Cholesterol is a substance that naturally occurs in the human body. Typically, foods that are derived from animal sources contain cholesterol, but it is not found in plant-based foods. There are various important functions in the human body that are fulfilled by cholesterol. For instance, cholesterol assists in the manufacturing of vitamin D and helps the body in repairing cells. However, heart disease can be promoted by high cholesterol, so in order to reduce this risk a low-cholesterol food plan should be followed.
A proper cholesterol diet should include the following:
- Lean Proteins
Whether you shop from actual butchers or online butchers, make sure you only buy lean cuts of meat because they are rich in lean proteins. Lean chicken and turkey, soy milk and tofu are also full of lean proteins. Energy is provided and cellular repair is promoted by lean proteins, while saturated fats can be avoided by the consumption of lean proteins. Low-density lipoproteins are increased by saturated fats, which are cholesterol components that cause the arteries to get blocked and result in heart disease.
- Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and fibers are full of dietary fibre, which is a type of carbohydrate that helps in lowering low-density lipoproteins. Triglycerides, which is another bad cholesterol component and can also contribute to heart disease, is also reduced by dietary fibre. Unsaturated fats also lower cholesterol and they are contained in nuts and seeds. You can boost your intake of dietary fibre by adding hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and walnuts to your diet. However, make sure you do not exceed serving sizes above 1 oz. because nuts and seeds are also rich in calories, so you might end up gaining weight if you eat too much.
- Egg Whites
Instead of whole eggs, start eating egg whites at breakfast, in dishes like frittatas, omelettes and quiches. Egg whites can also be substituted in noodles, cakes and breads. According to research, the yolks contain a majority of the cholesterol and unsaturated fat in eggs.
- Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are as rich in dietary fibre as nuts and seeds. Fibre intake can be increased by eating raw or steamed vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, kale, spinach leaves and zucchini. Instead of eating pies or cookies, you should try eating fruits like apples, apricots, oranges, pears, kiwi and mango slices. Avocado slices can also be added to sandwiches, salads and burritos. A type of essential fatty acid, oleic acid, is contained in avocados, which helps in reducing the levels of triglyceride and low-density lipoprotein in the bloodstream.
- Sample Meal
The process of making a low-cholesterol nutritious meal is quite simple, all you have to do is combine foods. For instance, for your main dish you can have a three ounce serving of tofu of white chicken meat. For side dishes, you can add a slice of whole-grain bread with a dash of olive oil and three ounces of steamed asparagus. You can have a three ounce serving of apple slices or blueberries after finishing your meal.
So, these are the foods you should focus on consuming as a part of the right cholesterol diet.