Everyone is concerned about lowering their cholesterol. Let’s be specific and focus only on the cholesterol that causes problems in the body- the VLDL cholesterol. The HDL cholesterol is helpful and the following food guidelines will help you keep the good cholesterol high, and lower the VLDL which stands for – Very Low Density Cholesterol.
Your cholesterol levels should be the following:
Total Cholesterol <200 mg/dL blood
HDL Cholesterol > 35 mg/dL blood – the higher, the better
LDL Cholesterol < 100 mg/dL blood
VLDL Cholesterol < 30 mg/dL blood
Your diet can help lower your cholesterol levels and protect your heart. Following these steps will help lower your cholesterol, triglyceride levels, and blood pressure.
1) Read Food Labels for Fats, Saturated Fats, Trans Fats, Cholesterol, and Fibers:
Identify high fat and high cholesterol foods: Saturated fat can contribute to high cholesterol as much or more than cholesterol itself.
Sat and Trans Fat rule- no more than 2 grams of fat per 100 calories.
Maximum 300 mg. cholesterol in a total day.
2) Cut down on Total Fat, Saturated Fat, and Trans Fat.
Ice cream, cookies, cheese, whole milk, fatty beef, poultry skin, crackers, stick butters, stick margarines etc. all have these dangerous fats. Replace them with lower fat foods and healthier monosaturate fats more often.
3) Eat more Oats, Barley and Beans:
Oats, Oatbran, Barley, and Beans have soluble fiber that your body absorbs. The active ingredient Beta-Glucan, goes to work binding up the bile acids your body uses to make cholesterol. Eat these foods daily in ½ to 1 cup amounts if possible.
Getting More Oats: Oatmeal cereal, low fat oatmeal cookies, oatmeal bread, add oats to meatloaf, hamburgers or turkey burgers.
Getting more Barley: Hot Barley Cereal, Barley mushroom soup, dry barley and bean mixes for soup.
Getting more Beans: Bean Soups-(black bean soup, split pea soup, lentil soup, minestrone soup, Bean Dips- Black bean dip, Hummus (chickpea dip), and Bean salads.
4) Eat Omega 3 fatty acids from Fish, Flax, Olive Oil, Nuts daily:
Fishes to eat: Wild Alaskan salmon, canned salmon, (avoid northern atlantic salmon, and farmed salmon*), trout, mackerel, sardines, tuna, are all rich in cholesterol reducing substances called Omega-3 Fatty Acids. These Omega 3 Fatty Acids are good fats and should be consumed often. Other foods rich in Omega 3’s are Flax, nuts and seeds.
Getting more Flax: Uncle Sam’s Flax Cereal, Fi-Pro Flax-groung meal-add 1T. to hot or cold cereals, salads, daily. Use 1 T. olive oil, flax oil, black currant oil, or borage oil daily.
Getting more Nuts: Walnuts, almonds, pistachio, and peanut are good. Eat raw to maximize nutrition. Avoid nuts roasted in oil. ¼ cup per day is a recommended amount.
5) Get Plant Stanols From Margarines:
Use Benecol margarine or Benecol Light for your margarine. These products contain plant stanol esters, a proven and safe substance that lowers cholesterol. Not only that, it tastes great!
6) Learn to Prepare and Eat Soyfoods:
Eating Soyfoods daily has been shown to lower cholesterol levels. Omit soy foods if you have had an estrogen related cancer such as breast or prostate cancer.
Tofu– Cube and put in salads, cube and add to soups, blend with onion & garlic powders, lemon juice and soy sauce and mach in to spread, blend with fruit into shake.
Soy Tempeh– grill with seasonings, boil with seasonings, steam with seasonings and blend into spread.
Fresh Soybeans-Edamame– Boil for 5 minutes and salt to taste. Use in salads, snacks, add to rice.
Soymilk– comes in many flavors, with high and very low carbohydratess. They are lactose and casein free.
Soy Shakes– Ready to Drink- Organic Soy protein powders
**Veggie Burgers-Boca Burgers, Soy Veggie Burgers, Soy Hot Dogs, are available in supermarkets. Grill with non-stick spray.
7) Eat 2-3 Fruits and 3-5 Vegetables Daily.
The soluble and dietary fiber in fruits and vegetables help to excrete artery clogging cholesterol. The vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, help you to protect your heart and improve your breath. Think colors and include carrots, tomatoes, onions, garlic, broccoli, broccoli rabe, kale, cabbage, chinese cabbage, yellow squash, and salads.
8) Healthy Snack Foods:
Fruits, fruit and *healthy snack bars, lite yogurts, vegetables, vegetable soup, popcorn, crackers, pretzels, sugar free gum, water.
*Healthy Snack Bars: Luna bar, Pria bar, Power Bar, Kashi Chewy Granola Bar. Hi protein low carbohydrate bars have dangerous level of saturated and trans fats.
9) If You are presently Eating This..……………Consider Eating This.
High Cholesterol & Saturated Fat Low Cholesterol & Saturated Fat
Whole Milk, Cheeses, Organic Skim or 1% milk, low fat cheese,
Cream Cheese Low fat cream cheese
Steak with butter Reduce steak size & frequency of consumption,
Lobster or shrimp in drawn butter Lobster or Shrimp w/ Cocktail Sauce and lemon
Ham and Cheese on roll Low-fat ham & cheese on whole wheat bread
Hot Dog w/ Bun Fat free hot dog, low fat turkey dog, Soy hot dog
Bacon and Eggs Egg white omelet w/ Low Sodium Turkey Bacon
Potato w/ Butter and Sour cream Potato w/ low fat sour cream & Benecol Lite
10) Foods To Reduce In Your Diet:
Fatty meats, sausage, deli meats, full fat cheeses, poultry with skin, bacon, whole eggs, butter, regular margarine, cream, coffee creamers, whole and 2% milk regular ice creams and pastries.
* Atlantic salmon has been identified to contain a greater number of pollutants and heavy metals such as Mercury, and Farmed Salmon has been identified to contain only a third of essential fatty acids which is the main reason we want to consume these fatty fishes. Please review this information on the website Environmental Working Group, www.ewg.org/safefishlist.
**Most prepared soy based veggie burgers and soy hot dogs are genetically modified foods. Unless the product states it is certified organic, it is mostly genetically modified. If it says that it is organic, then 95% of the product is organic and the other 5% can be anything.