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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Cholesterol Lowering Diet Plan

Cholesterol Lowering Diet Plan


Cholesterol lowering diet plan proves beneficial for individuals with cardiac problems, hypertension and high cholesterol levels. This diet includes low fat and low cholesterol foods. About 25 to 35 per cent of the daily calories in a low cholesterol diet are derived from fat. Increase the fibre in the diet, as it helps in cholesterol reduction. Opt for high fibre foods, such as whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, pulses and cereals.

Mono unsaturated fats are preferred to saturated fats.

Less than seven per cent of the calories should be contributed by saturated fats. Fats are solids and saturated.  Hence, go in for oils, which are liquids at room temperature. Vegetable oils, such as groundnut oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, soya bean oil, flax seed oil are preferred. Trans fats and saturated fats, such as butter, hydrogenated fats, clarified butter and margarine are completely avoided. Foods rich in trans fats are fried fish, bakery products, french fries, bread and margarine sticks.

Legumes are an essential part of a low cholesterol diet plan. Folic acid, seen in legumes reduces the homocysteine levels. Homocysteine is one of the culprits behind arterial blockage, which contributes to heart problems. Legumes in the form of lentil soup, vegetable recipes or salads are included. Foods such as egg yolk, liver, organ meat, red meat, ham, and pork are avoided.

Nuts and seeds, canola oil, olives and olive oil are a good source of monounsaturated fats that help in increasing the HDL (High Density Lipoproteins) levels. Fatty cuts of meat, whole milk, whole dairy products are some of the foods that are not included.

Obesity is a factor of concern. Fruits and vegetables are a rich source of complex carbohydrates. They are devoid of cholesterol. Cholesterol is seen in animal foods. They are not seen in plant foods, though saturated fats are present in plants. They are a rich source of phyto nutrients and antioxidants. They help in removal of free radicals, which are unstable molecules. Whole grains, such as barley and oats are rich in soluble fibre. They also contribute to fewer calories, thereby help in loss of extra pounds. Excessive intake of dietary fat increases the risk of obesity, hypercholesterolemia and cancer.

Maintain the ideal body weight to facilitate low cholesterol levels. Modification in lifestyle includes abstinence from smoking and alcohol. Exercise works in conjunction with a strict diet helps in reduction of cholesterol. Increased activity is essential for healthy living.

Submitted on February 24, 2009