If you have problems with your bad cholesterol levels, the best solution is to switch to a low cholesterol diet to lower the cholesterol in your blood, and thus prevent heart disease and other health and life risks. A proper low cholesterol diet and some exercise will lead to a grand improvement of your LDL cholesterol levels, and decrease the risk of health problems associated with high cholesterol.
Tips for a low cholesterol diet
Some tips for a good low cholesterol diet include eating more high fiber foods, such as fruits, kidney beans, oatmeal, and oat bran. This fiber will help “flush out” the extra bad cholesterol from the bloodstream. A bowl of oatmeal or other oat based cereal along with a banana every day will help you get the soluble fiber crucial for cleaning the organism from bad cholesterol.
Also, when on a low cholesterol diet, you should avoid the bad, saturated and trans saturated fats found in fatty meat and full fat dairy products, and rather choose to eat skinless lean meat, mostly poultry and low fat dairy products instead. A source of good fat is food, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as: salmon, mackerel, sardines, fish, canola or flaxseed oils. Stay away from lobster, which is rich in cholesterol. Also, even though it is an excellent source of iron, liver is known to increase bad cholesterol levels immensely, so avoid that too.
An excellent source of monosaturated (good) fat to choose when cooking and dressing your salads during the low cholesterol diet is olive oil. Even though it is high in calories, when used in moderation, the antioxidants in olive oil will reduce the bad cholesterol levels, without disrupting the levels of good cholesterol in the blood.
Remember, to stay away from butter, coconut and palm oils, and rather choose to boil, bake or steam your food rather than fry it, in order to prevent your bad cholesterol levels from rising.
For snacking when on a low cholesterol diet, you can munch on some almonds, walnuts, pistachio nuts or any other type of nuts, of course in moderation. Nuts are known to reduce the levels of bad cholesterol in the blood as well. A handful a day is enough though, because like olive oil they are quite high in calories.
The myths about eggs being bad for cholesterol levels have now been busted, so eating eggs in moderation are allowed when on a diet to lower cholesterol.
For dessert, remember that ice cream is a absolute no-no when on a low cholesterol diet. Why not choose to eat some low fat yogurt with fruits instead?
Garlic is also known to be a miracle food which lowers bad cholesterol levels, so try eating it on a daily basis, either in your food, or at least take it as a supplement if you don’t like the strong aroma.
Other foods recommended for a low cholesterol diet are soy and soy based foods, such as soy milk, tofu, etc. Try incorporating them into your diet, and the results will soon show on your blood tests.
Generally when on a low cholesterol diet, you should avoid eating fast food, especially French fries and cheeseburgers. If you have to choose a meal at a fast food place go for the plain burger to avoid boosting the bad cholesterol levels. Apart from saying goodbye to most fast food treats, you should also think twice before eating that macaroni and cheese, which is packed with bad cholesterol as well. Try cooking at home, and choose the healthier fat versions when doing so.
Exercising on a daily basis will help lower the bad cholesterol levels too, whether you choose to take long walks, swim, ride a bike, do aerobic exercises, or take the stairs instead of using the elevator. Such a healthier lifestyle change is also crucial when trying to lower the bad cholesterol and have it stay at normal levels. In fact, exercising will improve the good cholesterol levels as well.
By exercising and eating healthier when on a low cholesterol diet, you will be able to lose any extra weight you have packed up, which is also a factor when trying to achieve normal and healthy levels of LDL cholesterol. Research has shown that losing only 5 to 10 pound will drastically improve bad cholesterol levels. Try getting that extra weight off, burn that extra fat, and keep it that way to be healthier.
Generally, the low cholesterol diet should become your way of eating if you are at a risk of high bad cholesterol levels, and remember that choosing to eat and live healthier will improve your life and reduce the risk of heart disease and other serious health conditions.