Obesity and Risk Of Disease

The Risk Of High Cholesterol And Heart Disease

If you are overweight, you can lower the risk of developing coronary artery disease by losing weight. Benefits of weight loss include:

  • Reducing LDL cholesterol;

  • Increasing HDL cholesterol;

  • Lowering blood pressure;

  • Lowering triglycerides;

  • Improving your body's use of blood sugar (glucose) and helping to prevent or control diabetes.


Even small amounts of weight loss enhance the LDL cholesterol reduction that results from a low-fat diet. A weight loss of 5 lb (2.27 kg) to 10 lb (4.54 kg) can double the LDL cholesterol reduction of a low-fat diet.


Increasing physical activity and reducing calorie intake are the keys to long-term weight reduction. The goals for a weight-loss program need to be practical and individualized.


Losing weight is especially important if you have high triglyceride levels and low HDL levels and are overweight with a large waist measurement (metabolic syndrome). This means more than a 40 in. (101.6 cm) waist for men and more than 35 in. (88.9 cm) for women.


  • If you are trying to lose weight, it is recommended that you lose no more than 1 lb (0.45 kg) per week. This can be done by reducing the daily calorie intake by 250 calories and increasing exercise to burn 250 calories a day (for a net reduction of 500 calories per day).

  • Very low-calorie diets (500 to 800 calories a day) and rapid weight-loss programs usually don't work in the long run and can be harmful.



nutrition program


Cutting calories for weight loss

A low-calorie diet for a person who is overweight or obese provides 500 to 1,000 calories less per day than the recommendation for a person with a healthy weight. You should continue a weight-loss diet for 6 months and then reevaluate your weight-loss goals with your health professional.

Recommendations for a low-calorie diet include:

  • A total calorie intake of 1,000 to 1,200 calories per day for women and 1,200 to 1,500 calories per day for men.

  • Reducing fat to no more than 20% to 30% of your total calorie intake. Fat substitutes such as olestra may be used, but they have not been shown to lead to weight loss.

  • Getting more than 55% of your total calorie intake from complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, vegetables, and fruit.

  • Getting 15% of your total calorie intake from protein. This should come from low-fat meat or fish, or high-protein foods such as tofu.

  • No more than 1 alcoholic drink for women and 2 for men per day, with meals.

  • 20 to 30 grams of fiber per day.



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