Cholesterol and Latkes: An Unhealthy Combination

Did you know that one fried potato latke has approximately 140 calories and 6 grams of saturated fat?  Although this holiday is filled with wonderful customs, what do all the doughnuts, latkes and chocolate gelt mean for your health?  Among other things, these treats will raise your CHOLESTEROL.
Elevated blood cholesterol is a major risk factor for developing heart disease.  Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.  Is all cholesterol “bad’ for you?
Cholesterol is transported to and from the cells by carriers called lipoproteins.   Low density lipoprotein or LDL, is know as “‘bad” cholesterol.  High density lipoprotein, or HDL, is known as “good” cholesterol.  These two types of lipids, along with triglycerides make up your total cholesterol count.
When too much LDL (bad) cholesterol (below 100mg/dl, is optimal) circulates in the blood, it can slowly build up in the inner walls of the arteries that feed the heart and brain.  Together with other substances, it can form plaque and clots that lead to a heart attack or stroke.
HDL, (the “good “cholesterol), carries cholesterol away from the arteries and back to the liver where it is released from the body.  Exercise raises HDL, so get to it!
A triglyceride is a form of fat made in the body.  Elevated levels of this fat can be due to obesity, physical inactivity, cigarette smoking, excess alcohol and sugar consumption and a diet very high in carbohydrates (latkes included).  Triglyceride levels lower than 100mg/dl are ideal.
So, what can be done to keep cholesterol levels in a healthy range?  Firstly, limit total fat intake to 35 percent of your total calories each day.  Substitute saturated/trans fats (from fried and baked goods) with foods high in Omega 3 and 9’s fats (fish, olives, nuts, avocado, and seeds).  Pile your plate with lots of fruits and vegetables.   These foods are filled with antioxidants which help your arteries get rid of calcified plaque.  Fiber, found in foods such as whole grain bread, pasta, oats, legumes and brown rice also helps your body maintain plaque -free arteries.
If you’d like be even more proactive, The National Institute of Health recommends adding plant sterols to your diet to improve cholesterol reduction.  Plant sterols prevent the absorption of bad cholesterol into your bloodstream.  In addition, consuming Policosanol (a mixture of plant substances called “cosanols”) is beneficial for helping to manage blood fats.  Pure Encapsulations’ pharmaceutical grade Policosanol and CholestePure (plant sterols) can be purchased online from   Questions? Contact me at 516-538-6799 or [email protected]
***These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.