The results of your routine blood tests show that you have high cholesterol. What now? Fortunately, the first line of treatment for high cholesterol is usually to modify your diet. However, determining the best diet for high cholesterol can be difficult because there are so many options out there, all of which claim to promote health.
But it is essential to understand that everyone has unique needs, and everyone should choose customized meal plans that work best for them.
Regarding high cholesterol, you should know that persistently high cholesterol can block arteries and lead to heart-related health problems. Hence, one must consume food that allows free circulation of blood to avoid the risk of contracting a Heart attack from clogged arteries.
Those with high cholesterol can benefit from a low-fat diet. It may require reducing the amount of food consumed that is rich in saturated and trans fats, which can raise bad cholesterol (LDL) that clogs arteries.
Understanding the Low-Fat Diet for High Cholesterol
A low-fat diet effectively reduces fat storage and helps you reach your weight loss goals. Moreover, it helps reduce the consumption of unhealthy fats that can clog arteries. It involves limiting the amount of fat you consume and emphasizing sources of healthy fats such as vegetable oils, nuts and seeds.
A low-fat diet involves reducing your fat intake through the food you eat. Studies show that lowering the average amount of fat you eat can lower your risk of heart-related health problems and death. However, before making any dietary changes, it is essential to remember that your body needs all nutrients in moderation to function properly.
Most people find it difficult to plan the perfect meal for themselves, and this is normal. With so many options out there on the internet, it can be overwhelming to come up with the best diet plan. Hence, one should always consult an expert nutritionist.
However, with the prevalence of innovation and technology in modern times, apps like HealthifyMe can be your best companion. You can subscribe to HealthifyMe and access different meal plans to lower your cholesterol levels. Moreover, you can talk to nutrition experts, and they can help you make a meal plan as per your health condition.
Low-fat diet for high cholesterol: How does it work?
To transition to a lower-fat diet, people can make simple food swaps like substituting red meat for fish or a plant-based protein source such as tofu.
In addition, replacing solid fats with liquid vegetable oils and pureed fruits in baked goods can help reduce fat intake. Despite what one might think, some fats are essential to good health.
Therefore, it is important to focus on swapping out saturated and trans fats for polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats when trying to reduce cholesterol. Research shows that doing so can help lower cholesterol levels effectively.
A low-fat diet limits your fat intake to less than 30% of your total calorie intake. This means that 15-20% of your calories should come from fat. While this is a general guideline, it is best to consult a registered dietitian to determine your ideal fat intake, keeping in mind your individual needs.
A low-fat diet also provides essential vitamins, minerals, and other vital nutrients for the body to function properly. To ensure that you are getting all the essential nutrients, you should consume several foods in the right amounts. Eating a healthy diet that meets your requirements for all essential minerals, vitamins and nutrients is vital to living a healthy life. Hence, it is better to opt for a customized diet plan.
The nutritional goals on a low-cholesterol diet do not emphasize total fat restriction. Instead, they recommend replacing saturated and trans fats with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. The quality of the fat is more important than the total fat intake.
A diet low in saturated and trans fats can help lower levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol, in the body. High levels of LDL can narrow the arteries, block blood flow and increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke. Trans fats can also lower high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good” cholesterol, which helps remove fatty deposits in your arteries. Therefore, to reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol, it is necessary to reduce the intake of foods that contain saturated and trans fats.
Low-fat diet – foods you can eat
Following a low-fat diet doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to a few food choices. You have so many options! Here are some of the best foods to include in your low-fat diet:
Bread, cereal, rice and pasta
- Whole wheat bread and oatmeal
- Puffed rice, puffed wheat
- Whole wheat, brown/red rice, and wholegrain pasta
- Whole seasonal fruits
- Soft watermelon
Milk and dairy products
- skimmed milk
- Low fat yogurt
- Cottage cheese (low fat)
- Fresh and well cooked vegetables
- Raw vegetables and vegetables with seeds
- Sauerkraut, winter squash, and mushrooms
- Brussels sprouts, cabbage, onions, cauliflower, baked beans, corn and garlic.
- Eggs without added oil
- Lean meats such as skinless chicken and turkey
- Fat free salad dressing with lemon and plain gravy
- Dried fruits such as apricots, raisins, etc.
- Herbs, spices, broths, and soups made from recommended foods
- Green tea, lemon tea, herbal tea, etc.
- Fat free pudding, fruit custard, sorbet
Low-fat diet – foods to avoid
When adhering to a low-fat diet, it is essential to be aware of which foods to avoid. Here is a list of foods to avoid:
Bread, cereal, rice and pasta
- White bread, rolls, biscuits, muffins, crackers
- No chips or packaged cookies
- Fast food products and pasta sauces
- canned fruits
- Fried fruit products
Milk and dairy products
- Whole milk and its products
- Flavored yogurt
- Full fat milk custard
- Ice cream
- Fried vegetables
- French fries or French fries in any form
- Beef, lamb, pork, veal and pork
- Eggs cooked in extra oil or butter
- Butter, refined oils, mayonnaise, sour cream, and high-fat salad dressings
- White sugar, jelly and canned syrup
- Coffee or tea that contains sugar, whole milk, soft drinks or soda
- Cakes, biscuits or hard candy
- Gelatin, high sugar pudding, ice cream, popsicles
The simple strategy to follow: a low-fat diet for high cholesterol
People looking to lower their cholesterol levels through their diet can try the following strategies:
- Substitute fatty meats for lower-fat options such as “choose” or “choose” grades of meat or poultry, such as chicken and turkey, over higher-fat poultry, such as duck and goose.
