Low cholesterol diet is prescribed to those suffering from high cholesterol levels. A healthy low fat low cholesterol diet can go a long way in reducing weight and keeping heart disease at bay. The goal of any cholesterol lowering diet is to limit the amount of fat and reduce the intake of sodium. Join us in taking a look at the guidelines for a low cholesterol diet menu.
Low Cholesterol diet
Dietary fats are of two types - saturated and unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats are further classified as polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats. Thus, total fat present in any food substance is the combination of saturated and unsaturated fats. The low cholesterol diet should contain minimal amount of saturated fats, as they tend to increase the cholesterol levels in your blood. Saturated fats are found in some animal products and vegetables.
Red Meat is rich in saturated fat as is coconut oil, palm kernel oil and palm oil. Saturated fats are also found in chips, candy bars, buttered popcorn and many a packaged food. Read the label carefully before buying these products. On the other hand unsaturated fats actually help lower cholesterol levels.
Hence it is advised to substitute unsaturated fats for saturated fats, especially if you have higher levels of cholesterol in your blood. Unsaturated fats are primarily found in safflower, corn, soybean, cottonseed, sesame and sunflower oils, which are common cooking oils. Though polyunsaturated fats are found in salad dressings, some of these salads may be high in saturated fats. Similarly, monounsaturated fats are found in olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil and some nuts.
Diet to lower cholesterol
A diet to lower cholesterol must be low in saturated fat. Lean meats, fish and shellfish, skinless poultry and whole grain foods can be included in the cholesterol lowering diet. Also eat foods high in soluble fiber such as oats, oranges, pears, brussel sprouts and carrots.
- Reduce the intake of meat, chicken, diary products and tropical oils, which are rich in saturated fat.
- The diet to lower cholesterol should be loaded with fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans; flaxseeds, nuts, leafy greens, deep water fish and monosaturated fat sources such as olives.
- Choose foods high in complex carbohydrates in your diet to lower cholesterol
- Finally keep your weight in check.
Cholesterol diet menu
Limit foods high in cholesterol such as liver and organ meats when you are on a cholesterol diet menu. Also limit the intake of egg yolks, full-fat dairy products and high fat processed meats like sausage, hot dogs, bologna and salami. Excess dietary fat can also increase your risk of certain types of cancer, such as breast or colon cancer. Follow the cooking methods to reduce fat in your low cholesterol diet plan:
- Store soups, stews and meats in refrigerator for several hours or overnight. By doing so the fats get deposited on the top, remove them from the surface and start eating or serving.
- A cholesterol diet menu advocates use of low-fat substitutes. Instead of whole milk, use skim milk, 1% fat or low fat buttermilk. If you are cheese lover, include light or nonfat cream cheese instead of regular cream cheese in your cholesterol lowering diet
- Use 2 egg whites or ½ cup egg instead of one full egg
- Use nonstick cooking spray instead of oil, margarine, or other fat
- Use light margarine or canola oil instead of butter
Low cholesterol diet plan
Choose only the leanest meats, poultry, fish and shellfish for your low cholesterol plan. Dry peas, beans and tofu are great meat substitutes. They are very low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Dry peas and beans also have a lot of fiber, which can help lower blood cholesterol. Several studies have shown that dietary fibers can cause significant reduction in cholesterol levels. Soluble fibers are particularly useful - lentils, citrus, black beans, barley and oats.
Diet to lower cholesterol
Use of flaxseed in your low cholesterol diet plan is known to be beneficial. Flaxseed contains alpha linolenic acids - a type of omega 3 fatty acid. It is also rich in lignan - a phytoestrogen that also provides fiber. A diet to lower cholesterol must contain soy protein and isoflavones. Avoid processed lunchmeats. Eat colorful vegetables. Avoid pastries and rolls that are high in sugar and butter. Drink fresh fruit juices, black coffee or tea. You can spice your food with herbs, soy sauce, vinegar and Worcestershire sauce in your diet to lower cholesterol.
Use of antioxidants in your diet to lower cholesterol can be beneficial. It is only when cholesterol is chemically changed through the process of oxidization that it starts lining the blood vessels. Red wine is known to have excellent antioxidant properties. Its flavonoid content helps prevent blood clots and plaque formation on arteries. The phenolic constituent - Resveratrol increases HDL cholesterol and prevents blood clotting. It has been observed that Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) can have a negative effect on your cholesterol reducing diet. CRP, an acute phase protein occurs in higher levels with the intake of oral estrogen. High levels of CRP are associated with build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries.