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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Dieting >>  Cholesterol Diet

Cholesterol Diet

Cholesterol is basically a waxy, soft substance that is usually found in the fats in the bloodstream as well as in all the cells of the body. Cholesterol is required by the body to form some hormones and cell membranes along with the other necessary functions for the healthy functioning of the body. There are various reasons why an individual may suffer from high or low cholesterol such as genetics, diet or even both in some cases. In any case, the first step that the doctor will advise the patient to take towards correcting or controlling the cholesterol levels would be to go on a cholesterol diet. A cholesterol lowering diet will typically require the individual to eat foods that are not high in saturated fats and instead replace such foods wherever possible with unsaturated fats.

Additionally low cholesterol recipes will also include ingredients that are rich in complex carbohydrates that have plenty of fiber and starch as they keep the individual satiated for a longer period of time as they take time to get digested.

The high fiber content in complex carbohydrate foods also ensures good health of the digestive system and promotes early elimination of toxins via stools. High cholesterol foods are those in which a waxy like substance is found and these foods are mostly animal based and these dietary fats are known to raise ones cholesterol levels significantly if consumed excessively. Although some amount of cholesterol is required for the normal functioning of the body, the liver tends to produce enough cholesterol that may be required by the body. Animal based foods that are high in dietary cholesterol include poultry, meat, eggs, fish, organ meat and even shellfish. Hence the cholesterol diet menu will require these foods to be replaced by fruits, vegetables, cereals, nuts and grains wherever possible as they contain no cholesterol and are beneficial to ones health. Cholesterol levels can also be effectively maintained by ensuring that one maintains a desirable weight as it has been observed that people who are obese or overweight are more prone to high cholesterol.

Ones weight can be reduced or maintained by a reduction in the number of calories consumed via ones diet and increasing the level and frequency of physical activity via regular exercises. A cholesterol diet should be rich in fruits and vegetables as they are low in calories and fat but are high in various nutrients and also do not adversely affect ones cholesterol levels. Those who prefer consuming dairy products and meat although they are on a cholesterol diet should instead try skim or low fat dairy products and lean meats such as fish, turkey and chicken so as to not raise the cholesterol levels. A cholesterol lowering diet is primarily aimed at balancing the levels of HDL and LDL cholesterol and thereby reducing the risk.

Olive oil is one of the healthy oils that are suitable to be consumed when on a cholesterol diet as do not raise the level of bad cholesterol or LDL and also lower the levels of LDL by not impacting the level of good cholesterol or HDL. Hence olive oil can be used as a healthy salad dressing or part of other preparations in low cholesterol recipes. Soluble fibers such as apples, pears, barley and oatmeal should also be included in a low cholesterol diet as they are rich in soluble fibers which tend to soak any cholesterol that the body may be getting via ones diet and thereby prevent this cholesterol from getting absorbed. Similarly nuts such as walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds and peanuts should also be incorporated into a cholesterol diet as they are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids which keep the arteries supple and healthy.

Submitted on January 16, 2014