You can have a genetic predisposition to having high cholesterol and there's not much you can do to change your genes but there's a lot you can do to counteract the effect of unhelpful genes. Of course the fact that 1 in 2 adults have high cholesterol speaks to wider environmental influences and eating habits and rising obesity rates are key determinants.
In my experience, you don't have to have an appalling diet with fast food thrice daily for your cholesterol to get away from you, but simply be unaware of the basics of the diet-cholesterol relationship. For example, a low fat diet doesn't help - you need a diet moderate in fat in which good fats from oils, margarines, nuts and seeds predominate. The low-fat revolution has much to answer for!
Most Australians eat too much saturated fats and don't eat enough polunsaturated fats (found in sunflower oil, walnuts, oily fish)- the best kind for cholesterol and your heart. As well as getting your fats right, you also need to eat your quota of cholesterol-busting foods rich in soluble fibre such as wholegrains, legumes, vegetables and fruits.
Our disappointing cholesterol stats are a symptom wider dietary shortcomings, the main one being eating too many energy-dense, nutrient-poor ‘extras’ (biscuits, cakes, soft drinks) and not enough ‘core’ foods from the five food groups (vegetables, grains, fruits, dairy etc).
If you want more detailed information about how to combat bad genes with the best nutritional science can offer, plus delicious food ideas and recipes, check out my book Eat to Beat Cholesterol available online at https://www.greatideas.net.au/product_info.php?products_id=253
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