Medical Surgical Labs Cholesterol Labs #5

Question

The nurse is educating the client receiving treatment for high cholesterol on healthy foods for high cholesterol vs. unhealthy foods. Which foods are more appropriate for clients who have high cholesterol? Select all that apply.

Answers

  1. Almonds
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because the fat in almonds is unsaturated. This type of fat is best for the heart. Unsaturated fats lower LDL and increase HDL.

  2. Grapefruits
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because although grapefruits lower LDL, the client is receiving treatment for high cholesterol. Grapefruit can interact with some cholesterol-lowering drugs and cause harmful side effects.

  3. Avocados
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because avocados do not contain cholesterol and are high in monounsaturated fats. Avocados are a superfood. Monounsaturated fats actually help lower blood cholesterol levels, making avocados a great choice for a heart healthy snack.

  4. Coconut oil
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because although studies show coconut oil does increase HDL levels, it is extremely high in saturated fats, even more so than butter. It raises LDL and triglycerides and for this reason, is not a good choice for clients with high cholesterol.

  5. Plain popcorn
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because of its fiber content. Fiber helps lower cholesterol. So the more fiber in the diet, the better chances of lowering cholesterol. Plain, unsalted, and unbuttered air popped popcorn is the most appropriate.

Overview

The best diet to avoid high cholesterol is a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and low in trans- and saturated fats. Healthy foods and snacks include nuts, olive or canola oil, avocados, and plain popcorn. It is best to avoid prepackaged foods, red meats, butter, and baked goodies.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

The best diet to avoid high cholesterol is a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and low in trans- and saturated fats. Healthy foods and snacks include nuts, olive or canola oil, avocados, and plain popcorn. It is best to avoid prepackaged foods, red meats, butter, and baked goodies. Monounsaturated fats actually help lower blood cholesterol levels and are considered the “good” fats for heart health. Unsaturated fats lower LDL and increase HDL. Fiber also helps lower cholesterol. Grapefruits have health benefits, but there are many drug interactions associated with this particular food. It is best for the client receiving cholesterol-lowering medications to avoid grapefruits.

Test Taking Tip

Notice in the question stem, it remarks that the client is receiving treatment for high cholesterol. This piece of information will help the student decide if grapefruit is the best choice for this particular client.

Video Rationale