The Benefits of a Low Cholesterol Diet
With all of the fancy diets that are available today, it can be challenging to know which one is the ‘best’ for you. While many diets focus on the weight loss benefits, there is a remarkable turn toward eating for your health instead of just your appearance.
One of the biggest trends in this kind of eating is the lower cholesterol diet. It was once thought to be dull and tasteless, times have changed and eating healthy is a lot tastier.
Why you need to lower your cholesterol
If you’ve been to the doctor and have been told that you have high cholesterol, you may already know that you need to go on a low cholesterol diet. But if you’re not sure about your cholesterol level, it also can’t hurt to try this diet too – especially if you have any other risk factors.
Some medications can increase your chances of having high cholesterol, for example, as can eating a lot of meat products and having a family history of high cholesterol or heart problems. While some cholesterol is good, too much can start to build up on the sides of your arteries and lead to diminished blood flow.
Over time, this smaller and smaller artery can become blocked, leading to more severe problems – angina, heart attacks, strokes, etc. To keep your arteries free and clear, you need to make sure that you’re following a lower cholesterol diet.
What are the benefits of a low cholesterol diet?
There are a number health benefits to a low cholesterol diet, as you can probably imagine.
The benefits include:
Diminished risk of stroke and blood clots
Less overall fat intake
Lessened chance of cardiac events
Lower blood pressure
Lower cholesterol levels
And the list goes on. There is also some evidence coming out these days about the idea that a lowered intake of meat and meat-related products can also help reduce the risk of cancer. High fat meats also include saturated fats that are linked to numerous health problems.
What can you eat when following a low cholesterol diet?
The simplest definition of a low cholesterol diet is one that doesn’t include meat and meat-related products. But what can you eat then? The truth is that you can eat meat in any diet, but it’s the meats that you choose that will make the difference.
By making just a few simple adjustments, you can head into a healthier lifestyle. First of all, you should try to avoid any meats that have higher fat contents. These would be red meats with more marbling and any skin that might be on poultry. Pork can also be high in fat, so it is generally limited in this kind of diet. Fish is a great way to still have your protein, because it has lower amounts of fat and cholesterol.
Another great way to start a low cholesterol diet is to try to eat meat-free meals a few times each week. By simply having pasta with a sauce or some other meat free dish, you can instantly lower your overall cholesterol intake. There are also many meat substitutes that are available, if you’re looking to cut meat out entirely.
Things like soy burgers and other soy-based products are much tastier than they used to be and can fool even the biggest meat eater. Try out meat-less riblets and chicken patties as well as chicken nuggets.
A low cholesterol diet should also include a lot of fiber that will help to clear away any cholesterol that may already be in your body. Try to eat at least twenty grams of fiber each day for the maximum benefits.
Try adding a fiber rich cereal to your mornings as well as five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Complex carbohydrates like whole grains and oats are also great ways to sneak it in. You can also try a fiber supplement if you find that it’s difficult to eat fiber in your diet.
The truth is that a low cholesterol diet doesn’t have to be low in flavor. You have a lot of choices to reduce the cholesterol that you’re taking in so that you can increase your health.