Sample Low Cholesterol Diet Plan
Are you struggling to reduce your cholesterol levels? Maybe it is time you had a look at what and how much you are eating and followed a healthy weekly meal plan. Nearly half of the adult population in the world has higher than the desirable levels of cholesterol in their body. Many people consume far too much fat in their diet than the recommended GDA ( guided daily allowance).
Low Cholesterol Diet Plan Basics
The main aim of a healthy weekly meal plan is to restrict the total fat intake to 70g of fat/day for women and 90g/ day for men, which is the recommended GDA.
This can be achieved by reducing the amount of saturated fats and trans fat(fat from hydrogenated vegetable oils) in the diet whilst still including a healthy amount of EFA(Essential fatty acids) and unsaturated fats( both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated) in the diet. Because it is the saturated fats and trans fats in the diet that gets converted to cholesterol in the body clogging up arteries with devastating consequences.
Low Cholesterol Diet Plan Advice
One of the main ways to reduce cholesterol numbers with a cholesterol free diet is by reducing the overall fat intake in the diet. What is important is the type of fats you choose to include in your diet, along with portion control. Make sure you keep your diet as varied and interesting as possible, which makes it easier to stick to it and not fall back into unhealthy eating habits. Always check labels on food packaging- low fat foods contain less than 3 g of total fat in 100g. Aim to include at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables everyday in your diet, which can be either fresh or frozen.
Also including 2 g of plant sterols in your diet can also reduce LDL(unhealthy cholesterol) levels by 10-15%, often within 2 weeks according to studies published in American and European medical journals. You can take plant-sterol fortified foods like spreads, milk and yogurts, juices etc. which contain these eg. brands like Cardio-aid, Coro-wise in the US and Flora pro-activ, Benecol, Minicol in the UK.
Use low fat cooking oils like sunflower oil, safflower oil, corn oil, rapeseed oil or olive oil which are high in good unsaturated fats. Also try low- fat cooking methods like grilling, baking, steaming, poaching or boiling rather than roasting or frying. Sticking to a low fat diet plan will not only ensure your cholesterol levels are reduced, it will also aid in weight loss thereby reducing your overall Cardiovascular risk.
Sample of cholesterol free diet
High fibre breakfast cereals
Lean white meat- chicken or turkey breast
Dried beans, chickpeas
Fresh or frozen vegetables
Oily fish- eg. salmon, mackerel,sardines, kippers, pilchard, herring (high in EFA)
Wholemeal rice or pasta or breads
Green tea( contains anti-oxidants which reduce cholesterol levels)
Dairy substitutes eg. soya milk, nut milks- hazelnut milk/almond milk, Quinoa milk
Plant sterol fortified drinks/milk/yogurts- upto 2g/ day
Handful of nuts(walnuts), seeds(sunflower/ pumpkin seeds), dried fruits
Low fat yogurt
Carrot or celery sticks with low fat hummus or guacamole