If you have high cholesterol, your diet should be low in fat because it can improve blood circulation and decrease the risk of accumulating fat in the blood, preventing the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attacks or strokes.
In addition, it is important to increase the consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole foods, which because of their rich fiber content decrease the absorption of cholesterol in the intestine by controlling blood cholesterol levels.
Besides following a healthy diet, it is important to do at least 3 times a week some kind of physical activity for at least 1 hours to promote weight loss and prevent cholesterol increase.
Foods allowed in the diet
To lower cholesterol you should consume foods with low amounts of fat and sugar, such as:
- Bread, rice, noodles and whole flours, consumed daily;
- Beans, grains, lentils and soy, twice a week;
- Almonds, hazelnuts and nuts up to 5 to 10 units a day;
- Skimmed milk, white cheeses and natural unsweetened yogurt;
- Fish, such as salmon, tuna, trout and sardines, at least 2 times a week;
- Increase water consumption to 2 to 2.5 liters a day;
- Consume 3 to 5 servings of fruits or vegetables a day.
In addition, the food should be prepared cooked or steamed, avoiding fried food and stews. It is also important to do 3 main meals and 2 to 3 snacks throughout the day to keep hunger under control and help you reach the ideal weight. See what your ideal weight is.
There are still some foods that can be included in your diet to regulate blood cholesterol levels because of their properties. These foods are:
|Foods||Proprieties||How to consume|
|Tomato||It has lycopene which is a substance that lowers blood cholesterol.||Can be used in salads.|
It can prevent fat molecules from attaching to the walls of the arteries, unclogging and facilitating the passage of blood.
Only 1 glass of wine should be consumed at lunch or dinner.
|Salmon, hake, tuna, nuts||Helps prevent clumping of platelets, which form clots and can clog arteries.||They should be cooked or grilled and eaten 3 to 4 times a week.|
|Grapes||It has antioxidants like flavonoids that help lower blood cholesterol.||Can be used in juices or consumed as dessert.|
|Garlic||It contains a substance called allicin, which fights bad cholesterol levels and controls the pressure, decreasing the risk of a heart attack.||Can be used to season foods.|
|Olive oil||Prevents cholesterol oxidation.|
It should be added in salads and after cooking, because when it is heated it loses its properties.
|Lemon||It has antioxidants that prevents oxidation of good cholesterol.|
You can add lemon juice to salads or mix with other juices or teas.
There are also some teas that can be included because they can be great natural options for lowering cholesterol, such as artichoke or dandelion tea. Check out how to prepare these and other cholesterol teas.
Foods that should be avoided
Some foods that should be avoided as they are high in fats and sugars, and favor bad cholesterol increase are:
- Animal viscera;
- Butter and oil;
- Industrialized products;
- Sweets in general and chocolates;
- Yellow cheeses;
- Fatty meats such as red meat or pork.
In addition it is also recommended to avoid the consumption of alcoholic beverages as they affect blood cholesterol levels.
Diet menu to lower Cholesterol
This is an example of a diet menu that can help lower high cholesterol levels:
|Meals||Day 1||Day 2||Day 3|
1 glass of skimmed milk + 2 slices of brown bread + 1 tablespoon of marmalade light
1 cup whole grains (without sugar) + 1 cup of skimmed milk
|2 slices whole wheat bread + 1 slice white cheese + 1 slice of chicken ham|
|Morning snack||1 glass of natural grape juice||1 natural unsweetened yogurt + ½ cup fruit||1 medium banana|
Potato puree with cooked fish + ½ cup broccoli salad with carrots + 1 tablespoon olive oil + 1 apple
|200 g whole wheat pasta with natural tomato + 1 medium chicken breast + steamed spinach + 1 tablespoon olive oil + 1 pear||Sauteed asparagus with chicken + 1 bowl of lettuce salad with tomato + 1 tablespoon olive oil + 1 branch of grapes|
|Afternoon snack||1 natural unsweetened yogurt + 2 tablespoons whole grains||1 bowl of pieces of watermelon||1 vitamin (200 ml) avocado with natural yogurt|
|Supper||1 cup of artichoke tea||1 cup of dandelion tea||1 cup turmeric tea|
Ideally, the diet should always be directed by a nutritionist so as to be adapted to the individual needs of each person.