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Low cholesterol diet plan – best and proven tips

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As we know, cholesterol is one of the most common aspects of heart health. People today adhere to different diets and their eating is reduced to meals that lack taste. However, as you will see in the post that follows, you can have delicious meals and reduce the level of bad cholesterol in your blood!

When it comes to lowering levels naturally, strictly avoiding all fats is not the answer, nor is completely avoiding foods that contain high cholesterol levels (such as eggs or cheese). It’s all about adjusting your diet and balancing different foods and nutrients – solving root problems naturally.

Of course, in addition to the best and proven tips, we have prepared a low cholesterol diet plan for you, with a seven-day diet.

You will be glad to hear that this food includes all kinds of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, fish, lean meats, and lots of healthy sources of fat.

Here are some quick links to what we’ll cover in this article. If you’re in hurry, or for any other reason, feel free to use the quick links to jump straight to the section you want to read:

What causes high cholesterol?

First of all, the answer to this question helps to clear up the misconceptions about what causes it.

For several decades, there has been a widespread belief that cholesterol is associated with an increased risk of developing coronary heart disease.

This has led to dietary recommendations approved by the government to limit intake to no more than 300 milligrams per day for healthy adults. However, based on recent evidence, there are some serious challenges regarding this current dietary restriction, which has resulted in discussions on national recommendations that are finally changing.

Although factors such as genetics, inactivity, diabetes, stress, and hypothyroidism (decreased thyroid function) can affect levels, poor diet is the leading cause of high cholesterol levels. Unfortunately, the standard diet of people today is unhealthy, which mostly raises LDL (bad cholesterol) and lowers HDL (good cholesterol) – the opposite of what we want. In addition to improper diet, we must not neglect physical inactivity, which can also be one of the causes of dyslipoproteinemia.

“Inflammation” is what causes the levels to increase

Cholesterol is a natural substance that is present in all of us and is crucial for survival because it is very important for the proper functioning of cells, nerves, and hormones.

It is present in our body in the form of lipoprotein particles that pass through the bloodstream. These particles do not usually develop and remain in the artery walls, but as levels of inflammation/damage increase, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), also known as “bad cholesterol,” builds up in the arteries and gradually forms lumps of atherosclerotic plaque.

cholesterol illustration

The consequence of plaque formation is reduced blood flow in some parts of the body (most often the heart, brain, kidneys) and can lead to a heart attack or stroke. This condition is known as atherosclerosis.

Cholesterol alone would not be so dangerous without damage or inflammation of the blood vessels. which are the primary cause of atherosclerosis, strengthening of arteries, and loss of elasticity that accompany plaque deposits and lead to even greater consequences.

While we thought that a high-fat diet led to high cholesterol and increased plasma LDL levels, countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Korea, India, and Europe do not include a limit in their foods. And with good reason: the evidence shows that eating healthy fats is not correlated with an increased risk of heart disease in most cases.

In addition to these specific individuals who are more sensitive to high cholesterol levels, it is estimated that about three-quarters of the population can stay completely healthy while eating more than 300 milligrams of cholesterol a day. In fact, eating healthy fats will raise HDL cholesterol (“good cholesterol”), and increase the LDL/HDL cholesterol ratio, which are two key markers of general health.

Patients at increased risk for cardiovascular disease will need to limit their intake of saturated fats. The data show that the impact of lowering cholesterol in the diet is small compared to the adjustment of other important factors of diet and lifestyle.

What to eat and what not?

Which foods are the best for lowering, and which foods can you say goodbye to right away?

senior couple holding healthy food

For starters, foods with trans fats and hydrogenated oils are the opposite of foods that lower cholesterol and should definitely be reduced. Many doctors also recommend avoiding foods with saturated fats (this is not necessary for foods that are natural and of high quality). Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are recommended. These include foods such as avocados, olive oil, walnuts, and flax seeds.

In addition to reducing the intake of harmful fats, one of the key elements in the fight against high cholesterol is the intake of foods rich in fiber. Fiber is found in plant foods, including vegetables, fruits, grains, and legumes.

