Hyperlipidemia refers to an abnormally high concentration of fat or lipids in the blood. A healthy lifestyle, including diet and exercise can help lower lipid levels. Consumption of healthy fats can play a large role in managing hyperlipidemia.
Current diet recommendations include choosing unsaturated fat over saturated fat, incorporating fruits and vegetables, and limit red meat, sugar sweetened beverages and sodium. Healthy fats are unsaturated, both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. In general, healthy fats come from non-animal products except for some of the plant-based saturated fats from coconut and palm oils, which contain significant amount of saturated fat. Replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) can reduce the occurrence of cardiovascular heart disease. Examples of PUFA include fatty fish, walnuts, flax seed, sunflower seeds, tofu, and soybeans. Several of these foods, such as fatty fish, walnuts, and flaxseed are also rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which has been associated with lower risk of heart disease.
Healthy fat can commonly be found in nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil, olives, fatty fish and avocado oil. Fatty fish, such as salmon and mackerel have omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for heart health. When possible, choose wild over farmed for a higher dose of omega-3 fatty acids. Fish, such as salmon, can be eaten raw (high quality), broiled, baked, roasted and grilled. Try different marinades and herbs and spices for flavor. Nuts and seeds are also heart-healthy and are a great source of protein and dietary fiber. They contain a variety of vitamins and minerals.
If you are looking to incorporate more healthy fats into your day, start by incorporating 1 healthy fat with a meal or snack. For example, if you are having an egg white omelet with vegetables for breakfast, consider adding some sliced avocado. If you are having plain oatmeal with banana, try adding some peanut butter for a boost of protein, healthy fats and fiber. Adding a health fat to meals and snacks will keep you fuller for longer and provide a boost of nutrients.