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Low Cholesterol Diet: Foods That Help Lower Cholesterol

What is cholesterol? Cholesterol is a type of fat found in the bloodstream. It's a lipid molecule that is essential for the proper function of all cells in the body, especially the cells in the brain and nervous system. Cholesterol is produced by the liver and is also found in some foods, such as meat, dairy products, and eggs. Too much cholesterol in the blood can lead to a buildup of plaque on the walls of arteries, which can restrict blood flow and increase the risk of heart attack or stroke.

Diet plan photo created by rawpixel.com - Freepik
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Diet plan photo created by rawpixel.com - Freepik

A low cholesterol diet is a diet that is low in cholesterol. This type of diet is important for people who have high cholesterol levels, because it can help to lower their cholesterol levels and reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to whether a low cholesterol diet is best for you, as the best way to reduce your risk of heart disease depends on your specific situation and health history. There are many different foods that can be included in a low cholesterol diet, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources. Now, we'll discuss what food to avoid and the suitable substitute for it.

Poultry

If you are looking to add poultry to your low cholesterol diet, chicken and turkey are great options. They are good sources of lean protein and also provide you with important nutrients like protein and vitamin B6. However, be mindful of the skin on these poultries. The skin is high in saturated fat and can significantly raise your cholesterol levels. So, if you are trying to keep your cholesterol levels down, remove the skin before cooking. Meanwhile, duck and goose are poultry foods that are high in cholesterol. It is a good idea to avoid eating them if you are trying to follow a low cholesterol diet.

Milk

Milk jug photo created by freepik - Freepik
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Milk jug photo created by freepik - Freepik

Milk is one of the most nutrient-dense beverages. It contains high levels of vitamins, minerals and proteins. Some people are concerned that milk may contain harmful compounds, but recent studies have shown that milk is safe to drink. Milk is a good source of protein and other nutrients, such as calcium and vitamin D, which is important for strong bones, but it also contains cholesterol. To lower your cholesterol level, you should avoid these dairy products: condensed milk, yogurt, ice cream, butter, and cheese. But don't worry, you have suitable substitutes for these dairy products, you can consume low-fat milk, non-fat yogurt, ricotta cheese, and skim milk. So, including these substitutes of dairy products can be a good way to lower your cholesterol level.

Eggs

There are many myths surrounding eggs, but what is the truth? Are they healthy or not? Eggs are a good source of protein and contain many vitamins and minerals. The yolks are high in cholesterol and saturated fat, which can increase your risk of heart disease, but the egg white is low in cholesterol and contains many other nutrients. The egg whites are great source of protein and contain almost no fat or cholesterol. It also has a host of vitamins, minerals, including vitamin D and selenium. The egg white is a good source of B vitamins, including B2 and B12.

Check out our recipes with egg-based ingredients: Tofu Omelettes, Opor Tofu Eggs, and Scrambled Egg and Carrot.

Nuts

Nuts photo created by azerbaijan_stockers - Freepik
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Nuts photo created by azerbaijan_stockers - Freepik

Nuts are a healthy snack option, but some nuts are better for cholesterol than others. Walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, and pecan nuts are good nuts for cholesterol because they contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid that can help lower bad cholesterol levels. On the other hand, cashews, roasted nuts, peanut butter, macadamia nuts, and brazil nuts are not good nuts for cholesterol because they are high in saturated fat. Brazil nuts are a popular snack food because they are high in protein and fiber, but they may not be good for your cholesterol levels. A single brazil nut can contain up to 68-91 mcg of selenium, which is more than the RDI (recommended daily intake of selenium is 55 mcg). Too much selenium can actually raise your cholesterol levels, so eating too many brazil nuts can be harmful to your health.

Oils and Fats

There are two types of cholesterol, HDL (high-density lipoprotein) and LDL (low-density lipoprotein). HDL is considered good cholesterol because it helps remove bad cholesterol from the body. LDL is considered bad cholesterol because it can build up in the arteries and cause heart disease. Some oils are high in saturated fats, which can raise LDL levels. These oils include coconut oil, palm oil, butter, mayonnaise, and lard. But there are oils that are high in polyunsaturated fats, which can lower LDL levels. These oils include olive oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil, corn oil, and salad dressings.