Following a low cholesterol diet can reduce and maintain your cholesterol levels and reduce risk of heart attack and stroke. Use the following recommendations to help lower dangerous cholesterol levels by as much as 10 to 15 percent.
Sources of Bad Cholesterol
Red meat and dairy are the primary sources of cholesterol in the American pantry, so reducing those – or eliminating them entirely – is the best route to lower levels. There are other sources of so-called bad cholesterol that are also easy to identify.
Saturated Fats in a Low Cholesterol Diet
Another key to a low cholesterol diet is reducing saturated fat. You can identify saturated fats as the ones that are solid at room temperature. Saturated fats include butter, cheese, meat fat, and solid oils like palm and coconut.
Trans fats are unsaturated fats that have been treated to be solid, and are just as bad for you as saturated. You can find trans fats, also identified as partially hydrogenated oil, in margarine, some fried food, and commercially prepared baked goods like donuts and muffins.
Good Fat and Lower Cholesterol
On the other hand, your low cholesterol diet can include more unsaturated fats, referred to as good fats, which can be beneficial. Unsaturated fats are typically liquid at room temperature, and can be found in olive, sesame, canola, and vegetable oil, as well as some fish and nuts, including walnuts and flax seeds, as well as omega-3 fatty acids.
Low Cholesterol Diet Food and Ingredients
The Mayo Clinic recommends that following food and ingredients to add to your low cholesterol diet grocery shopping list:
- Oatmeal, oat bran, and high-fiber food
- Fatty fish, including mackerel, lake trout, herring, salmon, sardines, albacore tuna, and halibut
- Walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, pine nuts, although, since they’re high in calories, no more than a handful per day
- Olive oil
- Whey protein, which can be found in protein powders