Mediterranean diet isn't too restrictive which allows you to take care of your health while still eating delicious foods. Avoid trans fat completely, and increase fiber intake, it reduces LDL (bad) cholesterol by up to 5%. Go in for a plant based diet rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Avoid anything deep fried, processed or contains artificial flavors.
Diet To Lower Cholesterol
The fact is, nearly half of all American adults have high cholesterol due to their diet. It can be inherited but to most people it is just consequence of unhealthy lifestyle, especially food choices. High cholesterol is a serious problem and if left untreated it can cause numerous diseases and lead to occurrence of heart attack symptoms. In order to improve your overall health you need to exercise and have a healthy diet plan. Keep reading this article and find out what is the best diet to lower cholesterol.
1. Mediterranean Diet
Mediterranean diet is considered as the healthiest diet on the planet. Moreover, when you’re diagnosed with high cholesterol, your doctor will most likely recommend Mediterranean diet as it is the best diet plan for to reduce cholesterol. This diet incorporates basics of healthy eating and is characterized by the consumption of olive oil which is considered as heart healthy too. The reason this diet plan is best for you is in the fact the benefits of this diet are scientifically proven and it is not too restrictive which allows you to take care of your health while still eating delicious foods.
This diet plan lowers high cholesterol and prevents heart diseases, stroke, and even improves our immunity. When following this healthy diet plan. here is what you should eat and how often:
- As much as possible: Fruits, vegetables, olive oil, whole grains, legumes, nuts, beans, seeds, herbs and spices. Basically, it is recommended to eat plant-based foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients as much as possible.
- At least two times a week: Fish and seafood, particularly salmon. Fish are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids that are essential for our overall health and prevent heart attack symptoms.
- Moderate portions: Cheese, yogurt, eggs, and poultry. You can choose whether to eat them once a day or a few times per week.
- Less often: Meats and sweets, just a few times per month.
- Replace butter with healthy fats
- Instead of salt, use herbs and spices
- Drink a glass of red wine after dinner (optional).
2. Avoid Trans Fats
Tran’s fats are created when manufacturer adds hydrogen to vegetable oils. These fats prolong the shelf life of the product but are damaging for your heart health and even increase cholesterol levels. According to dietitians, there is no safe level of Tran’s fats and you should avoid their consumption entirely. You can find them in commercially prepared fried foods, snacks, margarine, baked goods, and processed foods.
3. Eat More Fiber
Every healthy diet planneeds fiber. Studies show that increasing intake of fiber by as little as 5 to 10 grams a day reduces LDL (bad) cholesterol by up to 5%. There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. In order to prevent heart diseasesyou need soluble fiber which can be found in kidney beans, Brussels sprouts, pears, apples, prunes, citrus fruits, carrots and barley. Also, eating 1 ½ cups of cooked oatmeal provides your body with 3 grams of soluble fiber.
Soluble fiber dissolves in water in order to create a gel-like substance which later reduces high cholesterol and glucose levels.
4. The Engine 2 Diet
This diet plan was designed by a firefighter and former athlete. It is plant-based diet that is focused on whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and soy products. This diet plan strictly forbids eating meat, poultry, or processed foods which makes it perfect for vegans and vegetarians.
5. What To Eat And What To Avoid
Fruits And Vegetables
Eat: Fresh fruits and vegetables, unsweetened and unprocessed canned fruits or vegetables.
Avoid: Vegetables prepared with butter, sauce, or cream; deep fried vegetables; sweetened canned fruits.
Eat: Low fat crackers, whole grain pasta, brown rice etc.
Avoid: “White” products, croissants, sweet rolls etc.; commercially made muffins, cakes, pasta with butter.
Eat: Water, mineral water, soft drinks (sugar free), tea, coffee – in moderation.
Avoid: Sweetened soft drinks, instant coffee, liquors, cocktails.
Eat: Fish and seafood, poultry (without skin), unprocessed red meat.
Avoid: Deep fried chicken and processed meats.
Healthy diet plan and exercise will help you lower high cholesterol and prevent heart diseases. Ideally, Mediterranean diet is the best diet planfor high cholesterol and most doctors recommend it due to scientifically proven benefits. Try to substitute unhealthy fats with healthy ones and opt for plant-based foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients instead of unhealthy foods. If you are a meat-lover try to limit your meat intake to several times a month and opt for fish instead.