Q. Glen, I just came from my Doctor, I have been Diagnosed with High Cholesterol. Any Tips on Lowering my Cholesterol?
A. A diagnosis of high cholesterol can be a very scary thing. After all, high cholesterol is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and heart attack. But there is something you can do today, right now, to help lower your cholesterol without medication: Improve your diet.
A diet that is low in total fat—especially saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol—is technically a low-cholesterol diet. Ideally, that means your daily fat intake should be less than 35 percent of your total calories. When choosing fat sources in your diet, it is best to choose fats that are polyunsaturated or monounsaturated. Moderate use of these help protect the heart by increasing the level of “good” HDL cholesterol in your blood.
Cholesterol: We get cholesterol from two sources: what the body produces and what we get from the foods we eat. Cholesterol only comes from foods of animal origin, such as meat, poultry, seafood, and dairy products. Try to limit your dietary cholesterol intake to 300 milligrams per day.
Saturated fats: Fats that are solid at room temperature are typically saturated. Saturated fats raise your cholesterol more than anything else in your diet. Seven percent or less of your total calories should come from saturated fats. These fats are found in animal products and in some plant products. Animal sources of saturated fats include egg yolks, cheese, butter, cream, whole milk, ice cream, fatty meats, and poultry skin. Plant sources include coconut oil, palm kernel oil, palm oil, and cocoa butter.
Unsaturated fats: There are two major kinds of unsaturated fats: polyunsaturated and monounsaturated. Studies indicate that both of these fats help lower cholesterol when substituted for saturated and trans fats. Good sources of polyunsaturated fats are safflower, sunflower, corn, and soybean oil. The major vegetable oil sources of monounsaturated fats are olive, canola, and peanut oil. Use a moderate amount of unsaturated fats to keep your total fat intake low.
Trans fats: Fats such as margarines and shortenings are hydrogenated and are called trans fats. Hydrogenation is a process that changes liquid oils to a solid or semisolid form. Recent research has indicated that trans fats are similar to saturated fats and also raise your cholesterol, so use them sparingly. Look for trans-fat-free margarines and shortening. You can also use tub margarines that are semisolid and have less trans fat than stick margarine.
low-cholesterol food guide
Use this chart to help you eat a balanced, heart-healthy diet. The foods are divided into major food groups with the amount needed for most adults (18 and older). Keep in mind that your height, weight, and activity level will affect how many calories you need. The “Foods to Choose” category includes items that are lower in cholesterol. The “Foods to Avoid” column lists foods that are high in saturated fat, trans fat, and/or cholesterol.
Guide to Low-Cholesterol Foods
Foods to Choose
Foods to Avoid
Milk (2–3 servings daily recommended for adults)
Skim milk, nonfat buttermilk, nonfat yogurt, nonfat cheese.
2 percent milk, whole milk and its products, all kinds of cream
Meat and meat alternatives (adults need no more than 6 ounces of meat or its equivalent per day)
1 ounce meat:
3 ounces meat:
*cooked meat is about the size of a deck of cards
Use fish and poultry (without skin) more often than red meat. Include fish at least two times per week.
Use lean beef, veal, pork, lamb, and wild game (trim all visible fat before cooking). Lean meats are at least 90 percent fat-free and have no more than 3 grams of fat per ounce.
Low-fat cheeses such as cottage cheese and part-skim mozzarella (should have no more than 5 grams of fat per ounce).
Limit egg yolks to 3 per week, including what is used in cooking. Use egg whites and a cholesterol-free egg substitute as desired.
Meatless or “low meat” main dishes. Use recipes with dried beans, peas, lentils, tofu, peanut butter, or low-fat cheese instead of meat a few times each week. Casseroles and mixed dishes often use less meat.
Duck, goose, skin from all poultry
Heavily marbled and fatty meats, spare ribs, mutton, frankfurters, sausage, and regular cold cuts
Organ meats (liver is so rich in iron and vitamins that a 3-oz. serving may be eaten once a month)
All high-fat natural and processed cheeses, such as cream cheese, cheddar, American, and Swiss
Egg yolks in excess of allowance
Casseroles prepared with high-fat sauces or cheeses
Fruits and vegetables
1 serving fruit:
All fruits and vegetables
Any vegetable prepared with butter, bacon, sour cream, cheese, whole milk, egg yolks, shortening, or meat drippings
Breads, cereals, pasta, and starchy vegetables (eat at least 6 servings daily)
Whole grain breads and rolls.
Low-fat crackers and snacks made with unsaturated fats.
Low-fat soups (broth and vegetable-base soups).
Quick breads such as biscuits, muffins, and pancakes, homemade with fats, oils, and milk products. Use your weekly egg allowance or egg whites in recipes.
Any dry or cooked cereal.
Rice, dried beans, and lentils.
Most pasta and starchy vegetables (potatoes, peas, corn, winter squash, or yams).
Products made with egg yolks, , oils, or whole milk
High-fat crackers and snacks
Movie popcorn with butter
Cream soups and chunky-style soups containing large amounts of meat
Commercial biscuits, croissants, doughnuts, muffins, pastries, and other high-fat baked goods
Commercial mixes containing dried eggs, whole milk, or saturated fat.
Cereals with coconut or coconut oil
Commercial potato chips and french fries.
Pasta or rice dishes with cream sauces or high-fat cheeses
Fats and oils
Canola, olive, safflower, sunflower, corn, soybean, peanut, and sesame oils.
Salad dressing and mayonnaise made with oils.
All seeds and most nuts.
Olives and avocados.
Fruits, gelatin, sorbet, nonfat frozen yogurt, water-ice desserts.
Cakes, cookies, and other desserts made with unsaturated fats and oils, skim milk, and your egg allowance.
Cocoa powder, dark chocolate with high cocoa content.
Low-calorie condiments and spices.
Butter, cream, half-and-half, sour cream, shortening, bacon, meat drippings, ham hocks, lard, and salt pork
Foods containing coconut, coconut oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil, or cocoa butter
Ice cream and other desserts made with whole milk or cream
Commercial fried foods
Desserts and snacks
Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program. Please consult your physician !
My mission is to provide you with "Trusted Advice for a Healthier Life."
Yours in good health