Guidelines For Heart-Healthy Living

Six Guidelines To Healthy Living

Whatever your blood cholesterol level, you can make changes to help lower it or keep it low and reduce your risk for heart disease. These are guidelines for heart-healthy living that the whole family (including children ages 2 and above) can follow:

1) Choose foods low in saturated fat

All foods that contain fat are made up of a mixture of saturated and unsaturated fats. Saturated fat raises your blood cholesterol level more than anything else you eat. The best way to reduce blood cholesterol is to choose foods lower in saturated fat. One way to help your family do this is by choosing foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains--foods naturally low in total fat and high in starch and fiber.
 

2) Choose foods low in total fat

Since many foods high in total fat are also high in saturated fat, eating foods low in total fat will help your family eat less saturated fat. When you do eat fat, substitute unsaturated fat--either polyunsaturated or monounsaturated--for saturated fat. Fat is a rich source of calories, so eating foods low in fat will also help you eat fewer calories. Eating fewer calories can help you lose weight--and, if you are overweight, losing weight is an important part of lowering your blood cholesterol. (Consult your family doctor if you have a concern about your child's weight.)