In addition to these foods, there are also alternative solutions, and these are dietary supplements.

Where is the fiber missing?

Fiber is lacking in processed foods that are refined and full of sugar – including most breakfast cereals, pastries, bread, pasta, and cakes.

The largest sources of protein are found in animal meat, such as turkey or chicken, fish, and other seafood, beans, and even eggs. Today’s diets are based on low-fat dairy products, including yogurt and low-fat cheeses. For the average person, it is also healthy to eat animal products as part of a balanced diet, including beef and lamb.

food rich in fiber

This lifestyle is closely related to the Mediterranean diet – one of the most interesting diets plans that doctors prescribe to patients with high cholesterol. People living in the countries of the Mediterranean region rely on food that is procured and grown locally, rather than on packages that are full of refined vegetable oils, sugars, sodium, and artificial ingredients.

Historically, heart disease levels are much lower in these countries than in the US for example, despite the fact that most people still eat a significant amount of fat. Due to the diversity, flexibility, and adaptability of the approach to this way of eating, it is easy to start and eat this way. Also, this food is great!

Foods to avoid?

The key to reducing risk factors for heart disease includes lowering high cholesterol levels. This type of food includes:

❌ packaged food of all kinds
❌ sugar
❌ refined grain products
❌ processed vegetable oils
❌ conventional dairy products (inorganic, homogenized, and pasteurized)
❌ agricultural products of animal origin
❌ too much caffeine or alcohol.

unhealthy food with lot of fats

As already mentioned, fiber and antioxidants are key to guarding the arteries. Increased dietary fiber intake is associated with a significantly lower prevalence of cardiovascular disease and lower LDL-cholesterol concentrations.

Research also shows that certain compounds found in plant foods, including plant sterol/stanol and isoflavones, can help lower cholesterol levels. Most processed foods have extremely low values ​​of both – and types that have fiber or antioxidants usually contain synthetic, added types.

Products of animal origin can be of poor quality and high toxicity, due to toxic oils that are produced using chemicals and solvents. Alcohol, sugar, and caffeine are stimulants that the liver can use to produce higher concentrations of cholesterol, increasing the levels of inflammation of blood vessels.

Although this can range in small doses (such as 1-2 cups of coffee or a glass of red wine a day), overdoing it can present any cardio-harmful effects that these ingredients may normally have.

Top 12 Cholesterol Lowering Foods

green vegetables in bowl on table

Vegetables (especially green!). There is no doubt that nutritious, anti-inflammatory vegetables are one of the strongest antioxidant foods. They contain high concentrations of phytochemicals that fight damage caused by free radicals, slow down the aging process and keep arteries flexible and healthy.

Green vegetables, such as spinach and kale, contain very few calories, but offer protection against heart attack (myocardial infarction), helping the walls of the artery to defend themselves against the “corrosion” of cholesterol.

While almost every type of vegetable is a good choice, beets, onions, cabbage, broccoli, and artichokes – are especially useful for increasing fiber intake and protecting the heart.

mix of nuts in bowl on table

Nuts of all kinds are a source of healthy semi-unsaturated and monounsaturated fats. They also provide a decent amount of fiber. Certain nuts, including almonds, are especially rich in antioxidant flavonoids, plant-based compounds that improve arterial health and reduce the occurrence of atherosclerosis.

Studies show that nuts have a “bad” effect on LDL cholesterol, especially in people with high cholesterol and diabetes. They can help prevent the formation of damage inside the walls of the artery and protect against dangerous amounts of cholesterol, and they also represent a significant link in the fight against obesity.

chia and flax seeds

Chia and flaxseed. Flaxseed is very useful, today it is presented as the richest source of plant omega-3 fatty acids, known as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). They also rank as number one in balancing the hormones themselves.

Both chia and flaxseed are extremely rich in soluble and insoluble fiber, which participate in detoxification and cleansing of the body and can help with weight loss. The content of soluble fiber helps keep fat and cholesterol in the digestive system so that they cannot be absorbed in large quantities.

