We all know that eating a low cholesterol diet is important for good health, but how do you reduce cholesterol without cutting out taste? The good news is that low cholesterol diets do not have to be bland and tasteless. In fact, it's possible to enjoy a reduced cholesterol diet while still enjoying all your favorite foods. The key is to enjoy those high cholesterol foods in moderation while building your everyday diet around foods proven to lower cholesterol and improve health.
Many people have wondered why controlling your cholesterol level is so important, but the evidence is quite clear. High cholesterol levels are a major risk factor for heart disease and related problems, and high cholesterol is even thought to be a factor in some forms of cancer. With your good health at stake, it's important to know your cholesterol level and take steps to lower it if it's too high. Even if your cholesterol levels are in the normal range, eating a low cholesterol diet will help keep those numbers where they belong.
Low Cholesterol Diets
There are many delicious and nutritious foods that can be part of even the most cholesterol free diet. And you can still enjoy those high cholesterol foods – like red meats, eggs and full-fat dairy products – as long as you do so in moderation. Making entire groups of food off limits to limit your cholesterol intake can backfire if you feel deprived. A better strategy is to enjoy those not-so-healthy foods in small doses while learning a healthier way of eating.
Foods that Lower Cholesterol
Fortunately there are some delicious foods that can form the foundation of your new low cholesterol diet plan. These cholesterol friendly foods are a great way to start your new low cholesterol lifestyle. Some examples of foods that have been shown to lower cholesterol include:
- Whole grain cereals and grains should be a part of any diet to lower cholesterol. From whole grain breakfast cereal to delicious wheat breads, whole grains should play a big role in your cholesterol-lowering efforts. Just make sure that the foods you buy are made entirely with whole grains. Some manufacturers simply sprinkle a bit of whole grains on their otherwise unhealthy foods, so it's important to read the label carefully.
- Lean meats. Animal-based foods like meat and dairy can play a role in a reduced cholesterol diet. Lean meats with the fat trimmed off can be an excellent source of protein, and chicken and turkey with the skin removed can also form the foundation of a cholesterol healthy meal. The key is to limit portion sizes and choose those cuts of meat carefully.
- Fruits and vegetables are a great way to lower cholesterol naturally. Eating five servings of fruits and vegetables every day is a great way to enjoy delicious, low cholesterol meals. Try substituting fresh fruit for unhealthy snacks, and include two or more servings of vegetables with every meal.
- Fish. Eating regular servings of seafood can lower cholesterol naturally without sacrificing taste or quality. Lean fish is the best choice, but be cautious about shellfish and dark-colored fish like salmon, as they can be surprisingly high in cholesterol.
- Beans. Beans should be an integral part of any low cholesterol diet plan, as they tend to be very nutrient-dense. Enjoying a few servings of beans every week is a great way to improve your health and lower your cholesterol level.
- Foods rich in fiber. Including fiber-rich foods like whole grain breads and high-fiber cereal is another way to lower cholesterol without relying on dangerous and expensive drugs. These types of foods are everywhere, and are quite tasty. You should also check out the high fiber diet for more tips.
- Garlic should be a part of any attempt to eat a cholesterol free diet. Garlic has been shown to help lower cholesterol levels, so be sure to use whole garlic, crushed garlic and even grated garlic in your cooking.