Utilizing a Low Cholesterol Diet for Better Health

If you suffer from high cholesterol, you know there are many different methods to lower your cholesterol levels and keep your heart healthy.  However, one of the easiest ways to reduce cholesterol levels is to participate in a low cholesterol diet.

A low cholesterol diet doesn’t have to be flavorless or boring, as there are a wide variety of recipes available that are healthy and delicious. There are a wide variety of foods to remove from your diet, as well as many others that you should include to keep cholesterol at bay.

Ways to Control Your Cholesterol

Increase your physical activity levels by partaking in regular exercise

  1. Quit habits that are detrimental to your health, such as smoking and drinking alcohol
  2. Lose excess weight
  3. Engage in a healthy diet
  4. Eat at home rather than dining out so that you will be aware of what is in your food and be better prepared to make healthy choices

Foods to Add to Your Diet to Improve Cholesterol Levels

  • Add in plant based foods
  • Try to rely on foods that are low in saturated fats
    • Porridge
    • Oats
    • Various beans and lentils- black beans, black-eyed peas, butter beans, chickpeas, edamame beans, kidney beans, lima beans
    • Vegetables that are rich in soluble fiber- okra, citrus fruits, turnips, sweet potato and mango
    • Tofu
    • Various nuts- almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pecans, cashews, unsalted peanuts
    • Lots of fruits and vegetables
    • Whey protein- This has been shown to lower both LDL and total cholesterol within the body
  • Eat foods rich in Omega-3
    • Can be found in fish- salmon, mackerel and herring
    • Walnuts
    • Almonds
    • Ground flaxseeds

Foods to Remove From your Diet

There are a wide variety of foods that are known to raise cholesterol levels in the body and should therefore be removed entirely from the diet as soon as possible.

  • Foods high in saturated fat
    • Butter
      • Hard margarines
    • Ghee
    • Fatty milk and meat products, such as bacon and sausages
    • Lard, dripping and meat fat
    • Full fat dairy- cream, yoghurt, cheese, and milk
    • Coconut and palm oils
  • Foods rich in trans fats
    • Fried foods
    • Packaged products- cookies, crackers and snack cakes
    • Partially hydrogenated oils

Fortified Foods

Sterols and stanols can be found naturally in plant-based foods. These foods and other foods that are fortified with sterols and stanols are known to lower cholesterol by reducing the amount of cholesterol the body can recycle. You can now find many different foods fortified with sterols and stanols, such as:

  • Fortified milk
  • Fortified cheese spread
  • Fortified yoghurt
  • Fortified yoghurt drinks
  • Plant sterol supplements- These can be found in the form of powders or tablets

Cholesterol Foods Myths

Over the years, many different foods have been identified as bad for your cholesterol, however research has found that these foods are, in fact, fine for your health. Overall, it has been found that foods that are naturally rich in cholesterol do not need to be avoided, as they also tend to be low in saturated fat. These foods include:

  • Liver
  • Eggs
  • Kidneys
  • Seafood- specifically prawns and shrimp