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How to lower cholesterol? 12 Food to low cholesterol diet

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How to lower cholesterol: Often, people worry about their blood pressure rising or their sugar levels increasing. It’s natural to be concerned because any imbalance in the body starts to show its effects. This includes cholesterol. Perhaps few are as worried about increasing cholesterol levels. Factors like poor diet and lack of physical activity are many risk factors that can contribute to high cholesterol. In such cases, the diet can play a crucial role in lowering cholesterol levels. So, read this StyleCraze article What to eat and What not to eat to lower cholesterol.

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How to lower cholesterol levels?

Certainly! Here are 10 natural ways to help improve your cholesterol levels:

  1. Eat Monounsaturated Fats:
    • Include foods rich in monounsaturated fats, such as olive oilnuts (like almonds, cashews, and pecans), canola oilavocados, and olives. These fats help reduce harmful LDL (the “bad” cholesterol).
  2. Prioritize Polyunsaturated Fats, Especially Omega-3s:
    • Polyunsaturated fats, including omega-3 fatty acids, are heart-healthy. Sources include fatty seafood (like salmonmackerel, and herring) and fish oil supplements.
  3. Limit Trans Fats:
    • Avoid foods containing trans fats, which raise LDL and total cholesterol while decreasing beneficial HDL. Common sources of trans fats include margarinepastriesmicrowaveable popcornfried fast foods, and some pizzas.
  4. Consume Soluble Fiber:
    • Prioritize whole grains and plant-based foods rich in soluble fiber. Good sources include oatsbarleybeanseggplantokraapplesgrapes, and citrus fruits. Soluble fiber helps lower LDL cholesterol and protects against cardiovascular diseases.
  5. Exercise Regularly:
    • Engage in physical activity to improve cholesterol levels. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week.
  6. Maintain a Healthy Weight:
    • Achieving and maintaining a moderate weight within the recommended BMI range can help lower cholesterol and reduce heart disease risks.
  7. Avoid Smoking:
    • Quitting smoking positively impacts cholesterol levels and overall health.
  8. Moderate Alcohol Consumption:
    • If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. Excessive alcohol can raise cholesterol levels.
  9. Consider Plant Sterols:
    • Foods fortified with plant sterols or stanols can help block cholesterol absorption. Look for them in products like margarinegranola bars, and orange juice.
  10. Explore Supplements:
    • Consult your healthcare provider about cholesterol-lowering supplements if needed.

Remember that lifestyle changes play a crucial role in managing cholesterol. Combine these strategies with a heart-healthy diet and other positive habits for optimal results.


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Food to Lower Cholesterol

After learning so much about cholesterol, many people may be wondering what to eat to lower cholesterol. So here, we are discussing the diet to lower cholesterol, which includes the following:

Certainly! Here are some heart-healthy foods that can help lower cholesterol levels:

  • 1. Oats: Starting your day with a bowl of oatmeal or cold oat-based cereal like Cheerios can be an easy way to lower cholesterol. Oats are rich in soluble fiber, providing 1 to 2
  • grams per serving. Adding fruits like bananas or strawberries can increase fiber intake.
  • 2. Barley and other whole grains: Similar to oats, barley and other whole grains are beneficial for heart health due to their soluble fiber content.
  • 3. Beans: Beans are a great source of soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol levels and keeps you feeling full for longer periods. There are various options such as navy beans, kidney beans, lentils, and chickpeas.
  • 4. Eggplant and okra: These low-calorie vegetables are rich in soluble fiber and can contribute to lowering cholesterol levels.
  • 5. Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, peanuts, and other nuts are good for heart health. Consuming 2 ounces of nuts daily can slightly decrease LDL cholesterol levels.
  • 6. Vegetable oils: Replace butter, lard, or shortening with liquid vegetable oils like canola, sunflower, or safflower oils to lower LDL cholesterol.
  • 7. Apples, grapes, strawberries, citrus fruits: These fruits are high in pectin, a type of soluble fiber that helps reduce LDL cholesterol levels.
  • 8. Foods fortified with sterols and stanols: Sterols and stanols, derived from plants, can inhibit the body’s absorption of cholesterol from food. Many food products like margarine, granola bars, and orange juice are fortified with them.
  • 9. Soy: Incorporating soybeans, tofu, and soy milk into your diet can also help lower cholesterol levels.

Remember to combine these foods with a balanced diet and other heart-healthy lifestyle choices for effective management of cholesterol levels.

