Take a stand against high cholesterol and do something about it today! My low cholesterol diet tips will keep your ticker ticking over and your heart healthy!
If you’ve ended up on this page then it’s likely your doctor gave you “the look”
You know the one; it’s the look your doc gives you as he delivers the bad news. The judgemental, you-should-know-better gaze that makes you feel 12 years old again!
They do this to emphasise the guilty feeling you should have after being told you need to reduce cholesterol to cut your risk of heart problems.
Thankfully you can do something about it, my low cholesterol diet tips give you the power to hold your head high next time you see Dr Disappointment!
This simple guide shows you how to lower cholesterol:
- What is Cholesterol?
- Types of Cholesterol and Their Affect on Your Heart
- Which Foods Contain Cholesterol?
- How to reduce Cholesterol Levels
What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a fat-like substance which is found in foods such as animal products like dairy, meat and eggs. Your body needs cholesterol to carry out its regular functions such as aiding digestion and producing hormones.
Your body’s cholesterol needs are low but the typical western diet tends to provide more cholesterol than you need. This is the cause of the high cholesterol epidemic that is spiralling out of control.
Types of Cholesterol and Their Affect on Your Heart
There are a number of cholesterol types, but the two you need to be aware of are:
- Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL)
- High Density Lipoproteins (HDL)
LDL Cholesterol – The Destructive Devil
LDL Cholesterol is responsible for the build-up of plaque in your arteries; this restricts blood flow to your heart and is usually the cause of chest pain or angina.
Your chest hurts because not enough blood reaches your heart, if left unchecked this is the cause of heart disease.
If the plaque is allowed to build up enough to totally block your blood supply, you could suffer a heart attack.
HDL Cholesterol – The White Knight To Put Things Right!
Polar opposites exist in everything and cholesterol is no different. HDL cholesterol truly is the ying to LDL’s yang!
HDL balances your total cholesterol level by getting rid of the bad LDL’s in your blood. Whilst the focus should always be on keeping LDL’s low, you can safeguard yourself by keeping your HDL levels high too.
Which Foods Contain Cholesterol?
All foods containing animal fat contain cholesterol and some plant based foods to a lesser degree.
This means animal products such as meat, cheese, egg yolks, whole milk, butter and plant based foods such as vegetable oils, coconut and palm oil too.
This doesn’t mean you should eliminate these foods from your diet completely, after all they have many benefits and your body needs some of them to function optimally.
The key point to understand is that fat is not the cause per se; it’s a specifically saturated fat and trans fats that are the main culprits.
Saturated and Trans Fats
Saturated fat is found naturally is most animal products and full fat dairy products although these foods generally do not have a significant amount.
Trans fats are found in fast food and processed foods which are fried or baked, they have the biggest impact of cholesterol. This is because trans fats raise your LDL levels and also lower your HDL levels simultaneously.
How to reduce Cholesterol Levels
Now that you understand cholesterol and which fat to avoid, I give you my low cholesterol diet tips you can use to lower your LDL’s and increase your HDL’s.
Reduce Those Harmful LDL’s
- Cut all trans fats – This will have a huge impact on your cholesterol levels if your existing diet contained them
- Avoid refined carbs – Carbs that are not wholemeal or wholegrain have been tampered with by man and are known as refined carbs. They’ve been shown to raise cholesterol levels
- Choose low fat alternatives – Most food manufacturers have a healthy range, opt for the low fat versions of milk, cheese and other dairy products
- Exercise and try to lose weight if you are overweight – Weight loss and exercise both effectively lower LDL’s and raise HDL’s.
- Eat Flax Seeds and Peanuts – These two contain compounds called phytosterols which can help lower LDL’s
Boost Your HDL Levels
- Use monounsaturated cooking oils – Olive oil or canola oil contain monounsaturated fats which boost HDL levels
- Eat half a raw onion each day – Research indicates this raises HDL by 25% on average in most people
- Fish, Fibre, Flax and Nuts – High fibre foods (fruit, oats, brown rice/bread) and fish have been proven to boost HDL’s
Implement these low cholesterol diet tips and strategies today and your heart (and doctor) will thank you for it!