your diet can help to lower your cholesterol and
triglyceride levels and reduce risk of heart disease.
Here are steps you can take to lower your blood cholesterol
or keep it low:
Follow a low saturated fat, low cholesterol diet like
2. Be more physically active
3. Lose weight if you are overweight
Some people may need to add cholesterol
lowering drugs to these changes in life habits to lower
their cholesterol to a safe and healthy level.
Your doctor can review your risk profile and help decide the
right combination of cholesterol-lowering actions.
Even if you don't have heart disease, having diabetes or
other risk factors puts you at higher risk for heart
disease. For example, diabetes, being overweight,
smoking, and having a family history of heart disease puts
you at greater risk of developing heart disease. Take steps
to change your risk by reaching a healthy body weight,
improving your exercise habits and choosing more heart
healthy foods. Check with your doctor about your cholesterol
levels and how to lower your risk of getting heart disease
in the future.
Can making simple changes to your diet really make a
Just ask the participants of the Lyon Diet Heart Study. Over
600 men and women who had already suffered a heart attack
participated in this four-year study on the effects of diet.
For the half who saw a
dietitian (the nutrition experts who oversee your
program at Personal Dietitian) and received diet
instructions six times in the four year period, there was a
76% reduction in risk of cardiovascular death and heart
attack. So what changes did they make to their diet? They
made some simple changes to their diet; the same diet
guidelines for lowering cholesterol that you can follow for
Your Cholesterol Naturally!
has a diet plan that helps you keep cholesterol, saturated
fat, and total fat within healthy limits. It is specially
designed for you by your
personal dietitian to help
you eat the
right amount and the right type of animal foods so that you
get the protein and other nutrients you need without raising
your blood cholesterol levels. Your guidelines for fats will
help you choose good fats and keep your fat intake within
the amounts that are right for your own calorie needs,
whether you are trying to lose weight, gain muscle, or
maintain weight through a healthy diet. Learn
more, get a
Eat Less Fat
Dietary Fat -
are two main types of fat in the diet – those that are
saturated (the most unhealthful type) and those that are
unsaturated (heart healthy in the right amounts). When you
eat less fat, generally you reduce both types but the most
important type of fat to reduce are saturated types. Eating
less fat helps keep saturated fat lower in the diet and also
helps reduce calories. This helps in reaching and
maintaining healthy body weight because all fats have more
than twice the calories (per gram) of the other main sources
of calories in the diet (protein and carbohydrate).
Reading food labels is a good place to start educating
yourself on the fat in foods. Food labels in the U.S.
provide information on the total fat, and the breakdown of
saturated fat, trans fats, polyunsaturated fat, and
monounsaturated fat, as well as cholesterol content. It can
be a little confusing though because:
Foods that are labeled "cholesterol-free" or "no
cholesterol" may contain a lot of saturated fat.
Foods labeled "low fat" may contain a lot of cholesterol
Foods that advertise "cooked in 100% vegetable oil" may
contain a lot of saturated fat.
Saturated Fat - Saturated fats are the number one food to
avoid on a heart healthy cholesterol lowering diet.
There are many types of saturated fat. Most animal fats
(butter, lard, meat fat, dairy fat) contain a lot of
artery-blocking saturated fat. But worse still are the
highly saturated fats in tropical oils such as coconut oil
and palm oil, found in many processed foods like baked
goods, store-bought snacks and desserts.
Hydrogenation or partial hydrogenation is a process that
makes some good fats bad. It improves the shelf life of fat
and changes the texture of the fat, but it makes the food
more harmful to eat. This process also increases "trans
fats" which acts like cholesterol and naturally saturated
fats to raise cholesterol levels in the blood. Avoid these
lower fat red meat and replacing high fat meats with
more fish, shellfish, lean poultry, wild game will help
reduce saturated fat in the diet.
labels for trans fats, saturated fat, and total fat
content will help keep dangerous fats from “sneaking”
into your diet through packaged and processed foods.
Most of the fats you do eat should be the unsaturated fat
type. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats fit into this
category. These are generally fats that come from vegetable
or other plant sources like seeds, nuts, and grains. The
best source for monounsaturated fats are olive oil and
canola (rapeseed) oil or trans-fat free margarines made from
olive or canola oil. Polyunsaturated fats like corn and
other vegetable oils also have some benefit and not harmful
like saturated fats.
An exception to the rule “avoid animal fats” is the fat
naturally found in fish, shellfish and other seafood. These
omega-3 fatty acids have been found to be very helpful in
reducing triglyceride (blood fats) and help keep blood
platelets less sticky, have anti-inflammatory properties and
are a good addition to a heart healthy diet. Some plant
foods, especially walnuts and flaxseed contain a plant form
of this fat that can convert to omega-3 in healthy people so
these are good foods to include in the diet as well for most
When you eat more foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids,
you improve the balance of essential fats in your diet.
