regular milk and margarine or butter): A way to lose fat in the macaroni and cheese is made with nonfat milk and no margarine.

A baked potato has 160 calories, while the same baked potato with margarine, sour cream and bits of bacon contains 338 calories.

A baked potato has 0 grams of fat, while the same amount of chips has 17 grams of fat.

Avoid frying, add less cantiidad olive oil, and measures the amount of fat that you add to food. You need to be a good cook and measure all the ingredients that you add to food. You should not interpret the action of the ingredients just look at food, you will not be sufficiently accurate.

Fruits and vegetables:

Most fruits and vegetables have almost no fat. You must prepare all vegetables and fruits without added fat or sauces. Use the avocado and coconut very sparingly in small amounts because these 2 are high in fat.


You need to always read the label to compare the amount of fat in different foods. When you read the label, collates the percentage of calories coming from fat. If that percent is greater than 20%, the food should be eaten in small quantities. If you compare the label of the oil, the percent of calories from fat is 100%. Does that mean we can never eat oil? NO. Means that we use as little oil as possible. You should try to avoid foods high in fat and treat low-fat alternatives.

Just because the label says the word “light” (“light”), this word does not mean that the product is sufficiently low in fat (less than 20% of calories from fat). Be sure to read the label to compare the percentage of calories coming from fat.

The message is:

Choose foods low in fat and cholesterol. Decreases the total consumption of animal fats and vegetable.

When you eat fat, eat fat is of vegetable origin and monounsaturated fat instead of animal fat and saturated.

Look at the food preparation (handle on the grill, baked, steamed, boiled, instead of frying).

Look at your food portions.

Make wise choices in your diet.


Eat smaller portions of meat (about 3 ounces per service, 2-3 times per week)

Choose products low-fat milk

Avoid fried foods

If you use oil, try olive or canola oil

Other things you can do to increase your health:

If you smoke, quit

If you need to lose weight, make a plan and trying to lose at least some weight (Tell your health care provider and nutritionist before making any changes in your eating pattern)

Get some physical activity or exercise

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