Understanding What a Low Cholesterol Diet Is
Basically, in order to lower your cholesterol, you will have to follow a diet that is
- low in saturated fat
- low in cholesterol
This is absolutely essential in helping you to lower your cholesterol. You must understand that although cholesterol lowering medications can be prescribed by your doctor, you will still need to follow a controlled diet specifically to help reduce your high blood cholesterol levels.
Cholesterol is found in eggs, dairy products, fish, meat and poultry. Be aware that many foods contain both high in saturated fat and cholesterol, such as diary products (especially egg yolks) and red meats. Therefore, it is important to limit the amount of such high-fat foods. It is also recommended to opt for the ‘low fat’ versions of any type of food, especially dairy products (low fat yoghurts, cheeses, etc)
Basic Foods of a Low Cholesterol Diet
Foods to eat:
- lean meats
- skinless poultry
- low fat dairy products
- complex carbohydrates: pasta, rice, potatoes, bread, cereals, fruits, vegetables
- low calorie fizzy drinks (limit to one a day)
- drink plenty of water
How to cook:
- grill or roast meats
- steam or boil vegetables
- steam fish
- use low fat oils
Foods to avoid:
- crisps, biscuits, chocolate, sweets
- don’t add whole milk, butter, rich sauces or cream to pasta dishes or any other meal
- try avoiding white bread
- fizzy drinks
If you love pasta dishes with sauces, try low fat versions such as adding a tin of tomatoes with a dash of garlic and Worcester sauce as a tomato-based sauce, low-fat crème fresh for a cream-based sauce or a cheese sauce packet-mix made with skimmed milk for a cheese-based sauce.
Get used to experimenting with herbs and spices to add different and exotic flavours to your meals.
Exercise – Love it or hate it!
Do you hate to exercise? Don’t be ashamed if you do, many people dislike doing any form of exercise. The key here is to find something that you enjoy doing. It does not necessarily mean you must go to the gym three times a week, or run a mile four times a week. Count exercise as any type of movement that gets you out of your chair! Some examples:
- walking (the dog…)
- walk up and down the stairs
- netball / volleyball / basketball etc
- skipping with ropes
- cleaning / dusting the house
- look after a toddler for a day!
Try and find something you enjoy doing and do some form of regular exercise as it does play an important role in cholesterol-reduction.