Have you been told that you need to go on a low cholesterol diet? You’re very wise to heed this advice. If your cholesterol is high, you’re at risk for serious health problems. Read on for information on low cholesterol diet foods as well as foods you should try your best to avoid.
Low Cholesterol Diet No-No’s
Be very wary of trans fats and saturated fats. You should reduce or avoid (wherever possible) the following: chicken skin, organ meats, deep fried food, high fat dairy (such as ice cream, butter, sour cream).
Low Cholesterol Diet Helpers
You want to raise your HDL and lower your LDL levels. According to the Mayo Clinic, oat meal, oat bran, omega 3 fatty acids (such as several types of fish), nuts, and olive oil can help with your cholesterol levels. Plant sterols can be a great help, too, and there are foods with additive plant sterols as well as supplements available to help in this area as well. Plant sterols can block the absorption of bad cholesterol (LDL).
In addition to a low cholesterol diet, there are some positive lifestyle changes that can dramatically help you as well. They include:
Weight Loss: Work to get to your ideal body mass index to reduce your chance of heart disease and other health related problems. Following a diet that includes portion control as well as low cholesterol foods will be helpful.
Increase Fruit and Vegetable Intake: Are you getting your five to ten servings of fruits and veggies each day? If you strive to eat more healthy low cholesterol foods such as fruits and vegetables (taking care to avoid smothering your veggies in butter and cheese), this will help you with weight loss and with cholesterol.
Exercise: Starting an exercise regimen will make a difference to your cardiovascular health and to your weight loss goals. You don’t have to go extreme and hire a personal trainer (although it wouldn’t be a bad idea). It can start with walking and can progress to jogging (if doctor approved) or other activities. Swimming, fitness classes, bike riding and other types of exercise will all help you lead a more active and healthier life.
Heeding your doctor’s advice regarding your cholesterol can help you feel better and improve your longevity. Be sure to follow doctor’s orders and if you do, your next set of tests should, hopefully, reveal better numbers.