How to Reduce Cholesterol by Diet: Best Low Cholesterol Diet Plan
Getting rid of too much cholesterol in the body is important to prevent the onset of many health problems. Usually, people with high cholesterol levels are advised to practice regular exercise and have a healthier lifestyle. But cholesterol can also be lessened by having the right diet. Try to make significant changes in your meal plan and find the best low cholesterol diet that can work for you.
In 2 minutes or less, you can get the diet plan that will turn your body into a fat burning machine.
Following a low cholesterol diet plan can help you lose excess weight. Shedding off those unwanted fats is good for your heart. A good diet plan that promotes low-cholesterol foods can fill you up but it won’t load you with too many calories. This means you won’t get hungry, which is usually the primary reason why many people tend to overeat. The best thing about low cholesterol diet is that you don’t have to go hungry and still lose weight in the process.
How to Reduce Cholesterol by Diet
Eat More Soluble Fiber Foods
There are two types of fiber, the soluble and insoluble fibers. Both these fibers can help promote heart health, but soluble can also lower your LDL cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber forms into a gel in your gut and binds with the cholesterol, thus preventing its re-absorption into your body. This significantly lowers the cholesterol that goes into your blood. Foods that are rich in soluble fibers are beans, oats, yams, lentils, barley, Brussels sprouts, and berries.
Reduce Consumption of Trans-Fat
High consumption of trans-fat can be dangerous because it increases your bad cholesterol level and lowers the good cholesterols. You can find trans-fat in most fried foods, processed foods, and commercial foods like cakes, cookies, and crackers. Even small amounts of trans-fat can add up if you regularly eat these types of food. Always read the labels and ingredients to check if it contains trans-fat, and avoid food products containing hydrogenated oils.
Choose Plant Proteins
Plant proteins can be found in tofu and beans. Usually, most people consume animal-based proteins, but the meats and the way they are cooked may spike up your cholesterol level. Plant proteins are free from saturated fat and high in soluble fiber. If you want to increase your protein intake, try choosing beans and tofu over meat. You can also go for leaner cuts of meat to lessen the cholesterol intake.
Lower Intake of Salt, Processed Foods, and Sugar
Although salt will not directly lower your cholesterol level, lowering your salt intake can help stabilize your blood pressure. Having high blood pressure is a huge risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Limiting processed foods and industrialized foods are recommended because it can raise your blood glucose, increase triglyceride fats, and cause inflammations. These foods are also very fattening. You have to reduce your intake of foods high in sugar. Most foods available today in the grocery contain too much sugar which increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes.
Low Cholesterol Diet Plan
Here is an example of a low cholesterol diet plan that you can follow. Most of the dishes here are simple and easy to prepare. Many people do not know how to reduce cholesterol levels but the easiest way to start is through your diet.
Breakfast – Oatmeal with strawberries and soy milk or non-fat milk. You can also try raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries.
Mid-Morning Snack – One-fourth cup of crispy curried chickpeas.
Lunch – Two ¾ cups of Greek Salad with Edamame. Just whisk vinegar, salt, pepper, and oil in a large bowl, and then add the Romaine lettuce, edamame, cucumber, tomatoes, basil, feta cheese, olives, and onions. Toss and mix to coat.
Afternoon Snack – 1 medium apple
Dinner – Chicken breast rubbed with ancho chile powder, Black Beans, and Scallions. The meat in this recipe is rubbed with ancho chile powder, which is a spice made from poblano peppers. You can substitute regular chili powder if you want.
Breakfast – Egg white omelet with salsa and chopped green onions and half of the cantaloupe with cottage cheese.
Mid-Morning Snack – Pear
Lunch – Salad Greens with Canned Tuna in Water
Afternoon Snack – Handful of nuts
Dinner – 3.5 ounce serving of halibut with salad greens or steamed veggies
Breakfast – Oatmeal with walnuts and blueberries or blackberries and almond milk
Mid-Morning Snack – 2 to 3 Tangerines or Navel Orange
Lunch – Hummus with vegetables and whole-wheat pita bread
Afternoon Snack – A handful of grapes
Dinner – Trout Fillets with Mango Salsa and Salad Greens with kale and sliced apples
Breakfast – Homemade Muesli, which includes 1 grated apple or pear, dry rolled oats, nonfat plain Greek yogurt, and topped with flaxseeds.
