1. Add more healthy fats and avoid saturated and artificial trans-fats
Eating foods that are high in saturated fat can raise the level of cholesterol in your blood. The high saturated fat foods include fatty meats and dairy products.
To cut back on saturated fat in your diet, try these simple tips:
- Choose lean cuts of meat
- Take skin off meat before cooking
- Remove the layer of fat that forms on top of bone broths after chilling.
- Choose “low-fat”, “skim” or “non-fat” dairy products.
Remember to stay away from artificial trans-fats or any foods made with “partially hydrogenated oils” because artificial trans-fats raise your bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and lower your good (HDL) cholesterol levels. You can spot artificial trans-fats by reading ingredient list on a food package. Some common foods that contain artificial trans-fats are cakes, cookies, snacks, …
To add more healthy fats in your diet, read my previous post here.
2. Eat more soluble fiber
There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber absorbs water and turns to gel during digestion. It can lower your cholesterol levels when eaten as part of a healthy-fat diet. Foods have a high content of soluble fiber are legumes, citrus fruits, flaxseeds and oatmeal.
3. Include plant sterols and stanols in your diet
Plant sterols and stanols are present naturally in fruits, vegetables, vegetable oils, nuts and seeds . Plant sterols and stanols resemble the chemical structure of animal cholesterol. When adding them to your daily meals, they can prevent your body from absorbing LDL cholesterol. Research has shown that plant sterols and stanols lower cholesterol levels by an average of 5% to 16% (*).
On average, our diets provide only 20-50mg of plant stanols and 150- 400mg sterols per day (**), but we need 2-3 grams plant sterols and stanols each day to lower blood cholesterol, according to the research. Increase the intake of foods high in plant sterols and stanols is important to lower your cholesterol.
Along with food changes, weight control, regular exercise and relaxation are also critical for lowering your cholesterol levels.
(*) Click here for more details about the research.
(**) Click here for more details.
This article incorporates information from Havard Medical School.
*Please do aware that all information on my site is not meant to take the place of advice by doctor, licensed dietician-nutritionist, psychologist or other licensed or registered professional.