Eating a lot of saturated fats causes an increase in cholesterol levels and this is what leads to higher rates of obesity and other lifestyle diseases that have become common in the current times we live in. Research has proven that a cut in saturated fat and adapting to low cholesterol diets helps in the rapid cholesterol improvement, keeping the heart protected and it lowers high risks of diseases. Foods that have high fat levels and whose amounts should be limited include:
- Dairy fats
- Fatty meat products like sausages, pork, lamb
- Hard margarines and vegetable shortening
- Palm oil and coconut oil
Food list for designing low cholesterol diet plans
So, what exactly are low cholesterol diets? These are diets that are made up of healthy and beneficial foods that don’t fill up the body with junk. They are full of nutrient value and are necessary for proper body functioning. They naturally help to keep the body’s cholesterol levels low and they are good for the heart. These foods are:
- Oat bran
- Brown rice
- Oat cereals for breakfast or oat crunches
- Bread containing 50% oat flour, oat crunches and oatcakes
- Pearl barley
- Beans (e.g. Baked beans, white beans, split peas, pinto beans, navy beans, mung beans, lima beans, kidney beans, edamame beans, chickpeas, cannellini beans, green beans, butter beans, black eyed peas, black beans and adzuki beans)
- Green lentils and red lentils
- Vegetables (e.g. mangoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, cabbage, kale, amaranth, red cabbage, green, red and yellow pepper, chilies, cauliflower, broccoli, eggplants, sweet potatoes, turnips, citrus fruits, aubergine and okra that are packed with soluble fibers)
- Fruits (e.g. mangoes, pears, apples, grapes, strawberries, bananas, prunes and barley)
- Soya nuts that are unsalted, also known as roasted edamame beans such as pistachios, hazelnuts, peanuts, cashews, almonds, pecans, pine nuts and walnuts
- Soya milk
- Soya chunks or minced
- Lean beef
- Skim or low fat milk
- Oils (such as olive oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, corn oil, rapeseed oil, avocado oil, sesame oil and macadamia oil)
- Fish (e.g. salmon, anchovies, rainbow trout, mackerel, tuna, sardines, lake trout, halibut, herring and albacore tuna) and Omega-3 oils from fish. Sea fishes are a great source of omega-3 oil
You may follow vegetarian diet plan, if you’re already struggling with high cholesterol.
How these foods in low cholesterol diet plans work?
Soluble fibers reduce cholesterol absorption into the bloodstream. Fish are heart healthy due to their being rich in Omega-3 which reduces blood pressure and risks of blood clotting. Consuming Omega-3 in people, who’ve suffered heart attacks reduces sudden death. Fish is preferable if grilled or baked, avoid too much stew with fish. Canola oil and ground flax seed are extra sources of Omega-3 for those who dislike fish.
Nuts has high and healthy calorie counts and they are better filler options for snacks. You can take them alone or sprinkle them on yogurt and cereal to add flavor and nutrients. Foods that are fortified with stanols or sterols help in blocking cholesterol absorption (e.g. orange juice, yogurt and margarine). Excess cholesterol in the blood sticks to artery linings and that causes the artery to narrow. Too much cholesterol often causes clotting, stroke or heart attacks. Habits like smoking, excessive alcohol abuse and inactivity in lifestyle cause heart diseases through fat accumulation.
A low cholesterol diet helps to maintain blood pressure, keeps arteries responsive and flexible. Also, regulates weight gain, promotes good mental, visual, digestive, circulatory and bone health. These foods also are equipped with cancer fighting properties. Most trans-fat foods are processed and overcooked and these are fast foods that both me and you find so convenient to munch on. They have been linked to the rising rate of cancer through unhealthy oils and artificial sugars.
Not all kinds of cheese are unhealthy. In fact, none at all is. They all have benefits, but they shouldn’t be overdone in your low cholesterol diet plans, you must maintain a limit. Garlic has been used for many centuries as a spice and a medicinal herb. This kitchen staple not only flavor food, it also lowers cholesterol, prevents clotting, reduces blood pressure and gives protection against common infections. It prevents the sticking of cholesterol particles on artery walls and that stops plaque from clogging the arteries.
Spinach is rich in lutein which keeps cholesterol from clogging the arteries. Lutein is found in plenty in egg yolks and in leafy vegetables that are dark green in color. Tea is packed with antioxidant compounds and it relaxes the blood vessels, thus preventing blood clots. Flavonoids, the main antioxidants present in tea, prevent cholesterol oxidation, thus preventing plaque formation. Black and green tea both have high levels of antioxidants, whether served hot or iced.
Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants, which contain flavonoids. The latter keeps platelets from sticking onto each other. Milk chocolate and red wine have the same approximate amounts of antioxidants and they help to increase good cholesterol. Other than foods, cooking choices also do matter. You must avoid poultry products that have skin on them. Opt for skinless chicken or turkey, go for meat cuts with less visible fat, trim meat fat before cooking and avoid adding in oil if the meat still has traces of fat.
Serve fewer portions of foods that are high in fat and increase salad and fruit portions instead. Replace solid cooking fats with liquid vegetable oils. It’s good to note that the body needs cholesterol in cell membrane creation, production of sex hormones and in vitamin metabolisms. It has important functions too, though what is needed in higher amounts is the high density lipoproteins. The opposite is the low density lipoproteins which are needed too, but in lower proportions.
Cooking tips for low cholesterol diet plans
Excess low density lipoprotein (LDL) causes atherosclerosis. You can eat as much as you want, but make sure that you are on the right track of low cholesterol diets. Select foods carefully and check ingredients and components when shopping. Use cooking methods that are fat free and preparation methods that support your dieting habits. Exercising goes hand in hand with a low cholesterol diet. Physical activities are known for heart benefits, they promote good circulation, reduce risks related to heart problems and blood pressure.
- Boil or grill foods instead of pan frying
- Drain off the fats by using a rack while roast, boil or bake foods
- Cut off all visible fats and make the chicken skinless while cooking
- Use wine fruit juice, wine or marinade while cooking, don’t get baste with drippings
- To brown or sauté foods use vegetable oil spray
- While serving make the low-fat dishes bigger and high-fat dishes smaller
Find an activity that suits you and slowly make it part of your daily routine. Any activity that raises your heart rate is good for your heart, arteries, brain, digestion, metabolism and it improves general body functions. Exercising keeps cholesterol levels balanced and it burns up excess, unhealthy fat. Dieting sure does the trick, but with a little bit of fitness you can get a healthier body and a better functioning heart.
The 7 days Low Cholesterol Diet Plans
These low cholesterol diet plans are in order of breakfast, morning snack, lunch, evening Snack and dinner. These are exchange low cholesterol diet plans, so you can switch the menu each day and add or exchange with other foods with the same calorie values.
- Beaten egg whites + two slices of whole meal toast and a pear
- Banana and strawberry smoothies with sprinkled crushed nuts
- Guacamole salad
- Greek yogurt
- Brown rice with minced soya and steamed spinach
- Oatmeal cereal + a cup of skim milk+ a banana
- Freshly squeezed orange juice
- Chicken and mozzarella sandwich+ fresh tomatoes + a quarter avocado sliced
- One cup of pineapple slices+ a handful of grapes
- Sweet potato mash without butter additions+ steamed broccoli and grilled chicken marinated in lemon and garlic sauces
- Oatmeal porridge + an apple
- A cup of skim milk + a bar of oat crunch
- Vegetable tuna salad with olive oil and vinegar dressing
- A slice of toast sprinkled with parmesan cheese
- Brown rice+ stir fried cauliflower+ carrots and cowpeas + grilled salmon. Use virgin olive oil in cooking
- A slice of toast+ one slice of bacon and baked beans
- A bowl of mixed fruit salad sprinkled+ vanilla yogurt
- Chicken+ black olive+ feta salad with fresh chilies
- Low fat plain lemon yogurt
- Three slices of spinach+ anchovies pizza+ sprinkled with assorted cheeses such as parmesan+ mozzarella+ cheddar and feta
- A reasonable slice of cake made of pumpkin flour + 1 cup watermelon+ green tea
- A cupful of unsalted assorted nuts
- Stir fried prawns + vegetable salad
- Strawberry+ banana+ skim milk shake
- Boiled sweet potatoes+ grilled lean beef with steamed red cabbage
- Oat cereal with soya milk + 1 cupful of mango slices
- Two pieces of dark chocolate + a handful of almonds
- Vegetable salad + a sardine sandwich
- One scoop of vanilla ice cream with crushed + sprinkled pistachios + an avocado slice
- Two roasted potatoes+ stir fried rosemary turkey with steamed eggplants+ broccoli and cauliflower
- Scrambled egg white on whole toast+ a glass of squeezed lemon+ apple+ watermelon juice
- Greek yogurt with added strawberries+ mango slices
- Fried liver with mashed potatoes+ stir fried okra
- A slice of carrot cake with skim milk
- Brown rice+ stir fried trout with sweet red+ green pepper+ steamed kale+ butter bean stew
Myths you should ignore
Some foods have been to subject to misconceptions and negative myths due to their natural fatty natures and these are the kidneys, liver, eggs, cheese, yogurt, avocados and seafood like prawns. These are naturally packed with healthy cholesterol and unlike common belief they actually have low levels. They are healthy and are recommended by nutrition specialists. Any food that reduces the low density lipoprotein is good for your health.