A low cholesterol diet can help you reduce your overall cholesterol levels, as well as decrease your risks of health complications like heart disease. By working to adjust your diet to one low in saturated fats and trans fats, you can greatly improve your quality of life and get on track to living healthier.
Overall Diet Tips
To lower your cholesterol, you should begin by cutting out saturated fats and trans fats. Work towards phasing out these calorie-heavy foods and replacing them with healthier alternatives such as:
- Switching from regular soda to diet soda
- Replacing butter with a healthy oil
- Using skim milk instead of whole or reduced fat options
Good Foods to Lower Cholesterol
As with any diet, eating a well-balanced array of foods in proper portions is always key to making a diet really successful.
Include oatmeal in your diet. Along with tasting good, it lowers your LDL, or bad cholesterol, without lowering your HDL, or good cholesterol.
Eat fatty fish at least twice a week, including tuna, salmon, sardines and mackerel. These are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, and they lower triglycerides, lower LDL, and raise HDL.
Eat nuts as a snack or a topping for salads. High in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, nuts help to lower LDL.
Use soy as a protein. Low in fat and calories, it has also been shown to lower LDL.
Include fiber-strong foods in your diet such as:
- kidney beans
- brown rice
- whole grain breads
- green peas
Fiber helps lower cholesterol and should be include in any healthy diet.
Eat plenty of antioxidants from whole foods such as:
Antioxidants in foods lower your chances of building bad cholesterol in your arteries.
Cooking for Low Cholesterol
There are many ways that you can prepare your food that help to lower the fat and your cholesterol intake. Here’s how:
- Look for lean meats like turkey and chicken instead of red meat. Be sure to trim all the fat off and opt for skinless meat if possible.
- Use whole grain flour instead of white flour.
- Cook with olive oil and canola oil, which are all high in monounsaturated fats and are great for lowering your cholesterol.
- Boil, broil, bake, roast, poach, or steam your meats, being sure to drain the fats while cooking and before eating.
- Use herbs and pepper to flavor your dishes, and slowly phase out the excessive use of salt.
By making these simple adjustments to your diet, you can significantly lower your cholesterol over time. Make small changes and slowly phase out high fat foods, while replacing them with healthier ones. By slowly transitioning to a healthier diet, you will acclimate your body better and have a greater chance of long-term success.