The results of your routine blood tests revealed that you have high cholesterol. Now what? Fortunately, the first line of treatment for high cholesterol is usually to change your diet. However, deciding on the best diet for high cholesterol can be tricky because there are so many options, all claiming to promote health.
But it’s essential to understand that every individual has unique needs and everyone should opt for personalized meal plans that work best for them.
When it comes to high cholesterol, you should know that consistently high cholesterol levels can clog your arteries and lead to heart health issues. It is therefore necessary to consume foods that allow the free circulation of blood to avoid the risk of heart attack clogged arteries.
Those with high cholesterol could benefit from a low-fat diet. The amount of foods high in saturated and trans fats, which can raise bad cholesterol (LDL) that clogs the arteries, should be reduced.
Understanding the Low Fat Diet for High Cholesterol
A low-fat diet effectively reduces fat storage and helps you achieve your weight loss goals. Plus, it helps reduce the consumption of unhealthy fats that can clog your arteries. This involves limiting the amount of fat you eat and focusing on healthier fat sources such as vegetable oils, nuts and seeds.
Adopting a low-fat diet involves reducing fat intake from the foods you eat. Studies suggested that reducing the average amount of fat you eat may reduce your risk of heart health problems and death. However, before making 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 naturally. With so many options on the internet, it can be difficult to put together the best diet plan. Therefore, one should always consult an expert nutritionist.
However, with the prevalence of modern innovation and technology, apps like HealthifyMe can be your best companion. You can subscribe to HealthifyMe and access various meal plans to lower your cholesterol levels. Additionally, you can talk to expert nutritionists and they can help you put together a meal plan based on your health condition.
Low-fat diet for high cholesterol: how does it work?
To switch to a low-fat diet, people can make simple food swaps, such as swapping red meat for fish or a plant-based protein source like tofu.
Additionally, replacing solid fats with liquid vegetable oils and pureed fruits in baked goods can help reduce fat intake. Despite what you might think, some fats are essential for good health.
It is therefore crucial to focus on replacing saturated and trans fats with polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats when trying to lower cholesterol. To research shows that it 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. Although this is a general guideline, it is best to consult a licensed nutritionist to determine your ideal fat intake, taking into account your individual needs.
A low-fat diet also provides vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that are essential for the body to function properly. To make sure you get all the essential nutrients, you need to eat a variety of foods in adequate amounts. A healthy diet that meets your needs for essential minerals, vitamins and nutrients is essential for leading a healthy life. Therefore, it is better to opt for a personalized diet.
The dietary goals of a low-cholesterol diet do not emphasize restriction of total fat. Instead, they advise replacing saturated and trans fats with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Fat quality is more important than total fat intake.
Note from The Fitness Freak
Eating a diet with reduced amounts of saturated and trans fats can help lower levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol, in the body. High levels of LDL can cause narrowing of arteries, blocking blood flow and increasing the risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and strokes. Trans fats can also lower high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good” cholesterol, which helps remove fatty deposits from the arteries. Therefore, to reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol, it is essential to reduce the consumption of foods containing saturated and trans fats.
Low Fat Diet – Foods You Can Eat
A low-fat diet doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to a few food choices. You have many options! Here are some of the best foods to include in your low-fat diet:
Bread, cereals, rice and pasta
- Whole wheat bread, oatmeal
- Puffed rice, puffed wheat
- Whole wheat, brown/red rice and whole grain pasta
- Seasonal whole fruit
- Soft melon
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, pumpkin and mushrooms
- Brussels sprouts, cabbage, onions, cauliflower, baked beans, corn and garlic
- Eggs without added oil
- Lean meat like skinless chicken and turkey
- Fat-free lemon vinaigrette, plain sauces
- Dried fruits like apricots, raisins, etc.
- Recommended herbs and spices, broths and food-based soups
- Green tea, lemon tea, herbal tea, etc.
- Fat-free puddings, fruit cream, sorbet
Low Fat Diet – Foods to Avoid
When following a low-fat diet, knowing which foods to avoid is essential. Here is a list of foods to avoid:
Bread, cereals, rice and pasta
- White bread, rolls, cookies, muffins, crackers
- Any packaged chips or cookies
- Fast food products and pasta sauces
- canned fruit
- Fried fruit products
Milk and dairy products
- Whole milk and its derivatives
- Flavored yogurt
- Whole milk cream
- Ice cream
- Fried vegetables
- French fries or fried potatoes in any form
- Beef, lamb, ham, veal, pork
- Eggs cooked in extra oil or butter
- Butter, refined oils, mayonnaise, sour cream, high fat salad dressings
- White sugar, jelly and packaged syrup
- Coffee or tea containing sugar and whole milk, soft drinks or sodas
- Cakes and cookies or hard candies
- Gelatin, high sugar puddings, ice cream, popsicles
The simple strategy to follow: low-fat diet for high cholesterol
People looking to lower cholesterol through diet can try the following strategies:
- Replace fatty meats with lower fat choices such as “select” or “choice” categories of meat or poultry, such as chicken and turkey, rather than higher fat poultry, such as duck and the goose.