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 Foods to Avoid Cholesterol

In the preceding section of the article, we’ve already covered dietary recommendations for lowering cholesterol. However, it’s equally crucial to understand what foods to avoid when managing cholesterol levels. Let’s explore these considerations further:

  1.  Limit Salt Intake: It’s important to restrict salt consumption, which corresponds to limiting sodium intake. Ideally, one should not exceed 2,300 milligrams (about 1 teaspoon of salt) per day. While reducing salt intake may not directly lower cholesterol, it can help in lowering blood pressure, thereby mitigating the risk of heart disease.
  2.  Restrict Consumption of Cholesterol-Rich Foods: Aim to consume less than 200 milligrams of cholesterol per day. Foods like meat are typically higher in cholesterol. Additionally, egg yolks, shellfish, and dairy products may also contain elevated levels of cholesterol. Hence, it’s advisable to limit their intake.
  3.  Avoid Alcohol: Alcohol consumption can lead to an increase in calorie intake, potentially resulting in weight gain. Weight gain, in turn, can elevate LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and decrease HDL (good) cholesterol levels. Furthermore, alcohol consumption is associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
  4.  Steer Clear of Saturated Fats: It’s important to avoid foods rich in saturated fats. Saturated fats, found in items like cheese, fatty meats, and dairy desserts, as well as trans fats like palm oil, are commonly present in certain foods. Foods with high saturated fat content often have elevated cholesterol levels.

By understanding what foods to avoid in managing cholesterol levels, we can now delve into crafting a cholesterol diet chart.

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 Sample Diet Chart for Cholesterol

Time Diet
Upon waking up 1 cup of skimmed milk
2 almonds
Breakfast 1 cup of porridge, salad, or oats
Mid-Morning 1 medium-sized banana, apple, or pomegranate
Lunch 1 cup of salad
2 chapatis
1 cup of mixed vegetables
1 cup of low-fat yogurt
Afternoon Snack 1 cup of sprouts or salad
1 medium-sized serving of any fruit
Evening Snack 1 cup of salad
2 chapatis
1/2 cup of mixed vegetables
1 cup of low-fat yogurt
Before Bed 1 glass of skimmed milk

 

Other Tips for Cholesterol

To reduce cholesterol levels, besides a diet chart, some general measures can also be beneficial. Here are some such measures:

1. Control Weight: Excess weight and obesity can increase harmful cholesterol (LDL) levels. Therefore, it’s essential to maintain a healthy weight.

2. Incorporate Physical Activity: Include physical activity in your daily routine. This can help in reducing cholesterol and blood pressure levels.

3. Avoid High Saturated Fat Intake and Consume Low Saturated Fat: Steer clear of foods high in saturated fats and opt for those with low saturated fat content.

4. Consume Fiber-Rich Foods: Consuming a diet rich in fiber can help prevent cholesterol from increasing.

5. Quit Smoking: Smoking can damage blood vessels, leading to stiff arteries and an increased risk of heart disease. Therefore, quitting smoking is advised to reduce the risk of heart disease.

6. Manage Stress: Research suggests that stress can sometimes increase LDL cholesterol levels. Therefore, try to avoid stress as much as possible.

7. Follow a Balanced and Nutritious Diet: A good and healthy diet not only helps with cholesterol issues but also addresses other health problems. Hence, adhere to a balanced and nutritious diet daily.

If cholesterol levels in the blood rise, it can lead to several negative consequences. Therefore, it’s essential to keep it under control. In this article, we have shared both cholesterol-control foods and a diet chart for lowering cholesterol. Additionally, information on what not to eat for cholesterol has also been provided in the article. We hope that after reading this article, you have learned how to manage cholesterol. However, remember that everyone’s health is different, so it’s advisable to consult a nutrition specialist regarding what to eat and what not to eat to avoid cholesterol-related issues.

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People also ask

Question: How can I lower my cholesterol quickly?

  1. Ban Trans Fats.
  2. Scale Back.
  3. Get Moving.
  4. Fill Up on Fiber.
  5. Go Fish.
  6. Opt for Olive Oil.
  7. Go Nuts.
  8. Chill Out.

Question: How to reduce cholesterol naturally?

Answer:

  1. Reduce saturated fats. Saturated fats, found primarily in red meat and full-fat dairy products, raise your total cholesterol. …
  2. Eliminate trans fats. …
  3. Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. …
  4. Increase soluble fiber. …
  5. Add whey protein.

Disclaimer

This article is purposive for intended general information and does not mark individual circumstances. It is not an alternative to professional advice or help. It should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. A licensed physician must be consulted to diagnose and treat any medical condition. Any action you take due to the information on this page is entirely at your own risk and responsibility!

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Rishi Govind is a nutritionist and nutrition counselor in New Delhi, India. He is a Postgraduate and passionate about his work. Rishi has over 3 years of experience helping people change their relationship with food and their bodies. He specializes in helping people with chronic dieting issues, food allergies and sensitivities, and digestive problems. Rishi's approach is rooted in the belief that everybody is unique and deserves individualized attention. Rishi is passionate about helping his clients feel their best. He is committed to helping them find peace with food and their bodies so they can live their lives to the fullest.

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