They indirectly force the body to use the excess cholesterol in the blood and reduce the cholesterol as a whole. You can add flax seeds to oatmeal or stir a teaspoon of flax with yogurt and drink it.

Olive oil. The benefits of olive oil are the existence of an anti-inflammatory ingredient that is full of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, healthy for the heart, and reduce LDL cholesterol. It is best to use extra virgin olive oil to prepare a homemade salad, add it to some sauces or use it as an ingredient that stimulates the taste of french fries or marinades.

olive oil in the bottle on table

Avocado is one of the world’s largest sources of monounsaturated fats that are healthy for the heart and blood vessels and can help raise HDL cholesterol levels while lowering LDL cholesterol. Avocados also contain high levels of soluble fiber and stabilize blood sugar levels, in addition to containing anti-inflammatory phytochemicals (beta-sitosterol, glutathione, and lutein). You can add avocados to salads, smoothies, eggs, or even desserts.

person holding opened avocado

Salmon. One of the world’s best sources of omega-3 fats, salmon nutrition is also important because it reduces the risk of heart disease, cognitive disorders, depression, and many other conditions. Other sources of omega-3 fatty acids are fatty fish such as sardines, mackerel, and herring. All this can help raise good cholesterol, while at the same time maintaining the line and better brain function.

two filet of salmon served on table

Gluten-free grains/old grains. A large number of whole grains are associated with better heart health, mainly because they are an excellent source of fiber. However, since gluten is often sensitive and can lead to inflammation of blood vessels, it is recommended to use gluten-free grains such as quinoa, rolled oats, buckwheat, and amaranth. It can be used in the same way as wheat flour, but it also contains enough nutrients.

gluten free grains in bowls

Green tea is considered the number one anti-aging beverage. Not only is it a rich source of antioxidants that fight cancer, but it also preserves heart health because it prevents the rise of LDL cholesterol levels. Epidemiological studies indicate that drinking green tea can help reduce atherosclerosis and the risk of heart disease, reduce blood pressure, reduce inflammation in arthritis, but also improve bone density and brain function.

green tea in glasses

Beans and legumes are known for their rich fiber composition, which slows down the speed and amount of cholesterol absorption. They also contain antioxidants and certain useful trace minerals that participate in maintaining healthy circulation. It is also recommended to try nutritious black beans, burdock beans, mung beans, and other varieties in soup and various salads.

beans and legumes in bowls

Turmeric is the king of all spices when it comes to fighting various inflammations. The benefits of turmeric include lowering cholesterol, preventing poisoning, fighting viruses, killing free radicals, increasing immune health, balancing hormones, and more. Turmeric contains the active ingredient curcumin, which has been studied for protection against a number of inflammatory diseases, including heart disease, cancer, ulcerative colitis, arthritis, and more.

turmeric in bowl

Garlic is one of the first ingredients studied to preserve the heart. Raw onions contain large amounts of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antidiabetic, and immune ingredients. It is also common knowledge that onions lower cholesterol levels, prevent blood clots, lower blood pressure and protect against infections. So use garlic as much as you can every day, whether in sauces, salads, soups, or marinades.

garlic on table

Sweet potatoes provide filling depots of fibers, fibers for cleaning arteries (provides high concentrations of vitamins and antioxidants). They also have low calories, a low glycemic index (which means they will not excrete blood sugar), and a high concentration of potassium.

sweet potatoes

Take care of these things

  • The diet usually involves eliminating excess sugar from the meal. So it is in this case
  • If you are struggling with bad cholesterol, throw out foods full of sugar
  • This includes foods with hidden sugar, such as fizzy drinks
  • Don’t skip breakfast
  • Keep taking medication as part of regular therapy against high cholesterol and triglycerides
  • Never eat grapefruit, because it can lead to complications during treatment
  • Finally, an important fact is that you should not ingest more than 200-300mg of healthy fats a day through food

