Care For Your Heart with A Cholesterol Free Diet
“Let Food Be Your Medicine, Not Medicine Your Food”
These are the famous words of Hippocrates, who is considered The Father of Western Medicine. He must have been thinking of cholesterol lowering foods when he spoke these words!
High cholesterol doesn’t affect only obese people
A recent survey found that about half of all American adults suffer from elevated blood cholesterol levels, a key risk factor for heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity. Having a high cholesterol symptoms is more commonly associated with obese people, but it is not necessarily exclusive to them.
Lifestyle change is vital
You will be surprised to find some people who are not overweight but have high levels of cholesterol in their blood. Time and again, the Adult Treatment Panel III or ATP III of the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) reiterates that a lifestyle change is the biggest step an individual with high levels of cholesterol can undertake. The most important of these changes involve managing what you eat and how you eat and this is best achieved through an effective low cholesterol diet plan.
Why A Low Cholesterol Diet Plan Works
The first line of defense in the battle against raised cholesterol levels and heart disease is a cholesterol free diet. A low cholesterol diet plan is designed to reduce your body cholesterol and fat to levels that are recommended by the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP). Doing this can decrease the risks of cardiovascular disease and can help prevent a stroke or heart attack from striking in the first instance.
A diet plan works with medication and exercise
Medication and exercise alone are often not enough for those with high cholesterol symptoms. That is why many physicians will prescribe a cholesterol reducing food plan to patients prior to treating with medication. Even if the patient is taking a cholesterol lowering drug, a cholesterol lowering foods often remains part of the treatment.
Dramatic decrease in cholesterol levels
Implementing and continually sticking to a cholesterol reduction diet significantly reduces the dangerous cholesterol numbers. To see how impressively effective cholesterol lowering foods can be, you only have to take a look at the dramatic drops in levels achieved by the best diets to lower cholesterol. Take for example, the NCEP’s Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes diet (or TLC diet) which studies have shown lower high cholesterol by 15% without any exercise. With the help of a physical fitness program, a further 10% can be reduced. Any good cholesterol free diet will cut down blood cholesterol to these levels by the second or third week of consumption.
The Best Healthy Weekly Meal Plan Habits
The basic idea behind a healthy weekly meal plan is to decrease the total consumption of unnecessary saturated fat, calories and cholesterol in the body and to encourage weight loss. This starts with taking a closer look at your daily dietary habits and identifying the areas where change is required.
Look at the food groups you consume:
If you have been diagnosed with a raised cholesterol count, get started by analyzing the dairy foods in your diet. Many of them have a high fat percentage, one of the primary causes of high cholesterol symptoms. Even though you don’t have to completely cut out dairy, it can be replaced by low fat substitutes to cheese, butter and milk instead.Skimmed milk or soy milk is another ideal replacement to lower your cholesterol. As for eggs, it is advisable to eat them in moderation as the egg yolk is loaded with cholesterol or just cook the egg whites after the yolk has been separated from it.
Another area to examine is the animal meat in your eating regime. By choosing only lean cuts and by controlling the intake of red meats, you can minimize the saturated fat content of your meals and thus help in lowering your cholesterol numbers.
Also add more chicken and fish that are naturally low in cholesterol to your dining routine, as long as they are broiled or baked or grilled to remove the fat from the meat. When you fry and bread chicken or fish, they instantly add saturated and trans fat to your system which impacts your blood cholesterol numbers very negatively. Since food preparation in oils or lard packed with saturated fat is not permitted in a cholesterol free diet, try and flavor your dishes with more herbs and exotic spices.
Fruits & vegetables
Eat more steamed and baked vegetables and this will also go a long way to controlling your cholesterol. The same goes for fruits, cereals and wholegrain as well. Fruits and vegetables naturally have a very high fiber content and this dietary fiber soaks up excess cholesterol from the body like a sponge and disposes them very efficiently.
Begin A Healthy Weekly Meal Plan Now
If you are one of the many high cholesterol sufferers, you should start now and take a lifestyle check. By making very simple lifestyle changes and by mainly watching what you eat everyday and with regular exercise, you can effortlessly negate the chances of suffering any heart ailments, cholesterol induced blood pressure or diabetes.
It is better to take control now and deal with the rising cholesterol levels rather than wait for a stroke or heart attack to give you a rude wake up call.
There are a multitude of quality resources to help lower cholesterol available today both offline and online. Everyone one of them will provide you with thousands of choices to plan your meals and make them tasty and enjoyable. Developing and maintaining a healthy heart does not happen overnight. But with the guidance of a proper healthy weekly meal plan and enough discipline, you can confront your heart’s health problems and get healthy and stay healthy!