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Lower Cholesterol the Diet Way

“Cholesterol” is a word that immediately raises a red flag in most minds. While excessive bad cholesterol can be a serious risk factor for cardiovascular health, it can be very well controlled by simply eating the right diet and making lifestyle modifications. Just switching from fatty food to leaner (leaner cuts) and fibrous plant based-food (vegetables, whole grains and fruits) can lower your cholesterol levels by almost 25% (Harvard Medical School).

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Choose the diet that lowers your cholesterol:

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Cut back on Fats: (Saturated and Transfats):  What you must know, is which fats risky for health risk and which ones are healthy. Preventing the consumption of saturated fats (found in meat and dairy products) and transfats (partially hydrogenated oils) is known to reduce cholesterol by 5% to 10%, according to Harvard Medical School.

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Eat Plant-based food: Use vegetable oils (made of unsaturated fats) for cooking and consume foods rich in these unsaturated fats, like oily fish, nuts, seeds, and some vegetables, to keep your heart healthy. Avoid: foods high in saturated fats, such as meat and dairy products, and foods cooked in partially hydrogenated oils (contain trans fats).

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Eat Soluble Fiber Foods: Foods like legumes (beans, lentils, peanuts and peas), grains, oatmeal, fruit and flax seeds are rich in soluble fiber which are very healthy and lower blood cholesterol levels. Mayo Clinic recommends a daily intake of 5 to 10 grams of soluble fiber for best health benefits.

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Increase intake of plant sterols and stanols: Plant sterols and stanols are a naturally occurring ingredient that can help reduce the absorption of cholesterol from food. They are found in small amounts in: nuts, seeds and legumes, vegetable oils, cereals, spreads, juices and yogurt.

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Find out which diet works best for you: There is no one-size-fits-all diet for cholesterol control. What works for someone else may not work for you, because of different genetic and physiological make up. Try different approaches to lower your cholesterol levels before you freeze on one.

Caveat: Despite the diet control, if you still need cholesterol lowering drugs, they must be used as advised by your physician.

Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. The content is for educational purposes only. Please contact your doctor for any health care issues.

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