Changes In Diet To Reduce Cholesterol
There are a variety of common sense methods which you can take to reduce your cholesterol level simply by regulating both the type of food you eat and how this food is prepared. Unlike medication there are no side effects – apart from the fact that you will feel healthier that is.
Minimise Your Fat Intake
Try to minimise your fat intake - in particular your intake of “bad” saturated fat.
There are 3 types of fat: Saturated fat, polyunsaturated fat and mono unsaturated fat. Reduce the amount of saturated fat you eat and substitute mono unsaturated or polyunsaturated fats when preparing food.
This is usually solid at room temperature and its inclusion in the diet is believed to increase blood cholesterol by twice as much as cholesterol alone. Examples of saturated fat include:
Butter, shortcrust pastry, meat fats, coconut oil, palm oil.
This is normally liquid at room temperature and lowers both good (HDL) and bad (LDL) cholesterol levels. Examples of polyunsaturated fats include:
Corn oil, sunflower oil, soy bean oil.
Mono unsaturated fat
Again this is liquid at room temperature and has the advantage that it lowers the bad (LDL) cholesterol level while maintaining the good (HDL) cholesterol. Examples of mono unsaturated fats include:
Olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, certain nuts.
Eat Fewer Egg Yolks
The average egg yolk contains 213 g of cholesterol. Considering that the recommended daily cholesterol intake is just 300 g it’s easy to see that we shouldn’t include too many egg yolks in our diet. Set a limit of 3 egg yolks per week.
Egg whites are okay and you can use these as you wish. If baking substitute 2 egg whites for 1 whole egg for healthier eating.
Eat Plenty Fibre
Eat plenty of fibre, especially soluble fibre, which is thought to lower cholesterol. Fruits, vegetables, beans and oats are all good sources of fibre. Try to eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables each day.
Use low or no fat alternatives whenever possible.
When preparing food, consider using the following methods. These will result in meals with lower saturated fat content.
Bake, boil, broil, grill, steam, roast, braise/simmer, poach, sauté, stir-fry or microwave.
Sauté vegetables and meat in water, broth, or wine instead of butter.
Allow soups, stews and broths to cool and then skim off the fat. Lifting off the congealed fat saves 100 calories for each tablespoon of fat removed.
Trim fat from meat and remove the skin from poultry before cooking. Except when roasting a whole chicken or turkey. In this case cook with the skin on and then remove it before carving.
Choose whole turkeys that have not been injected with fats or broths.
Brown meats and then drain off all the fat.
Cook meats at low temperatures – 325 to 350 oF – for longer. Higher temperatures seal the fat into the meat.
Use only those canned products (canned fish, chicken, and fruits) which are preserved in water instead of oil.
Use low-calorie bases, e. g. vinegar, mustard, tomato juice, fat free bouillon, for sauces and dressings instead of high calorie ones – such as cream, butter, oils, and mayonnaise.
Use fat free skimmed milk (1/2 %), fat free evaporated milk and non-fat yoghurt, non-fat sour cream, and nonfat/low fat cheeses. .
Substitute a cup of cooked beans, peas, lentils, 3 ounces of tofu, peanut butter or soy nut butter for a 3-ounce serving of meat.