|The Best Diets for High Cholesterol|
High blood cholesterol levels can be attributed to a range of reasons - diet, heredity and unhealthy ways, among them. Whichever the cause of your cholesterol problem, your doctor will most likely recommend you some of the best diets for high cholesterol. Diet is one of the most important steps for treating high cholesterol problem, and simply tweaking your ways can go a long way towards better overall health.
How can you start with lowering cholesterol through dietall Here are some important suggestions.
1. Eat fewer foods that are high in cholesterol and fat.
This first tip is so obvious, it is mostly self-explanatory. Note that there are two major types of fat - saturated and unsaturated, the sum of which makes up your fat consumption. The best diets for cholesterol would involve less total fat - both saturated and unsaturated. Fat, as you know, is the richest source of calories and lowering fat intake will have a significant impact on your calorie intake as well. Keep away from saturated fats like butter, whole milk, cheese, and ice cream, as well as fat in poultry, fish and shellfish. Stay away from fried foods as well since oils used for frying (even "zero cholesterol" vegetable oils) are usually rich in trans fats, which can block arteries and lead to heart problems.
A low cholesterol diet is one that focuses more on high nutrient foods that are rich in fiber, such as vegetables and fruits. Remember also that strictly speaking, plant and fruit sources contain no cholesterol.
2. Avoid foods rich in saturated fat; go for unsaturated fat sources instead.
While fats are generally no-no for high cholesterol, some amount of dietary fat is still needed by the body for regular functioning. Substitute saturated fat with unsaturated fats found in sources like fish (especially tuna, mackerel, herring and salmon), olive oil and canola oil. These foods are rich in polyunsaturated fat such as omega 3 fatty acids, which are known to reduce bad cholesterol levels while increasing good cholesterol.
Soy products are also excellent substitutes for animal products. Soy contains high levels of polyunsaturated fats along with vitamins and minerals, but contains very low levels of saturated fat.
3. Eat more foods rich in soluble fiber.
Foods such as oatmeal, oat bran, apples, psyllium, pears and barley and other whole grain are rich in soluble fiber. Soluble fibers are those that can effectively lower bad cholesterol levels without affecting good cholesterol. Taking about 5-10 grams of soluble fiber is enough to lower "bad" cholesterol levels by at least 5%.
The Best Diets
The best diets for high cholesterol would include lean meats, low fat dairy, 3 servings of whole grains, and 5 servings of fruits and vegetables. Foods rich in saturated fat and trans fat must be avoided; instead, choose foods rich in polyunsaturated and omega-3 fatty acids such as nuts, olives and olive oil, fish and fish oil supplements.
Many people who are concerned about cholesterol and heart health are taking fish oil supplements in order to give their body a health food that is good for a healthy heart.