There are many adults that have high cholesterol levels. It is even more startling that only one out of three has the condition under control. It is important to be aware of the dangers, since having high cholesterol is a life-threatening condition. People who have high cholesterol levels are at twice the risk of suffering from heart disease than those who do not.
If you don’t manage the condition early, you could very well suffer a heart attack or have to undergo placement of stents or bypass surgery. If those don’t sound like your idea of a good time, lowering your cholesterol would seem imperative.
Embarking on a low-cholesterol diet is the easiest, most painless way to improve your health and lower your cholesterol; however, many shy away from this method because of the stigma a low-cholesterol diet can carry.
People hear the words “low-cholesterol” and hear the words “bland,” “tasteless,” and “unsatisfying.” The truth is that changing your diet doesn’t necessarily mean giving up all the foods you may love and enjoy. There are plenty of great-tasting, nutritious options available in a low-cholesterol diet.
Less is More
A low-cholesterol diet can cut your cholesterol down by as much as 20%, and the principle is really as simple as ingesting less cholesterol-laden foods and certain fats. That means avoiding foods high in saturated and trans-fats and replacing them with healthy fats like vegetable oils and cold water fish. Check the labels when you grocery shop for foods made with unsaturated fats. Eating unsaturated fats can significantly reduce your high cholesterol levels.
Fruits and Vegetables
As with any health-conscious diet, a heart-healthy diet requires lots of fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are vital parts of any diet due to their low calorie content, but they’re especially useful in a low-cholesterol diet because they contain cholesterol-lowering chemicals.
While increasing your fruits and vegetables, you should strive to decrease your dairy intake. When you do use dairy products substitute low fat and skim product options for higher fat products. Doing so will not only help your cholesterol problem—it’ll also aid weight loss!
Breads and Grains
Swap white flours for wheat and whole grain breads. Carbohydrates are another culprit of raising cholesterol and triglycerides, and they’re even worse if you have diabetes. Whole grain options are the most beneficial, since they contain more fiber and ingesting more fiber helps lower cholesterol and triglycerides.
Trade your red meat in for lean meats, like turkey, chicken, and fish. Lean meats contain significantly less cholesterol than red meats, and they make great alternatives. Instead of beef, use turkey for your burger.
Turkey bacon and turkey sausage are also great options at the breakfast table. Of course, if you do happen to find yourself indulging in a fatty meat dish, you can simply trim the fat away. Doing so will greatly reduce the amount of fat you ingest during the meal.
Low-cholesterol diets don’t mean cutting out all your favorite foods. It simply means that you’re making conscious decisions to eat more nutritious versions of the foods you already love. Simply swap out the “unhealthy” parts of your favorite dishes for other alternatives.
You don’t need to deprive yourself of the foods you love. After all, the key to a healthy diet is moderation!