If you’ve just found out that you have high cholesterol and need to go on a low cholesterol diet, then here is an outline of what you should and should not eat in order to help you lower your cholesterol levels.
Alternatively, you might have just decided that you should eat more healthily in order to prevent yourself from getting high cholesterol. Either way, this is a recommended healthy diet strategy to follow.
Understanding What a Low Cholesterol Diet is
Basically, in order to lower your cholesterol, you will have to follow a diet that is
- low in saturated fat and
- low in cholesterol
This is absolutely essential in helping you to lower your cholesterol. You must understand that although cholesterol-lowering medications can be prescribed by your doctor, you will still need to follow a controlled diet specifically to help reduce your high blood cholesterol levels.
Cholesterol is found in eggs, dairy products, fish, meat, and poultry. Be aware that many foods contain both high in saturated fat and cholesterol, such as dairy products (especially egg yolks) and red meats. Therefore, it is important to limit the amount of such high-fat foods. It is also recommended opting for the ‘low fat’ versions of any type of food, especially dairy products (low-fat yogurts, cheeses, etc)
Basic Foods of a Low Cholesterol Diet
- lean meats
- skinless poultry
- low-fat dairy products
- complex carbohydrates: pasta, rice, potatoes, bread, cereals, fruits, vegetables
- low-calorie fizzy drinks (limit to one a day)
- drink plenty of water
- grill or roast meats
- steam or boil vegetables
- steam fish
- use low-fat oils
- crisps, biscuits, chocolate, sweets
- don’t add whole milk, butter, rich sauces or cream to pasta dishes or any other meal
- try avoiding white bread
- fizzy drinks
If you love pasta dishes with sauces, try low-fat versions such as adding a tin of tomatoes with a dash of garlic and Worcester sauce as a tomato-based sauce, low-fat crème fresh for a cream-based sauce or a cheese sauce packet-mix made with skimmed milk for a cheese-based sauce.
Get used to experimenting with herbs and spices to add different and exotic flavors to your meals.
Exercise – Love it or hate it!
Do you hate to exercise? Don’t be ashamed if you do, many people dislike doing any form of exercise. The key here is to find something that you enjoy doing. It does not necessarily mean you must go to the gym three times a week, or run a mile four times a week. Count exercise as any type of movement that gets you out of your chair! Some examples:
- walking (the dog)
- walk up and down the stairs
- netball / volleyball / basketball etc
- skipping with ropes
- cleaning / dusting the house
- look after a toddler for a day!
Try and find something you enjoy doing and do some form of regular exercise as it does play an important role in cholesterol-reduction.