Cholesterol is either ingested in the food (about 25% ) we eat and some of it is produced by our body (remaining 75%). Cholesterol is needed by the body to produce steroid hormones and bile acids. It is an aspect that is required by the body and if in too much quantity, the same can cause havoc in the body. The best is to maintain the right balance of cholesterol in our diet. The same requires lifestyle and dietary modifications.
The first step in creating your low cholesterol diet plan is to eliminate foods high in saturated fat and bad cholesterol.
Low cholesterol foods diet mainly includes:
1. High-Fiber Diet- Soluble fiber reduces bad cholesterol. Good food sources are oatmeal, fruits and vegetables.
2. Cooking oil- Fats makes about 30 % of your days intake. A combination of oils works the best. Foods rich in saturated fats are butter, ghee, cream, and cheese. These need to be taken in moderation or avoided. Avoid fried foods. Not more than 10% of total calories should be from Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA) and the remaining should be from Monounsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFA). The best sources of PUFA are plant based oils, sunflower, corn, soybean, cottonseed and safflower. MUFA are found in the largest amounts in olive, canola, mustard, almond and peanut oils.
3. Avoid Trans fats- Read labels carefully and do not reuse oil used for frying.
4. Go lean- Choose lean meat and fish. Fish is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Foods high in omega 3 help you lower down the risk of cardiovascular disease. Tuna and salmon are a good source of omega-3 to name a few.
5. Eat a wide range of fruits and vegetables- This will help ensure that your body meets all the vitamins and nutrient requirement. Fruits and vegetables are relatively low in calories. Apples and pears are known for soluble fiber, which reduces bad cholesterol levels. It is best that you eat good quantities of the same.
6. Include low-fat dairy products- avoid ghee, cheese, cream, paneer and butter. Opt for lighter and healthier options.
7. Exercise well - Exercise at least 30 mins per day. Workout will help you burn extra fat resulting in lowering cholesterol levels.