I was quite surprised when I initially found out I had high cholesterol because I felt I had a pretty healthy diet at the time. I mostly ate foods that were low in saturated fat and generally got more than my five-a-day of fruit and veg, so I couldn’t understand why my cholesterol was so high. After a lot of research I realised that my diet didn’t contain enough foods that actively lower cholesterol, like beans, nuts and seeds.
Sticking to a low cholesterol diet can be really hard if everyone else in your family is still eating ‘normally’. So if you can find cholesterol-friendly meals that the rest of your family will also enjoy, then it’ll make things a lot easier.
A lot of people with high cholesterol just focus on reducing the amount of saturated fat in their diets to lower their cholesterol. However, to get the best results, it’s recommended that those with high cholesterol also eat more foods that actively lower cholesterol.
Some meats and dairy products are high in saturated fat, which can raise cholesterol levels if eaten frequently. Therefore, if you have high cholesterol, it’s best to eat more plant proteins, oily fish, lean meats and low fat dairy products instead.
Many cooking oils naturally contain healthy unsaturated fats that can help to lower cholesterol when used as a replacement for other cooking fats, like butter and palm oil.
Here are my 4 favourite cholesterol-lowering cooking oils:-
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Snacks can be a great opportunity to include extra cholesterol-lowering foods in your daily diet. I have a snack every day at around 4pm when my blood sugar levels dip, and this keeps me going until dinner time. Here are some quick and simple cholesterol-friendly snacks for you to try:-
If you love bread then you’ll be pleased to hear that most types of bread are cholesterol-friendly, so are great for a low cholesterol diet. More than that, many types of bread actively lower cholesterol because they’re rich in dietary fibre.
The two main things I look out for when choosing cholesterol-friendly bread are:-
Here’s a list of cholesterol-lowering foods that you can keep in your kitchen cupboard to give you plenty of options for meals and snacks:-
Breakfast cereals aren’t always the healthiest breakfast choice, but they’re fine to include in a low cholesterol diet as long as you choose the right ones. There are two things to check on the back of your cereal box to see whether it’s cholesterol-friendly:-
I made an exciting discovery a few weeks ago while doing my weekly online grocery shop. I found a cheese that’s low in saturated fat (so won’t raise your cholesterol levels), high in protein and 100% natural. The only ingredient in it is unpasteurised British cow’s milk (plus some salt), so it’s also a great source of calcium.