There are several studies that suggest that we eat too many
foods with omega-6 fats and not enough foods containing
omega-3 fats. This is because so many packaged foods contain
vegetable oils that contain mostly omega-6 fats. Fish,
canola oil, soy products, and walnuts are good sources of
Click Here to see our Low Cholesterol Diet Sample
cholesterol and saturated fat should be limited for good
heart health. Do not let people tell you that you
don't need to watch the amount of cholesterol in the diet!
Too much cholesterol and too much saturated fat raise the
blood cholesterol - it's just that saturated fat is more
potent. Both dietary cholesterol and saturated fat block the
LDL receptors in the liver that help remove cholesterol in
the blood and this raises blood cholesterol levels.
The expert panel of the National Cholesterol Education
Program suggests that people limit cholesterol to 300 mg or
less per day, and those at risk should limit cholesterol to
200 mg per day.
Cholesterol is only found in animal foods, or foods that
contain animal foods. So, if it swims, walks, crawls, or
flies, it contains cholesterol. No plant foods contain
cholesterol unless they are mixed with animal foods. So,
baked goods that contain egg yolks or dairy products contain
cholesterol from the animal foods in them.
All animal foods (even fish, chicken, and other lean meat)
contain nearly equal amounts of cholesterol so even if you
eat very low fat animal foods, you still need to limit your
total animal food intake on a lower cholesterol diet!
Less Fat, More “good carbohydrates”
If you are at a healthy body weight, the goal for a
cholesterol lowering diet is to replace the fat calories
with healthful, high nutrition foods low in fat. For the
most part, this means changing the balance of fat vs.
If you need to lose weight, the goal for
a cholesterol lowering diet is to reduce total calories – so
that usually means eating less fat, less carbohydrate, less
protein, and less alcohol. This is because the total intake
of all of the foods you eat is what determines energy
balance and determines whether or not you lose or maintain a
healthy body weight.
Regardless of whether you want to maintain your weight or
you need to lose a few pounds, the type of carbohydrate
foods you choose is very important and contributes to good
heart health and good nutrition overall. This means choosing
the right carbohydrates to balance out your low cholesterol,
low fat diet.
Can you put it all together?
Eat more root vegetables and green vegetables
Not only are these foods excellent sources of vitamins,
minerals, and antioxidants, vegetables (especially green
leafy types) are low in calories and high in fiber content.
These foods are filling, nutritious and low calorie, an
excellent choice for people trying to achieve a healthier
body weight. Mom was right: eat your vegetables - she didn’t
need a scientific study to prove it!
Eating more vegetables is such a powerful change that I
think if most people were to just concentrate on eating at
least 4 servings of a variety of vegetables, that this could
be enough to cause weight loss in some people. Keep track of
your own vegetable consumption and work on this habit first.
Eat fruit every day
Once again, this is a food group that is very high in vitamins
and minerals, high in water content and fiber. In addition,
fruit is sweet and can satisfy the need to feed your sweet
tooth. If you can replace regular desserts with fruit at least
half the time, it can make a big difference. Eat fruit as a
snack, and add a fresh fruit salad at dinner, especially if you
eat a lot of packaged dinners or convenience foods. This can
give a boost to the nutritional quality of your meal.
Eat foods high in fiber
Whole grains like oatmeal, whole
wheat breads and pasta, brown rice, lentils, beans,
vegetables and fruits are the good carbs to look for. Fiber aids
digestion and many studies show that certain types of fiber can
help lower cholesterol (along with eating less fat and
cholesterol and exercising). They add a feeling of fullness
without adding a lot of calories, a real plus when trying to
Maintaining a healthy body weight and body fat percentage
Extra body weight is a key risk for heart disease, diabetes,
insulin resistance, high blood pressure, certain cancers and
arthritis and lower joint diseases. It makes surgeries more
difficult and risky and it makes getting through the day more
tiring. As people age, they tend to increase the percent of body
fat in their body even without gaining weight so even if you are
at a good weight, you could be losing muscle and gaining fat.
This is where exercise and leading a more active lifestyle can
help improve your fitness and health. Exercise will enhance the
effects of your diet, improve metabolism and reduces risk of
injury so get fit, get strong and live well!
healthy diet, exercise, lifestyle changes,
healthy body weight & when needed, cholesterol lowering
medications for best results.
For individual help on lowering cholesterol I recommend
PersonalDiets program where you'll get the right diet for your
needs for cholesterol lowering; you'll also get answers to
technical questions, a personal diet assessment and
recommendations from our diet & nutrition experts.
You can learn more now by getting a FREE Diet Analysis.
Then after reviewing our offer if you decide to join, a dietitian will develop you a custom,
heart healthy diet plan suited to your personal needs,
preferences, etc & will
provide you with our effective, proven diet & nutrition program
(including unlimited professional dietitian support from our
Remember, one of the most important reasons to lose weight & to
maintain a healthy body weight is for your health. Excess weight
is associated with high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol and
triglycerides, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke,
certain types of cancer, and other diseases.