A list of foods that are low in cholesterol
The adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” holds especially true for managing cholesterol levels. Making the right choices of food for your diet is far better than having to manage both a diet plan and trips to the doctor. The good news is that the wide variety of good cholesterol foods allows for a healthy and palatable eating regimen.
Since every person is different, their personal tastes and general lifestyle will be the guide to selecting from the list of foods low in cholesterol. And because every person’s health is different – some have naturally high HDL levels (the good cholesterol) – a visit to the doctor to find out what their own HDL and LDL levels are will help to shape their personal diet plan.
Lean meats and Fish
Choose chicken over red meats. Your body needs protein to maintain muscle health. For most people, that protein comes in the form of meat. There is considerably less fat and cholesterol in chicken than most red meats, unless the red meat is very lean. The simple and very flexible meat option is chicken. Skinless chicken is preferred because the skin is where most of the fatty part is present.
As for fish, choose Omega-3 rich fish such as tuna, salmon, Spanish mackerel. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for our health (brain function, blood pressure, heart health) but unfortunately our body cannot produce them. A minimum of three servings of Omega-3 rich fish on weekly basis is recommended.
Drinking milk is important at any age. Many people reduce their milk consumption significantly as they get older, yet this can cause other health problems. The lower the percentage of milk fat present, the lower the amount of cholesterol in the milk. Skim milk may not appeal to everyone, so choosing 1 or 2 percent milk is still a very healthy alternative.
Add whole grain pasta and brown rice to your diet and stop worrying about gaining weight. Both are low in cholesterol and have the advantage of filling you up, so you do not feel hungry between meals. The advantage can also be a disadvantage, as they are both high in carbohydrate, packed with calories. Eating too much of these foods can put extra unwanted pounds on, and increase your total cholesterol level. A combination of lean meat and pasta or rice is an excellent meal that is both a low cholesterol and high energy food. Whole grain pastas are preferred over the more common ones, while brown rice is preferred over white rice. With both of these foods, moderation is the rule.
Fruit and vegetables
Everyone knows fruits and vegetables are essential for a heart-healthy diet, but which ones are the best? The added ingredient is the amount of fiber a particular fruit or veggie has since fiber works to further reduce a person’s cholesterol level. Two fruits that lead the list of high fiber foods are apples and pears. With a dietary fiber count of 4.4 and 5.5 grams respectively for a medium size fruit, choosing these over salty or sugary snacks positively contributes to your overall health. But do not skin these fruits! Compared to meats, skin is healthier than no skin.
For a veggie, cooked green peas is the practical choice. Cook them however you want, but one cup of green peas has 8.8 grams of fiber. Only an artichoke has more dietary fiber. Many diets have some type of potato as part of a meal. While pasta and rice can substitute for the starchy potato, it is still a healthy food with low cholesterol, and one small potato has 3 grams of fiber that will help keep your cholesterol levels in normal ranges.
Not everyone is content with a piece of fruit for a dessert option, so there are low cholesterol alternatives that will satisfy a sweet tooth. Doctors put angel food cake on the list of foods for a diabetic diet. It has enough sugar to sweeten the sweet tooth while not overdoing it, plus is a very low cholesterol food. It can be topped with a fruit such as strawberries to make the body both healthy and happy.
There are a number of other foods that can contribute to a low cholesterol diet plan such as olive oil for cooking and low fat cheese as a flavor enhancer. The goal is to make eating enjoyable yet healthy, and combined with a common sense exercise routine will considerably reduce the risk of becoming a patient with high cholesterol.