- Limit your intake of processed meats, such as bologna and hot dogs.
- Incorporate more meals with beans, vegetables, and plant-based protein sources, such as roasted black bean pancakes, lentil soup, stir-fried vegetables, stir-fried tofu, greens, and chili.
- Eat more fish, especially those rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon.
- Switch to liquid vegetable oils, such as olive oil or avocado oil, instead of lard or margarine.
- Bake with pureed fruit such as applesauce or mashed banana as an alternative to butter and oil.
- Choose whole grain bread and brown rice instead of white bread and white rice.
- Replace full-fat dairy products with low-fat dairy products, such as skim milk, low-fat cheese, and yogurt.
Cooking techniques for preparing a low-fat diet for high cholesterol
One can help maintain a low cholesterol and low fat diet with specific cooking techniques. These include:
- Remove fat from meat and remove skin from poultry before cooking.
- Choose to grill, bake, or grill instead of frying, heating, and basting meat with fruit juice instead of dripping in a skillet.
- Cook broth and stew a day in advance and remove residual fat before serving
- Always prepare vegetables with less oil and choose vegetable oil, such as avocado oil or olive oil.
- Flavor vegetables with spices and herbs instead of vegetables packed with spices and sauces
- Use low-fat dairy products such as low-fat milk, cheese and yogurt
- Avoid processed meats like bacon and sausage
A sample of a low-fat diet plan for high cholesterol
If you are still deciding what to include in your diet, it is best to get advice from a nutritionist. You can also refer to the sample 7-day diet plan to help you plan your low-fat diet by looking at the different food products you can use.
- Breakfast: Whole wheat sandwich with grilled chicken and vegetables
- Lunch: Quinoa cooked with vegetables and lentil soup
- Dinner: steamed broccoli and roasted blackened chicken
the second day
- Breakfast: a vegetarian sandwich on whole grain bread, a hard-boiled egg with pumpkin seeds
- Lunch: mashed sweet potatoGrilled fish, cucumber salad and lettuce
- Dinner: baked beans, low-fat yogurt with carrots, cucumber sticks
- Breakfast: boiled eggs and whole wheat toast
- Lunch: Mashed potatoes, quinoa, pasta in low-fat dressing, vegetable salad with fat-free lemongrass dressing.
- Dinner: grilled chicken, boiled carrots and lentils.
the fourth day
- Breakfast: oatmeal with low-fat milk and berries
- Lunch: wholegrain rolls with cooked chicken breast and mushrooms
- Dinner: Whole-wheat pasta with baked cottage cheese (low-fat) and sautéed spinach
- Breakfast: millet/oatmeal pancakes, blueberries, ripe bananas, yogurt
- Lunch: Whole-grain noodles, peeled cooked carrots and asparagus tips, sautéed with fried tofu.
- Dinner: tortilla wrap with vegetables, clear chicken soup
the sixth day
- Breakfast: scrambled eggs, mashed sweet potatoes, skim milk
- Lunch: Black bean and vegetable soup with red and black rice and sautéed asparagus
- Dinner: lean ground turkey and white chili, low-fat cornbread, green salad
the seventh day
- Breakfast: applesauce, delicious fat-free egg muffin, blueberry smoothie with low-fat yogurt
- Lunch: cucumber salad, tofu bread, sandwich
- Dinner: tuna roll with grain, vegetables steamed with salt and pepper
please note: The above diet is just a reference diet and may not be suitable for every individual. Hence, it is best to consult a nutritionist before switching to any diet.
A low-fat diet should be followed to reduce high cholesterol levels and support healthy levels. It should consist of 20-30% of total calories from dietary fat, with an emphasis on lean sources of protein such as fish, poultry, beans and nuts.
In addition, foods high in saturated fats and trans fats, such as red meat, full-fat dairy products, processed meats, and fried foods, should be avoided or limited. Instead, focus on eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products. Finally, exercise regularly to further support healthy cholesterol levels.
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CGM blood glucose monitoring is at the heart of this approach. It throws in real-time data, which helps coaches assess your nutritional needs.
Advances in technology keep you in constant contact with the coaches. Any rise in blood glucose levels due to food or activity input is studied, and dietary modifications are suggested based on this. As a result, it’s a more comprehensive consultation that looks beyond just following a calorie-controlled diet plan.
It also comes with a metabolic panel test that contains more than 65 parameters. It is recorded at the beginning and repeated periodically. After a few months of following the plan, the signs improve.
The smart scale shows how your body composition changes with appropriate dietary modifications. It’s never about losing weight. It’s about getting the right weight that keeps you metabolically healthy.
With HealthifyPRO 2.0, you can better understand your body. So look beyond superficial health and talk to the team at HealthifyMe. It is the future of fitness that is customized and customized based on your unique body and its response to external stimuli such as stress, a sedentary lifestyle, faulty eating and sleeping.