Heart Healthy Beats

Tidbits to keep your heart healthy

Tidbit Tuesday – know your numbers

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I had my Cholesterol checked last week and I wanted to share my results with you.



A1C: 5.7%



TC: 170 mg/dL      Goal: <200 mg/dL

HDL: 42 mg/dL     Goal: male >40mg/dL female >50mg/dL

TRG: 193 mg/dL     Goal: <150 mg/dL

LDL: 90 mg/dL       Goal: <100 mg/dL



What is Cholesterol? Cholesterol is a fat-like substance produced by the liver. It also comes from certain foods we eat.

What is “bad” cholesterol? Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) also is known as “bad” cholesterol. LDL is necessary in your body. However, high levels of LDL cholesterol can build up in your artery walls and contribute to heart attacks.

What is “good” cholesterol? High-density lipoprotein (HDL) also is known as “good” cholesterol. High levels of HDL cholesterol actually may help to clear away the damaging LDL cholesterol.

What are triglycerides? Fats in your blood that increase after you eat are known as triglycerides. High triglycerides in your blood in the presence of high LDL cholesterol increase your risk of heart disease.

What does total cholesterol mean? LDL, HDL, and triglyceride levels make up the total cholesterol number. It is important that you know your numbers; so, ask your doctor to share the number with you and keep a record for reference. You want to see if the number is trending up or down, or if it is staying level.

What can I do for better results? 

Follow these recommendations:

  • Reduce saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, and total fat in your diet
  • Control high blood pressure with diet and exercise, under a physician’s care
  • Avoid tobacco smoke
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Monitor diabetic risk or manage diabetes
  • Take any prescription medications your physician recommends to regulate your cholesterol, and continue with all of the above recommendations

Cholesterol: Making Heart-Healthy Choices



Once in a While


Meat, poultry, fish, and shellfish—up to 6 ounces/day
  • Lean meats without visible fat
  • Poultry with skin removed
  • All fish
  • Shellfish
  • Fatty meats
  • Duck
  • Liver
  • Sausage
  • Bacon
  • Processed meats
Dairy products—two or more servings/day; three or four servings for pregnant or breastfeeding women
  • Skim and 1% milk
  • Low-fat yogurt
  • Low-fat cheese
  • Low-fat cottage cheese
  • 2%-fat dairy products
  • Part-skim cheese
  • Imitation hard cheese
  • Lite cheese
  • Whole milk
  • Cream
  • Half-and-half
  • Whipped cream
  • Whole-milk dairy products
  • Egg whites
  • Cholesterol-free egg substitutes
  • Egg yolks—three or four/week
Fats and oils—5-8 teaspoons/day
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • Canola oil for baking
  • Spreads that are trans-fat free
  • Most nuts
  • Seeds
  • Avocados
  • Olives
  • Peanut oil
  • Trans fat
  • Saturated fat
  • Lard
  • Bacon fat
  • Coconut
  • Palm and palm kernel oil
Breads, cereals, pasta, rice, dried peas, and whole beans—six or more servings/day
  • High-fiber grains—3 grams of fiber or more/serving, including:
  • Cereals
  • Breads
  • Pastas
  • Crackers
  • Rice
  • Starches
  • Commercial baked goods, including:
  • Waffles
  • Muffins
  • Quick breads
  • Pancakes
  • Danish
  • Croissants
  • Doughnuts
  • Products made with saturated/trans fat oils
Fruits and vegetables—five or more servings/day
  • Low-sodium fruits and vegetables:
  • Fresh
  • Frozen
  • Dried
  • Canned
  • Canned fruit in heavy syrup
  • Coconut
  • Creamed vegetables
  • Vegetables with sauces
Sweets and treats—limit to one or fewer servings/day
  • Sorbet
  • Ices
  • Low-fat yogurt
  • Hard candy
  • Gummy candy
  • Gingersnaps
  • Plain popcorn
  • Pretzels
  • 100% fruit juice
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Homemade cakes, cookies, and pies
  • Ice milk
  • Pudding
  • Commercial granola bars
  • Ice cream
  • Chocolate
  • Commercial chips and snacks
  • Store-bought desserts
  • Candy

Now that I know what I need to work on, go learn your numbers and let me know about your results.


Resources :




Author: Ashley

A country girl spending her life in her garden and kitchen with her husband and two beautiful boys

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