1. Eat more foods that actively reduce bad cholesterol
This includes oats, apples, beans, nuts, seeds, olive oil, soya products, garlic and plant sterols or stanols. Aim to eat at least a few different foods from this list every day. These blog posts give suggestions on how to include more apples, beans and seeds in your daily diet:-
- 26 ways to eat more apples to help lower your cholesterol
- 8 ways to add more cholesterol-reducing beans to your diet
- 5 ways to eat more seeds every day
2. Eat foods that increase good cholesterol
As well as reducing your bad cholesterol (LDL), increasing your good cholesterol (HDL) will also improve your heart health. Foods that increase good cholesterol include olive oil, brown rice, salmon, avocados and blueberries. Click here for tips on how to include more of these foods in your daily diet.
3. Eat mostly foods that are low in saturated fat
Aim to mostly eat foods that contain less than 1.5g saturated fat per 100g. This blog post includes tips on how to reduce the amount of saturated fat in your diet. And this blog post lists 6 surprising foods that you might not think are low in saturated fat but actually are (like fish fingers and chips!).
4. Start by making small changes
I’d recommend not changing your diet too drastically to begin with. It’s best to start with small changes, like using semi-skimmed milk instead of whole milk, and wholemeal bread instead of white. Then once you get used to those, make a few more changes. Read these two blog posts for some suggestions:-
5. Follow the 80:20 rule
Aim to eat cholesterol-friendly foods 80% of the time, then eat whatever you like the rest of the time (like burgers, pizzas and cream cakes). This will stop you from getting bored, and should hopefully help you to stick to a cholesterol-friendly diet in the long-term. Click here to see the cholesterol diet plan that I followed to significantly reduce my cholesterol last year.
6. Keep trying out new recipes so that you don’t get bored
There are so many free cholesterol-friendly recipes available online, most of which are pretty easy to make. This blog post includes over 100 recipes, including vegetarian options and delicious desserts.
If you’re short of time, here are some quick meals you can prepare:-
- Delicious cholesterol-reducing breakfast pancake
- 1 minute cholesterol-reducing cereal
- Quick breakfast french toast recipe
- The best cholesterol-friendly toast toppings
- 6 quick cholesterol-friendly lunches
- 5 minute cholesterol-lowering superfood salad
- Quick and tasty cholesterol-reducing fruit salad
- Super quick cholesterol-friendly beef & mushroom stir fry
If you want to create your own cholesterol-friendly recipes, this list of cholesterol-friendly foods should help you decide what ingredients to use, and here’s a list of cholesterol-friendly dressings, dips and sauces.
EXTRA TIME-SAVING TIP: Double up your recipes and freeze half of it to eat on another day. Here’s a list of great cholesterol-friendly freezable meals.
7. Use food label traffic lights
When buying your lunch, it’s best to choose meals that contain less than 1.5g saturated fat per 100g – these will show as a green coloured ‘Saturates’ or ‘Sat Fat’ segment on the food label. Ideally you want lots of greens and no reds on the food label for an all-rounded healthy lunch. Click here to see a list of cholesterol-friendly lunch options from places like M&S, EAT, Pret a Manger, Sainsbury’s and Itsu.
8. Go easy on yourself when you’re on holiday
It’s really important to enjoy yourself when on holiday and not worry too much about sticking to a cholesterol diet. This blog post includes simple tips to incorporate some cholesterol-friendly foods in your holiday without missing out.