Many people with high cholesterol choose to lower their cholesterol by making a simple lifestyle change like changing their diets. There are several diets available for one to follow to lower their cholesterol. We will examine diets which include more plant-based foods, decrease the amount of animal products and trans fats that we consume.
One way to lower your cholesterol is to eat a diet which includes more plant-based foods. Foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes are good substitutes for high cholesterol foods. Cereals, breads, rice, pasta, and other grains, as well as dry beans and peas, are generally high in starch and fiber and low in saturated fat and calories. These kinds of foods naturally contain a low amount of fat and cholesterol, with the exception of some bakery breads and sweet bread products which are made with high-fat, high-cholesterol milk, butter, and eggs.
You can eat as much as 6 to 11 servings of foods from this group each day. If you have high triglycerides and/or low HDL (the “good” cholesterol), you should keep your carbohydrate intake below the maximum of 60 percent of total calories. Too many carbohydrates will force your liver to increase its production of cholesterol resulting in high cholesterol rather then decreasing the cholesterol in the blood.
If you looking to lower your cholesterol level, you can follow a diet that decreases the amount of animal products you consume. A lot of animal products are high in cholesterol and are high in saturated fats. Saturated fats will actually raise your blood cholesterol level more than simply eating cholesterol itself. Some foods that are high in cholesterol or saturated fat include some meats like red meat with visible fat, organ meat, processed meat like bologna and salami, duck, goose and other high-fat meats such as bacon and sausage. Foods that are made from animals like butter, egg yolks, cheese and even ice cream are also high in cholesterol and saturated fats. By cutting back on these types of animal products while maintaining proteins, you can lower your cholesterol level.
Another diet that you can follow to lower your cholesterol is to decrease the amount of trans fat that you are eating. Trans fatty acid (trans fat), has also been shown to increase the level of LDL (“bad” cholesterol), although not as much as saturated fats. Trans fat will also decreases HDL. An easy way for you to see if a food contains trans fat is to look at the ingredient list on the food label. If the ingredient list includes words like shortening, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, or hydrogenated vegetable oil, the food contains trans fat.
The ingredients are listed on the label in descending order of predominance. The smaller amounts are present when the ingredient is close to the end of the list. You can also look on the label under “fat”. The amount of trans fat that is contained in the product is often listed just after the saturated fat. Trans fat is found in foods like salad dressing, vegetable shortening, sweets, baked goods, fried foods, and other processed foods. It is these types of foods that should be avoided.