Cholesterol is one of the leading reasons for heart disease and associated complications. The most important source for the cholesterol is the diet. Controlling your diet intake and the oils that you use is the best way to prevent heart disease and the complications associated with atherosclerosis.
Diet Recommendations For Controlling Cholesterol:
Limit your fats:
We shall be choosing healthier fats and shall limit the total fat & saturated fat. Not more than 25 – 35% of our daily calories shall come from our dietary fats & below 7% of our daily calories shall come from the saturated fat.
- Saturated fat is bad fat as it increases our LDL or bad cholesterol level beyond anything else in our diet. It is found in meat, dairy products, baked goods, chocolate, processed and deep-fried food.
- Trans fat is also a bad fat as it can increase our LDL and lower our HDL or the good cholesterol. Trans fat is mostly available in food comprising hydrogenated oil and fat.
Instead of such bad fat, we should have healthier fats like lean meat, unsaturated oil like canola, nuts, olive & safflower oil.
Limiting foods having cholesterol:
If we are trying to reduce cholesterol, we shall have below 200 mg/day of cholesterol. Cholesterol is present in food coming from animal origin i.e. liver and other meat, egg yolks & whole milk dairy goods.
Eating plenty of the soluble fiber:
- Food high in soluble fiber has the potential to abstain our digestive tract from absorbing the cholesterol. Such foods include:
- Whole grain cereals like oatmeal & oat bran
- Fruits like apple, oranges, bananas, pears & prunes
- Legumes like kidney beans, chick peas and lentils
Eating lot of vegetables and fruits:
Diet rich in vegetables and fruits can raise important cholesterol-reducing compounds in our diet. These compounds known as sterols or plant stanols work like a soluble fiber.
Eating fish high in omega-3 fatty acids:
Such acids won’t reduce our LDL but they can help increase our HDL levels. They also could protect our heart from the blood clots & inflammation & lower our risk of a heart attack. Fish which are very good source of the omega-3 fatty acids are salmon, fresh tuna & mackerel. We shall try having such fish twice a week.