Mid-Morning Snack – Banana
Lunch – ½ Tuna Salad Sandwich with light mayo, lettuce, and tomato
Afternoon Snack – Low-Fat Microwave Popcorn
Dinner – Salmon with Pineapple Salsa, blue cheese and cherry salad, ½ cup brown rice, and a glass of wine
Breakfast – Omelet made with sautéed vegetables and egg whites topped with an ounce of cheddar cheese
Mid-Morning Snack – Apple or Pear with Nut Butter
Lunch – Sweet Potato with Dijon Mustard and Salad, which includes Romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, red onions tossed with grilled tofu cubes and aged balsamic vinegar
Afternoon Snack – Handful of grapes
Dinner – Meatless burger using veggie patties topped with slices of roasted red pepper and baked potato topped with chives and non-fat sour cream
This meal plan is just an example of what an ideal low cholesterol diet plan should look like. You will notice that all of the ingredients needed are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and low in calories and saturated fats. If you have individual health needs that have to be addressed, you can always talk to your healthcare provider about altering your meal plans.
The Basic Guidelines of a Low Cholesterol Diet Plan
The goal of a low cholesterol diet plan is to lower your intake of cholesterol and have a better and healthier eating pattern. It is important to put limitations on saturated fats, foods with added sugars, sodium, trans fat, and alcohol. If you want to know how to reduce cholesterol levels quickly, just follow the basic guidelines below.
Control Your Portions
You have to control your portions during breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you don’t know how to control your food portions, you can measure it using your hands. A serving of meat or fish should simply fit in the palm of your hands. If you’re eating fruits, it should be more or less the same size of your fist. Cooked vegetables, pasta, or rice must be able to fit into your cupped hands.
Increase Veggies in Your Diet
When trying out a low cholesterol diet, you need to increase the number of vegetables in your meals. Look for more vegetable recipes and try to add vegetable side dishes every lunch or dinner. Season your vegetables with natural herbs instead of salt.
Increase Fruits in Your Diet
Aside from vegetables, you should also increase your consumption of fruits. As you can see in the low cholesterol diet sample meal plan above, fruits are always preferred as a morning and afternoon snack. They are packed with fiber that can further reduce your cholesterol level. Always choose fiber-rich fruits, especially apples and pears, and avoid the sugary and salty snacks that will only increase your cholesterol intake.
Eat Nuts for Your Snack
Instead of snacking on potato chips and other junk foods, why not just snack on a handful of nuts. You can opt for protein and fiber-rich nuts such as pecans, almonds, pine nuts, hazelnuts, and pistachios. They are rich in the good fats that can lower your cholesterol level.
Lean Meat and Poultry
Most people get their daily dose of protein from meat. However, red meats contain saturated fats that can increase your cholesterol level. You can choose skinless chicken to get a more nutritious meal that is rich in protein. You can still eat red meat, but choose the lean meat and low-fat variety such as beef sirloin, pork tenderloin, and round roasts. It is also better to reduce your meat consumption up to 6-ounces per day. When preparing your meat, it is better to bake, grill, or broil them and avoid adding greasy sauces and frying.
Drink More Water
Drinking more water helps keep your body hydrated and prevents thickening of the blood because of high cholesterol. If you really want to reduce your total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol level, drink more sodium bicarbonate mineral water. Studies have proven that sodium bicarbonate water can increase the pH of the stomach, which decreases the release of a hormone called cholecystokinin, thus causing less bile in the intestines producing lower lipid absorption.
Try to Limit Alcohol Intake
Most health experts agree that if you are practicing a low cholesterol diet, you have to limit your alcohol intake. Too much consumption of alcohol means that the liver has to work harder to metabolize the excess alcohol. This leads to less fat metabolism and an increase of fat in the liver. This will also increase the LDL cholesterol in your blood.
If you still want to know more about how to reduce cholesterol levels faster and safer, talk to your doctor or healthcare provider. Remember that it is better to make the right food choices and follow a low cholesterol diet plan than to suffer so many diseases caused by too much cholesterol.