Diets and Diet Programs Information
Dietary Advice for Lowering Blood Cholesterol
Note: Diet, exercise and weight loss (to a healthy weight) all help to reduce blood cholesterol and lower the risk of heart disease.
Diet Tips to Reduce Cholesterol
Reduce Total Fat Intake to Reduce Saturated Fat
One of the goals in your blood cholesterol-lowering diet is to eat less total fat, because this is an effective way to eat less saturated fat. Saturated fat raises your blood cholesterol level more than anything else in your diet. Animal products as a group are a major source of saturated fat in the average diet. Butter, cheese, whole milk, ice cream, and cream all contain high amounts of saturated fat. A few vegetable fats are high in saturated fat. These vegetable fats are found in many commercially baked goods, such as cookies and crackers, and in some snack foods like chips, candy bars, and buttered popcorn.
Switch to Good Fats to Help Reduce Cholesterol
Certain fats help reduce cholesterol. These are fats found in the oils of fish and shellfish (often referred to as fish oils, or omega-3 fatty acids), as well as olive and canola oil (rapeseed oil).
Eat Less High-Cholesterol Food
Dietary cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in foods that come from animals. Dietary cholesterol also can raise your blood cholesterol level. Cholesterol is found in eggs, dairy products, organ meats, poultry, fish, and shellfish. High-fat dairy products, meat, and poultry skin all have similar amounts of cholesterol. Fish generally has less cholesterol, but shellfish varies in cholesterol content.
Choose Low GI Carbohydrate-Containing Foods
Use the Glycemic Index (GI) as a general guide to carb-eating. Low-GI foods that are high in complex carbohydrates, are low in saturated fat and cholesterol. These foods are also good sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. The type of fiber found in foods such as oat and barley bran, some fruits like apples and oranges, and in some dried beans may even help reduce blood cholesterol levels.
Advice on Diets
Special diets or diet plans with special diet foods are sometimes needed for particular health conditions. Ask your doctor, dietitian or nutritionist about your personal dietary needs. Otherwise, a balanced diet program containing foods from all the nutritional food groups is best.