Dr.Kamini Silvarajan MD/AAAM

Editorial Board: Kamini Silvarajan MD/AAAM

Cut Fats Cholesterol

The most important way to prevent heart diseases is to monitor the type and contents of food that we eat. Checking the nutritional value of every goods we buy at the grocery store can help us to establish the best healthy diet plan.

One of the most common substances that can cause the development of heart disease is fats (cholesterol). Eating too much of fats or foods with high level of cholesterol can promote coronary artery disease. High level of cholesterol in the blood will result into plaque formation. This fatty plaque goes along with the blood. The problem is when this plaque is clogged in the tiny vessels. This can prevent the proper circulation of the blood resulting to atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries).

However, it doesn’t mean that we should omit fats and cholesterol in our diet. Take note that fats can also provide 4 kilocalories of energy. This simply tells everyone that there are few recommendations that require fat intake, as well. That is why we are not required to avoid eating fats. Instead, we should only limit our intake because it can also give us with beneficial effect to our health.

The American Heart Association (AHA), provides these healthy guidelines with regards to the amount of fats and cholesterol that an adult person should consider as part of their heart-smart diet. 

Saturated Fats 

The recommended dietary allowance for this type of fats should not go beyond 7% of the total daily calories. In other words, we need not to exceed our intake for more than 14 grams of saturated fats. It is ideal for people who are practicing 2,000 calories intake in a day. 

Trans Fats

The recommended dietary allowance for this form of fats is not more than 1% of the total daily calories. It should not go beyond 2 grams of Trans fats using the same scheme (2,000 calories intake in a day). 


It is advisable to take at least 300 mg of cholesterol for healthy adult men and women. People with 200 LDL (low density lipoprotein – bad cholesterol) should limit their cholesterol intake for only 200 mg in a day. 200 mg is only allowable for people who are taking anti-cholesterol medications (statins). 

Additionally, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommend people to avoid eating foods with high level of saturated fats such as margarine, shortening, and butter. They need to avoid using this when frying. It is best to use vegetable oil instead of using other saturated fat oils.

Cut down the saturated fats by eating lean meats with less than 10% fats. This can help reduce the chance of getting heart diseases. Moreover, we can also substitute other food sources that can limit the intake of saturated fats. For instance, we can eat low-fat yogurt instead of butter. We can also use low-sugar spread for the sandwich instead of using margarine.

We advise everyone to check the nutritional value of the goods especially the crackers, chips and cookies. There are snack like these which may label “reduced fat” in the nutritional information which may contain Trans fats. Take note that snacks with “partially hydrogenated” label contains Trans-fats.

When using oil, we recommend monounsaturated fats like canola or olive oil. Polyunsaturated fats are commonly found in seeds and nuts are considered heart-smart diet, as well – By Edterchelle Soriano