Special Diet for High Cholesterol
Heart-Healthy Fruits and Vegetables
- Fruits and vegetables contain high amounts of vitamins and nutrients that maintain your cholesterol levels. Vegetables such as celery, tomatoes, lentils, carrots and broccoli are high in dietary fiber, which lowers your LDL levels by increasing cholesterol excretion. Pears, pineapples, bananas, oranges, apples and grapes are fruits also high in dietary fiber. They provide dozens of vitamins and minerals and contain very few calories. Because of their health benefits, you can consume vegetables and fruits in large amounts without any adverse reactions.
- Whole-wheat bread, oat bran and oatmeal are high in soluble fiber and keep you feeling full longer due to your stomach's slow digestion of complex carbohydrates. Similar to fruits and vegetables, grains lower your LDL levels by sending excess cholesterol to your liver for disposal. According to the Mayo Clinic, 10 grams of soluble fiber daily will lower your low-density lipoprotein levels and your total cholesterol level. The recommended amount of cholesterol is less than 300 mg/dL daily for healthy individuals and less than 200 mg/dL if you suffer from high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
Sodium and Saturated Fat
- Sodium and saturated fat are your enemies and you should restrict your sodium intake as it can increase your blood pressure. High levels of sodium and saturated fat can be found in red meat and your red meat intake should be limited to one serving per week or substituted with fish such as salmon, mackerel or albacore tuna.
Fish is high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which reduces blood pressure and the risk of blood clots, according to the Mayo Clinic. Grill or bake your fish rather than frying it to retain its nutritional value.
When cooking chicken, remove the skin to reduce saturated fat. Chicken should be broiled, grilled or baked rather than fried.
Replace butter and margarine with olive oil or other monounsaturated oils when cooking to reduce fat. Whole milk and dairy products that use whole milk should be substituted with soy milk or non-fat or low-fat milk.