Tips in food preparation

preparing food

  • Prepare food by cooking, steaming, grilling, preparing on teflon or in the oven with a minimum of fat
  • Remove all visible fat when preparing red meat
  • Peel a squash, grate it and squeeze the juice
  • Before use, cool meat soups in the refrigerator and remove excess fat from the surface with a spoon
  • Avoid adding oil and butter
  • When cooking mashed potatoes, avoid adding whole milk and butter
  • Use hard cheese in small quantities
  • Eat as many fresh salads as possible
  • Reduce the use of table salt
  • For sweetening, use artificial sweeteners or eat unsweetened foods

An example of a seven-day diet for people with high cholesterol and triglycerides

diet plan

MONDAY

Breakfast:

GREEK YOGHURT 58kcal, 5mg cholesterol, 0.4g fat/serving (Add nuts or chopped fruit as desired.)

A snack:

GREEN TEA 0kcal, 0mg cholesterol, 0g fat/cup

Lunch:

CLEAR VEGETABLE SOUP 74kcal, 6mg cholesterol, 3g fat/serving (In 1l of water add chopped vegetables as desired such as leeks, carrots, peas, and celery. Add parsley and a very little salt.)

AND CHICKEN SNACKS WITH INTEGRAL FLOUR DUMPS 465kcal, 89mg cholesterol, 15g fat/portion (Use boneless chicken drumsticks. Serve with boiled potatoes and carrots.)

____________________

TUESDAY:

Breakfast:

A CUP OF BARLEY 354kcal, 0mg cholesterol, 2.3g fat/portion (Soak the day before in water, then boil and drain in the morning. If desired, add a little honey or nuts.)

A snack:

LEMON AND GINGER ICE CREAM 62kcal, 0mg cholesterol, omg fat / serving (Lemon juice + ginger + water + artificial sweeteners)

Lunch:

CORN WITH PEPPER 164kcal, 12mg cholesterol, 6g fat/portion (Separate grains from 4 cobs of corn. Chop two spring onions and one red pepper. Stew until the water evaporates)

A snack:

GREEN TEA 0kcal, 0mg cholesterol, 0g fat / cup

Dinner:

STUFFED MUSHROOMS 33kcal, 4mg cholesterol, 2g fat / piece (Wash a few mushrooms and clean them. Cut off the stalks, leaving only the caps. Coat them with two or three drops of olive oil, arrange in a pan and set aside. Saute one onion. medium-sized on the water and add the mushroom stalks. Add the pretzels and parsley as desired. Fill the hats and bake them in the oven until they get a brownish color.)

____________________

WEDNESDAY:

Breakfast:

BRUSCHETTA 323kcal, 1mg cholesterol, 14g fat/portion (Peel a small onion and chop finely. Cut the basil bunch into larger pieces. In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of olive oil with the onion and basil and add 4 tablespoons of lemon. chopped tomatoes and a little garlic powder. Spread on toasted wholemeal bread.)

A snack:

POPCORN ROASTED ON AIR 374kcal, 0mg cholesterol, 4.3g fat/serving

Lunch:

ZUCCHINI SOUP 60kcal, 3mg cholesterol, 1g fat/portion (Use chicken broth as a base and add chopped zucchini, onion and garlic. When the vegetables soften, add low-fat yogurt.)

AND PEAS IN THE FRENCH WAY 131kcal, 12mg cholesterol, 5g fat/portion (Cut a head of lettuce into noodles and pour them into a sherpa. Add 400g peas and chopped two spring onions. Steam.)

A snack:

A HAND OF DRIED GRAPES 299kcal, 0mg cholesterol, 0.5g fat/serving

Dinner:

TUNA WITH INTEGRAL BREAD 129kcal, 47mg cholesterol, 0.6g fat / serving

____________________

THURSDAY:

Breakfast:

BANANA AND PEAR SMOOTH 199kcal, 2mg cholesterol, 1mg fat / serving (Ripe pears + ginger root + banana + low fat skim milk + a little cinnamon)

A snack:

A HAND OF ALMONDS 575kcal, 0mg cholesterol, 49g fat/serving

Lunch:

VEGETABLE RISOTTO 360kcal, 26mg cholesterol, 13g fat/portion (Boil 200g of rice in chicken broth. Add also boiled vegetables: peas, broccoli, zucchini, onion.)

