Underweight with high cholesterol levels:
I am 25lbs underweight, and have high cholesterol, how do I gain the weight, while keeping my cholesterol levels down?
People are more interested in losing weight rather than gaining weight. Just as overweight can lead to various health problems like heart disease, diabetes, asthma and endocrine disorders, underweight can also be dangerous. People who are underweight can be susceptible towards heart failure or cancer. Women tend to be frail and are susceptible towards osteoporosis or hip fractures. An underweight individual can also suffer from erectile dysfunction.
For enhancing the weight of the individual, it doesn’t mean that he can have any type of fat. Choose a diet that provides no more than 30 percent of calories from fat. Choose the right type of fat. To understand this, it is necessary to know that fat contains both saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. Saturated fats provides more amount of cholesterol that the unsaturated fats. Reduce the saturated fats to less than 10 percent of calories. This can help in reducing the cholesterol levels. Fat from milk and milk products, meat and some bakery products contain high amount of saturated fats. Certain partially hydrogenated fats like those used in margarines or shortenings contain Trans fatty acids that can also raise the cholesterol levels.
Unsaturated fats can reduce the cholesterol levels and is more preferable than saturated fats. Olive oil, canola oil or vegetable oils are unsaturated fats. Fish oils are also rich in omega 3 fatty acids that are considered to be essential fatty acids and hence have better health benefits.
Cholesterol may also be present in certain foods like egg yolk, meat, poultry, and high fat milk products. These foods are also rich in saturated fats. Consume more of cereals grains, pulses, fruits and vegetables as well as vegetable oils in order to lower the cholesterol level.
Certain guidelines that can be useful in gaining weight are:
- Eat the right type of food. Avoid fast foods or junk foods. Prefer healthy foods that will help in gaining weight efficiently. Fast foods or junk foods contain high amount of trans fatty acids and saturated fats that can also increase the cholesterol levels in the body.
- Increase the frequency of your meals. Have more of 5 to 6 smaller healthy meals rather than 3 large meals.
- Prefer good quality protein like lean meat, poultry, fish, nuts, legumes and pulses.
- Healthy carbohydrates like whole grain cereals, vegetables and fruits are preferable.
- Include good fats like those that are rich in omega 3 fatty acids like salmon, tuna flax and walnuts.
- Drink healthy beverages like fruit juices or low fat milk that can provide nutrients as well as calories. Avoid sugary beverages that are rich in calories only.
Always remember that high cholesterol diet contributes to an array of complications.