Therapeutic life changes which include dietary modifications have been recommended as the first line therapy in managing high cholesterol level. If you find yourself with high cholesterol numbers, it is time for you to modify your diet and opt for a low cholesterol diet instead.
Most people may frown upon a low cholesterol diet as the common perception is that they have to forgo good and tasty food and that cholesterol lowering foods are all bland and dull when on such a diet. This is so untrue because there is a great variety of low cholesterol recipes which are not only delectable but also healthy to your heart.
Read on to find out how to lower cholesterol level with a low cholesterol diet. You may mix and match these choices for a wholesome and tummy-filling diet.
- Reduce intake of saturated fat
- Try meat substitutes
- Healthy cooking method
- Top up fiber in your diet
- Take more fish
- Eat more nuts
- Be aware of foods containing trans-fat
- Choose unsaturated fat
- Reduce intake of foods high in cholesterol
Always read the labels before buying your food and look out for products with low saturated fat content. Go for these products as every little reduction in fat intake helps to improve your dietary habit. Fatty foods like ice-cream, sausage, crackers, cheese, goose and duck meat should be consumed less and in smaller portions.
If cutting down on meat seems like impossible for you, you may introduce protein-rich food like tofu and beans into your recipes while slowly tapering down your meat intake. These meat substitutes can take the flavor of your meat marinade just the same so you can enjoy delicious yet healthy meals.
A low cholesterol diet can also be achieved with healthier cooking methods like steaming, boiling, poaching, stewing or grilling. Steaming fish gives you the same delicious taste without sacrificing the nutrients, unlike frying which zaps away all nutrients and adds on more unwanted fat and oil to the dish. There are a lot of low cholesterol recipes which explores steamed and grilled food, so you may try out these recipes for some dietary changes. Also, trim off any visible fat layers from poultry and meat before cooking.
Foods that are enriched with soluble fiber are great choices to be incorporated in your cholesterol lowering diet. You may cut down on fat and meat intake and substitute them with beans, vegetables, fruits, lentils and oat bran instead. Fibrous foods help to flush out the bad cholesterol, keeping your heart strong and healthy.
Fish contains a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids which have cholesterol-lowering and cardio-protective properties. Cold water fishes like salmon and tuna are blessed with higher contents of omega-3 and should be consumed more frequently for good cardiovascular health. Take at least 2-3 servings of fish a week or you may also go for fish supplements with omega-3 fatty acid for the same benefit.
Craving for your chips and fries already? Why not snack on nuts instead? Go for walnuts, hazelnuts, almond, pecan nuts- they are all good food for your heart as they reduce cholesterol level. Taking a small portion of nuts every day blesses you with a lower risk of heart disease. However, don’t take nuts which are salted or sugared with extra calories.
Most food products like biscuits, fries, butter and cake contain trans-fat and these are the food which you should consume less. Trans-fat can narrow your arteries and increase your risk of heart disease, so you should be more alert of the trans-fat content on the labels.
Instead of using saturated fat like ghee and lard in your cooking, use unsaturated oil like olive oil , sunflower oil and canola oil to lower your bad cholesterol level. By using a healthier cooking oil, you get to cook the same tasty food without the extra fat and cholesterol.
Fish roe and organ meats like liver and kidney are usually high in cholesterol and you should probably limit consumption of these food to 1-2 times in a month. Egg yolks also contain a considerable amount of cholesterol which you should be aware of. For those with high cholesterol level, it is best to take less than 4 eggs per week, including the egg yolks in processed foods.