A snack:

FLAVORED WATER WITH BLUEBERRIES AND LAVENDER 10kcal, 0mg cholesterol, 0.1g fat/serving (Best to drink chilled.)

Dinner:

BAKED SWEET POTATOES 85kcal, 0mg cholesterol, 0.1g fat / serving

____________________

FRIDAY

Breakfast:

GREEK YOGHURT 58kcal, 5mg cholesterol, 0.4g fat/serving (Add nuts or chopped fruit as desired.)

A snack:

GREEN TEA 0kcal, 0mg cholesterol, 0g fat / cup

Lunch:

CLEAR VEGETABLE SOUP 74kcal, 6mg cholesterol, 3g fat/portion (In 1l of water add chopped vegetables as desired such as leeks, carrots, peas, and celery. Add parsley and a very little salt.)

AND CHICKEN SNACKS WITH INTEGRAL FLOUR DUMPS 465kcal, 89mg cholesterol, 15g fat/portion (Use boneless chicken drumsticks. Serve with boiled potatoes and carrots.)

A snack:

SQUEEZED CHERRY JUICE 50kcal, 0mg cholesterol, 0.3g fat/serving

Dinner:

BLACK BREAD WITH COW CHEESE 303kcal, 2mg cholesterol, 1.8g fat/serving

____________________

SATURDAY

Breakfast:

OATMEAL WITH APPLES AND BANANA 300kcal, 0mg cholesterol, 3.5mg fat / serving (Apples + banana + oatmeal + water)

A snack:

PISTACH HAND 562kcal, 0mg cholesterol, 45g fat / serving

Lunch:

ROASTED TURKEY WITH CABBAGE AND CARROT 276kcal, 74mg cholesterol, 10g fat/portion (Bake meat and vegetables on baking paper. Season with herbal spices such as coriander.)

A snack:

RICE CIRCLES 386kcal, 0mg cholesterol, 2.8g fat (Can be found in health food stores.)

Dinner:

UMUS WITH CARROT 186 kcal, 0mg cholesterol, 10g fat/serving

____________________

SUNDAY

Breakfast:

GREEN SHAKE 199kcal, 0mg cholesterol, 0.86g fat / serving (Spinach + cucumber + mint leaves + lemon juice)

A snack:

POPCORN ROASTED ON AIR 374kcal, 0mg cholesterol, 4.3g fat/serving

Lunch:

CLASSIC TOMATO SOUP WITHOUT EXCESS FAT 96kcal, 4mg cholesterol, 1.95g fat/portion AND ROASTED HAKE WITH RICE 419kcal, 84mg cholesterol, 6g fat/portion (4 fillets of hake arrange on baking paper and pour lemon zest over it. Serve with 175g of boiled rice mixed with 300g of boiled peas.)

A snack:

GREEN TEA 0kcal, 0mg cholesterol, 0g fat / cup

Dinner:

INTEGRAL PASTA WITH STICKS 641kcal, 58mg cholesterol, 27g fat/portion (Boil 300g integral pasta. Stew 350g mushrooms, 2 chopped spring onions, and two cloves finely chopped garlic. Mix with pasta. Pour 125ml skim milk, add 75 g low fat) Emmentaler and season with dried thyme. Bake for 10 minutes at 200 degrees.)

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That’s it!

We hope this article helped you learn which are the best diet plans for lowering cholesterol, as well as for high blood pressure.

We think that it will be very interesting and important for you to look at our pages about healthy eating programs, weight loss programs, and supplements in the diet because there you will find some of the best products from these areas that exist on the market.

And if you are looking for more ways to improve your heart health, you should check our other great Majota Blog posts.

Also, if you have any questions or feel that there are some other important tips about lowering high cholesterol we have not listed, feel free to leave a comment, it will mean a lot to us and we will be grateful for it.


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