High level of cholesterol? Switch NOW to low cholesterol diet!

Low Cholesterol Diet

low-cholesterol-diet

Usually, if you have high levels of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) – bad cholesterol, the excess of LDL builds up and forms deposits that can partially or totally clog arteries. The result, for hundreds of thousands of people every year, is chest pain, heart attack, or other cardiovascular problems.

To avoid all these problems, you should adopt a low cholesterol diet plan.

Before beginning this diet, you need to know your HDL number, your LDL number, and your total cholesterol number:

Total Cholesterol (mg/dL)

HDL (mg/dL)

LDL (mg/dL)

Best: Below 200

Men: 40-50

Best: Below 130

Borderline: 200-239

Women: 40-60

Borderline: 130-159

High risk: 240

High risk: Below 40

High: 160 or above

 

As soon as you have found out how high your cholesterol is, you can start planning your diet, but remember that your total dietary fat intake shouldn’t be more than 25% to 35% of your daily meals.

To create a successful low cholesterol diet plan, you have to identify the foods you usually eat and are high in saturated fat and bad cholesterol and eliminate them from your menu. For the foods that seem to be hard to give them up, you have to find them healthy substitutes. There are a lot of good options to replace the foods containing saturates fats, hydrogenated fats and cholesterol and lower your cholesterol. Some of these are:

  1. Lean Meats – Chicken and turkey are a good substitute for red meats and they go well in sandwiches, salads, grilles.
  2.  Fruits and Vegetables – this group of food can keep you full and it has the advantage that is low in calories. Some of them, like pears and apples, for example, are rich in soluble fiber, which reduces bad cholesterol levels.
  3. Low Fat Dairy Products – Some varieties of milk, cheese, yoghurt are low in fats.
  4. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated cooking oils – if you choose, once in a while, to eat fried foods, you should choose good cooking oils, such as like olive oil and macadamia oil.
  5.  Foods rich in Omega 3 – Omega 3 fatty acids reduce your overall risk of blood clots and heart attacks. Excellent sources of Omega 3 are many types of fish and fish oil supplements.
  6. High-Fiber Foods – Whole grain cereals, oatmeal, and any other food rich in soluble fiber are perfect for reducing the bad cholesterol (LDL).
  7. Nuts – They are a very good option because they contain polyunsaturated fats and they can help you overcome your fatty cravings.

Lifestyle Tips for a Successful Low Cholesterol Diet Plan

  1. Quit Smoking – Smoking raises your levels of bad cholesterol while simultaneously lowering your good cholesterol.
  2. Give up drinking alcohol! – Several studies have shown that excessive alcohol consumption correlates to a greater risk heart disease and heart attacks. Moderate drinkers tend to eat fewer high-cholesterol foods.
  3.  Exercise! – Physical activity reduces the bad cholesterol and increases the good cholesterol.
  4. Include snacks in your diet plan – Healthy snacks like nuts and fruits will not allow you to get too hungry and will start craving calorie-dense.
  5. Make sure you get enough B3 vitamins into your daily intake – B3 vitamin (niacin) helps unclog the buildup of bad cholesterol while stimulating the production of more good cholesterol, HDL. Take B3 supplements only with medical advice.

Remember that you personal physician can always offer you more information about the foods you should eat, the exercise that should be practiced and the supplements that should be taken to lower your cholesterol level.

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