- Limit processed meats, such as bologna and hot dogs.
- Incorporate more meals with beans, vegetables, and plant-based protein sources, such as roasted black bean patties, lentil soup, stir-fried vegetables, tofu stir-fry, and vegetable-lentil chili.
- Eat more fish, especially those high in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon.
- Switch to liquid vegetable oils, such as olive or avocado oil, instead of lard or shortening.
- Bake with pureed fruit like applesauce or mashed bananas in place of butter and oil.
- Choose whole grain bread and brown rice instead of white bread and white rice.
- Replace whole 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 diet low in cholesterol and fat with specific cooking techniques. These include:
- Degrease meat and remove the skin from poultry before cooking,
- Choose to broil, bake, or broil instead of frying, basting, and roasting meat with juice instead of pan-draining it.
- Cook soup stock and stews a day ahead and remove hardened fat before serving
- Always prepare vegetables with less oil and choose a vegetable oil, such as avocado or olive oil.
- Flavor vegetables with spices and herbs rather than packaged vegetables with seasonings and sauces
- Use low-fat dairy products such as low-fat milk, cheese, and yogurt
- Avoid processed meats such as bacon and sausages
An example of a low fat diet for high cholesterol
If you’re still deciding what to include in your diet, it’s best to get advice from a nutritionist. You can also refer to a sample 7 day diet plan to help you plan your low fat diet by looking at the different food items you can use.
- Breakfast: whole wheat bread sandwich with roasted/grilled chicken and vegetables
- Lunch: cooked quinoa with vegetables, lentil soup
- Dinner: steamed broccoli and roast black chicken
- Breakfast: sandwich with vegetables and whole grain bread, hard-boiled eggs with pumpkin seeds
- Lunch: Puree Yamroasted fish, cucumber lettuce salad
- Dinner: Steamed beans, low-fat carrot yogurt, cucumber sticks
- Breakfast: boiled eggs and whole wheat toast
- Lunch: mashed potatoes, quinoa, pasta with low-fat sauce, vegetable salad with fat-free lemon-herb dressing
- Dinner: baked chicken, boiled carrots and lentils.
- Breakfast: Oats with skimmed milk and berries
- Lunch: Whole grain wrap with cooked chicken breast and mushrooms
- Dinner: Whole wheat pasta with baked cottage cheese (low fat) and sautéed spinach
- Breakfast: pancakes with millet/oat flour, blueberries, ripe banana, yogurt
- Lunch: whole grain noodles, peeled cooked carrots, sautéed asparagus tips with sautéed tofu
- Dinner: Multigrain vegetable tortilla, clear chicken soup
- Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, mashed sweet potatoes, skimmed milk
- Lunch: Vegetable soup with black beans and red/black rice, sautéed asparagus
- Dinner: extra lean ground turkey and white bean chili, low fat cornbread, green salad
- Breakfast: apple, fat-free salted egg muffin, berry smoothie and low-fat yogurt
- Lunch: Cucumber salad, a multigrain bread and tofu sandwich
- Dinner: Multigrain tuna wrap, steamed vegetables with salt and pepper
Please note: The diet above is a reference diet only and may not be suitable for every individual. Therefore, it is best to consult an expert nutritionist before embarking on any diet.
You need to follow a low-fat diet to reduce high cholesterol levels and maintain healthy levels. It should consist of 20-30% of total calories from dietary fat, with an emphasis on lean protein sources such as fish, poultry, beans and nuts.
Additionally, foods high in saturated and trans fats, such as red meat, whole 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 maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
HealthifyMe India’s leading health and wellness app looks at convenient food choices that are right for your condition. HealthifyPRO 2.0 can be helpful if you are concerned about your weight or a specific health condition.
Central to this approach is CGM-based blood glucose monitoring. It displays real-time data, which helps trainers assess your nutritional needs.
Technological advancements allow you to stay connected to coaches at all times. Any spike in blood sugar due to food intake or activity is investigated, and dietary modifications are suggested based on this. As a result, it is a more in-depth consultation that goes beyond simply following a calorie-controlled diet.
It also comes with metabolic panel tests including over 65 parameters. It is recorded at the beginning and repeated periodically. After a few months of following the plan, the benchmarks are improving.
A smart scale shows how your body composition changes with appropriate dietary modifications. It’s never about losing weight. It’s about having the correct weight that keeps you metabolically healthy.
With HealthifyPRO 2.0, you understand your body better. So look beyond superficial health and talk to the team at HealthifyMe. It’s the future of fitness that’s personalized and personalized to your unique body and its response to external triggers like stress, a sedentary lifestyle, poor diet and poor sleep.