Low Cholesterol Diet Plan
Like most diet plans that help with the health of the individual, a low cholesterol diet plan features foods that are generally healthy for an individual. If one follows a healthy diet, one will end up reducing the quantity of cholesterol consumed. It is very important to note that cholesterol problems can affect individuals who are normal weight as well. It is not necessary that one needs to be fat in order to suffer from cholesterol related problems. In fact, this misconception results in individuals of normal weight suffering from heart conditions, simply because they do not take the issue of cholesterol seriously as they feel that their healthy weight is enough to guarantee good health.
A low fat low cholesterol diet plan generally has two aspects that need to be applied. A low cholesterol diet plan is a type of a diet that consists primarily of foods that contain low amounts of LDL or bad cholesterol. Firstly, such a diet plan negates the consumption of excessive quantities of fat. In general, fatty foods, oily foods and junk foods contain plenty of cholesterol. This leads to the accumulation of cholesterol in the blood stream over time. The second aspect that is generally observed for any low cholesterol diet plan is the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. The consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables helps in two ways. Firstly, these food items provide the body with good, healthy nutrition. Secondly, fruits and vegetables usually replace unhealthy foods in the diet plan, thus reducing the effects that such foods might have on the health of an individual. See also diet for cholesterol control
A low cholesterol diet plan menu should include plenty of variety and should be made up of food choices that contain small amounts of fat rather than large amounts of fat. Beyond this, there is very little that an individual needs to do to ensure that cholesterol levels are kept in check.
It also consists of foods that have lower amounts of sodium. It is not just fat and cholesterol that can lead to heart problems; the presence of high amounts of salt in a diet can lead to high blood pressure, which eventually raises the risks of heart attacks. Therefore, most low cholesterol diet plans consist of fresh fruits and vegetables, (mainly green vegetables), lean meats, high fiber foods, certain herbs and spices as well as low-fat dairy products. Given below, are some low cholesterol diet tips, that can enhance all cholesterol lowering diet plans:
- Fruits and Vegetables: Every diet should include high amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables, as they are not just low in fat; they are regarded as low cholesterol foods. Health experts recommend that at least 5 to 9 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables should be eaten on a daily basis. Therefore, a low cholesterol diet meal should consist of a large variety of fruits and vegetables.
- Lean Meats: Instead of eating red meat, like lamb or pork, it is much better to use lean meats like chicken, turkey or fish, in your recipes. Leaner meats contain less cholesterol than red meats do. Therefore, instead of using ground beef in hamburgers, try ground turkey meat or minced chicken instead. Alternately, you can trim the fat off a cut of meat, before cooking and consuming it.
- Grains: Most grains are an essential part of a healthy and nutritious diet, as they are high in fiber, but low on fat, calories and cholesterol. Dietitians normally advise people against eating bread or pasta because they are made from white flour. However, there are now several types of breads, muffins, dinner rolls and pasta, that are made from wheat or other whole grains. Brown rice should replace white rice, as it is a much healthier option.
- Fat (Oil): Saturated fats and especially partially hydrogenated vegetable oils should be avoided strictly, as they increase bad cholesterol in the body. Instead, canola oil, sunflower oil and olive oil can be used in moderate amounts.
- Dairy: Dairy products in the low-fat variety, for example, skim or 2% milk as well as low-fat cheese and yogurt can be used in place of the original products.
- Herbs and Spices: There are certain herbs and spices like cinnamon, garlic, thyme, basil, rosemary and others that have several health benefits, including the regulation of cholesterol levels in the body.
However, even though a low cholesterol diet plan is very healthy and should not cause any problems, it is important to check with your doctor before following any diet plan, especially if you are suffering from any health condition.