I’m 15 weeks pregnant and was a bit worried about my cholesterol during my first trimester as my cholesterol-friendly diet went completely and utterly out of the window! From about 6 weeks, I went off meat, vegetables and salad, and was also absolutely knackered in the evenings, so stopped cooking proper meals for a while.
There’s no need to miss out on delicious comforting roast dinners when you’re managing your cholesterol, as long as you stick to these simple rules:-
When I first found out I had high cholesterol I thought I’d be really limited in terms what I could eat. I knew oats and beans were key for reducing cholesterol naturally, so I was imagining a life of bland porridge, boring bean salads and tasteless stews. But (thankfully!) after doing lots of research, I discovered there are actually tons of foods that fit into a cholesterol-friendly diet, and lots of delicious ways to cook them.
Here’s a list of the cholesterol-friendly foods I eat on a regular basis (click here for a printable version):-
One of the best things about holidays is trying new foods, so I generally don’t worry too much about sticking to a low cholesterol diet when I’m away. You only live once after-all! But there are still lots of simple ways to fit cholesterol-friendly foods into your holiday eating, without missing out on all the good stuff:-
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Beef is often avoided by those with high cholesterol because it’s high in fat. But cooking with extra lean beef mince is a great way to continue eating beef as part of a low cholesterol diet, because it only contains 2g of saturated fat per 100g.
It’s not always easy finding cholesterol-friendly shop-bought lunches, especially if you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to read through all of the nutritional information. Traffic light food nutrition labels have made it a lot easier as it means you can immediately see how much saturated fat it contains, which is key when looking for cholesterol-friendly foods.
Most of the ingredients that make desserts taste good, like butter and cream, are high in saturated fats, which unfortunately means they’re not great for anyone with high cholesterol. Luckily though there are lots of chefs and bloggers who have dedicated a lot of time to creating healthy dessert recipes that don’t include high fat ingredients, but still taste great.
I used to avoid salads at all costs because I always thought they were boring, and they never left me feeling satisfied. But now that I’m trying to keep my cholesterol low, I’ve realised that salads are a great way to fit lots of cholesterol-reducing foods into one meal.
A lot of cholesterol diet advice focuses on reducing bad cholesterol (LDL), however it’s also hugely beneficial to raise your levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol – the “good” cholesterol. Experts believe HDL acts as a scavenger, carrying bad cholesterol away from the arteries and back to the liver, where it is broken down and passed from the body.
I’ve spent a lot of time over the last few months searching for recipes that are cholesterol friendly and still taste good. I haven’t found a huge amount of meat-based recipes containing foods like beans that actively lower cholesterol, so I tend to add them myself or have them on the side.