How to Read Food Labels for Someone on a Low-Cholesterol Diet

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If you shop or cook for someone on a low-cholesterol diet, you must consider not only the per-serving cholesterol percentages but the number of servings to keep daily cholesterol consumption below 200 milligrams. Get valuable cholesterol tips from this free video on nutritional calculations.

Part of the Video Series: Nutritional Calculations
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Charlotte Lawson, a Registered and Licensed Dietitian, and today I'm going to provide you with some information on how to read the nutrition facts label, in particular for someone following a low cholesterol diet. Now typically, our dietary intake of cholesterol should be 200 milligrams or less per day. Now, unfortunately, we have kind of a double whammy here. Our body produces cholesterol on its own and a lot of that has to do with our genetic makeup. But, we also can avoid or monitor how much we're ingesting to help avoid those negative side effects as far as increasing our cholesterol levels. So, looking for key points on nutrition facts label, what's important for that low cholesterol. First and foremost, when looking at on anything on the nutrition facts label, you want to look at your serving size because not every container contains just one serving. For instance, this example contains two; meaning if you consume the entire container, you have to multiply all these numbers by two. Now, cholesterol is a fat. So typically, what we found with also the saturated fats is it's made by animals; so, it's normally found in animal products. And, we're going to look at the amount of cholesterol per serving; so, if you want to have two of these, it will be 60 milligrams of cholesterol for this product. Now again, I mentioned, 200 milligrams or less per day. So, that's kind of something you want to keep track of, maybe by writing it down on a notebook or keeping track of your dietary intake on a food database online. Another key nutrient to look at is our fiber. Fiber can actually help to reduce the amount of cholesterol in your body. But, soluble fiber found in like oats and barley; for instance, like the oatmeal, that's why you've maybe seen that for heart health, that actually helps to remove some of that bad cholesterol. So, a high fiber product can also benefit you when looking at a low cholesterol diet. So, in combination of monitoring your intake of cholesterol and increasing your fiber as well as your physical activity and looking at an appropriate healthy weight, hopefully those are good enough examples and tips to help you bring down that cholesterol. Now, that's just a little bit of information as far as utilizing that nutrition facts label, again, to help your low cholesterol. I'm Charlotte, and eat happy.

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