The Basics of a Low Cholesterol Diet

A low cholesterol diet is not hard to follow, given the variety of foods available. Many food manufacturers also have low fat, low cholesterol foods available for people who do not have the time to fix elaborate meals. When you are shopping for such foods, be sure to look at the labels and keep the following in mind: * Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables–they are low in calories and fat. * Try to lower your intake of saturated fats, since consuming foods with these fats could raise your cholesterol levels and place you at a higher risk of acquiring heart disease. * Partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, such as those used in many margarines and shortenings, contain a particular form of saturated fat known as trans-fatty. They raise blood cholesterol levels (including LDL, the bad cholesterol), just like saturated fat. * Use whole grain foods instead of foods containing white flour. Recent studies have indicated that ingesting high amounts of carbohydrates can also raise cholesterol levels and increase your risk of heart disease–especially if you have diabetes. * Use low fat or skim dairy products instead of regular, full-fat ones. You’ll find that not only does this decrease your risk for heart disease, but it is also friendly to your waistline as well! * Cook with lean meats (turkey, chicken, or fish) instead of red meat, which is associated with increasing cholesterol levels. For instance, using ground turkey meat instead of ground beef is a delicious alternative for hamburgers. * When cooking with oils, use olive and canola oils, which are particularly high in monounsaturated fats or vegetable oil, which is high in polyunsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats help lower cholesterol levels