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Low Cholesterol Diet

A low cholesterol diet comes to mind when a person is diagnosed with high levels of cholesterol. This type of diet plan is conducive to having a healthy heart which is likewise a contributing factor for a longer life. A diet low in cholesterol consists of a little amount of high-fat foods and more foods that are cholesterol-free. A low cholesterol diet not only helps in keeping the heart healthy but also aids in achieving the ideal and healthy weight.

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A diet low in cholesterol seems unpopular because it is known to be boring and tasteless. But with the huge number of cholesterol-free products available these days, it is now possible to enjoy a low cholesterol diet plan without sacrificing the taste and nutritional value.

What does a low cholesterol diet mean?

A low cholesterol diet is a diet plan that is remarkably low in cholesterol. This particular diet plan is often recommended by doctors to their patients who have high levels of cholesterol as well as to those eyeing to loss weight without using any medication or potentially harmful medicines. A diet that is low in cholesterol contains less cholesterol, sodium and dietary fat, but high in complex carbohydrates and soluble fiber.

What can you get from following a diet that is low in cholesterol?

The entire body, especially the heart, greatly benefitsfrom sticking to a diet that is low in cholesterol. Cholesterol plays a very important role in the hormone production and the defense of the cell membranes. It also helps in the manufacture of Vitamin D, bile excretion and expelling water. This natural lipid is produced by the liver, thus, the body only needs a little of it from foods. If too much cholesterol is taken in, this could lead to serious medical conditions like heart diseases because the cholesterol will eventually accumulate in the arteries.  The arteries will then become clogged which may lead to stroke or heart attack. A low cholesterol diet supplies just the right amount of cholesterol needed by the body so that itcan fulfill its tasks.

What are the foods that must be included in a low cholesterol diet?

A diet that is low in cholesterol should have the following:

  • Oats

Oats are high in soluble fiber which helps lower the cholesterol level. Whole oat flour, oatmeal and oat bran are very healthy and are perfect breakfast, though they can also be added to casseroles, baked goods and soups.

 

  • Fish

Fish is naturally high in omega-3 fatty acids which help in reducing the plaque build-up in the arteries as well as lower triglycerides. Fish from cold water such as Mackerel, Sardines, Trout, Herring, Salmon and Tuna are recommended to be included in daily diet due to their high-content of omega-3 fatty acids.

 

  • Nuts

Nuts are rich in vitamins, fiber, proteins, phytonutrients, antioxidants, nutrients, plant sterols as well as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, making them healthy substitutes for junk foods. They can also be included in soups, salads, fruits, cereals, pastas and porridges. Examples of these are peanuts, pecans, almonds, walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios and hazelnuts.

 

  • Soy

Soy is an excellent alternative for meat and fat-rich milk products; they come in the form of Tofu, soy milk, soy flour, soy nuts, Miso and Tempeh.

 

  • Food that contains plant stanols or sterol

Plant stanols or sterols are natural substances that help in preventing cholesterol absorption. These are often included in salad dressings, margarine, orange juice, spreads and snack bars.

How to get started with a low cholesterol diet plan

There are plenty of ways to commence a diet that is low in cholesterol, and the following things must be considered:

  • Learn to read the labels

This helps in choosing the right foods that are low in fat and cholesterol.

 

  • Pay attention to food preparation

Frying adds unnecessary grease and oil to foods, making them high in cholesterol. This method of cooking should be avoided and replaced with steaming or broiling. Broiling takes away the fat from meats, while steaming enhances the flavor of the foodwithout destroying the essential nutrients.

 

  • Incorporate healthy eating with regular exercise

A diet low in cholesterol should be paired with regular exercise for optimum results.

 

  • Avoid foods that are high in cholesterol

When making a low cholesterol diet plan, trans-fat and saturated fat should be avoided.  These are found in animal meats and processed foods, dairy products like cheese, yogurt and milk, and toppings like dressings, mayonnaise, dips and butter. Bad carbohydrates should also be avoided which come in the form of simple sugars like cookies, white rice, white bread and candy. Aside from raising the triglycerides, bad carbohydrates will also increase the cholesterol.

A low cholesterol diet is a diet plan that is good for the heart. A person need not compromise great tasting dishes when going for a low cholesterol diet plan because there are lots of flavorsome cholesterol-free products available these days. This particular diet plan not only helps in maintaining a healthy heart but a healthy and ideal weight as well.

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