Are you gaining weight? Does this make you worry about your cholesterol level? Do you feel like you need to do something about your eating habits particularly your cholesterol diet?
What is the first thing to consider in a low cholesterol diet? Knowing the purpose of a low cholesterol diet will make you adhere to it more sincerely. Then before indulging in any strict diet, low cholesterol diet included, you have to know why some foods are safe to eat and why some are not. However, a lifestyle change that would include a good cholesterol diet as a first step would work best.
The basic of cholesterol lowering diet is the decrease in the total intake of saturated fat, calories, and cholesterol in the body to decrease weight. These types of foods are mainly fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables have very high fiber content; this soaks cholesterol like sponge and disposes it out of the body. Apples, oranges and pears are high fiber foods. This includes oats and carrots. Pasta, whole grains and potatoes are samples of complex carbohydrates.
If you want to go on a cholesterol diet you should minimize your intake of the day’s total saturated fat calorie by 7% and fat by 25-35 percent. Limit your sodium intake by 2400 milligrams daily.
Remember, cholesterol lowering diet and maintaining a daily exercise are major factors in lowering the cholesterol level.
Here are some tips on cholesterol diet approaches:
- Taking fiber-rich foods such as whole grains as your primary source of carbohydrates. This should go hand in hand with an increase intake of fresh fruits and vegetables such as berries, oranges, apples, pears, grapes, bell peppers, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, tomatoes, dark leafy greens celery, squash and eggplant among others.
- Staying away from saturated fats which are mostly found in animal foods such as meat, poultry and dairy products is a good cholesterol diet. Opt for unsaturated fats instead, specifically omega-3 fatty. Good sources of these would be the vegetable and fish oils.
- Source out protein from soy protein, poultry, and fish instead of meat.
- Major lifestyle change as a part of cholesterol diet would mean weight control, exercise, and quitting smoking.
If you want to dine out and still stick on your cholesterol diet, here are some tips for you to follow so that you will be able to maintain your cholesterol diet.
- Find out which restaurants have low saturated fat and have a low cholesterol menu.
- Sharing your dish with your companion or taking some home is advisable, better yet, you can also ask for appetizer-size servings or a side dish.
- Ask to separate the gravy, butter, rich sauces and dressings. You can control your cholesterol and saturated fat much easier that way.
- Ask the extras (salad, fries, baked potato) to be left off or substitute them.
- If you are craving for pizza, order the one that has vegetable toppings (green pepper, onions, and mushrooms) instead of meat or extra cheese. Or to make it easier for you, order it with half of the cheese or no cheese at all.
- If your dining on a fast-food restaurant, order salads, grilled skinless chicken sandwiches (fried and breaded are a no no), regular-sized hamburgers or roast beef sandwiches. Avoid large burgers, sandwiches and french-fries.
- Choose the dishes that are cooked on a low cholesterol method (broiled, steamed, au jus, garden fresh, baked, roasted, poached, tomato juice, dry boiled and lightly saturated)
- Be mindful of dishes that are high in saturated fat and cholesterol. (butter sauce, fried, crispy, creamed, au gratin, au fromage, escalloped, parmesan, hollandaise, béarnaise, marinated, stewed, basted, sautéed, casserole and pastry crust)
Take note that if you lose weight, your calorie needs will also be lowered. It will decrease the amount of saturated fat and the fat that you will be able to consume on the cholesterol diet.
If you are having a hard time of making changes with cholesterol lowering diet, consult a nutritionist or dietitian so that you can work up some sample diets.