7 Healthy Eating Tips For Those With High Cholesterol
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Most of the health issues we face today are rooted in our lifestyle rather than our genetics, and high cholesterol is certainly one of the more severe of these issues. In case you didn’t know, cholesterol is a natural substance that our liver produces. High density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is generally considered to be good, so higher amounts of this cholesterol in your body is a good thing. The problem arises with low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, high levels of which can lead to increased risk of heart attack, heart disease and stroke. 

It is generally known that eating large amounts of certain foods can raise your LDL levels, while consuming others in the right proportion can help reduce LDL levels. Saturated fat, trans fat and sugars are usually held as the culprits found in certain foods that lead to high cholesterol. LDL cholesterol sticks to the walls of our blood vessels and form plaques that can block them, so tailoring your diet according to your cholesterol levels is very important. 

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For foodies, this can seem like quite a punishment. Completely cutting off or regulating the consumption of certain foods that lead to high cholesterol is, however, very important if you have been diagnosed with high LDL levels or high total cholesterol. Wondering what these foods are and how to regulate your diet without letting go of all delicious foods? Here are all the healthy eating tips for those with high cholesterol.  

Get More Fibre

Whether it is in the form of fruits, vegetables, legumes, lentils or grains, getting more dietary fibre is a great way to reduce your LDL levels. These foods are packed with soluble fibre, and regular intake of soluble fibre can lead to a reduction of both LDL and total cholesterol. The best bit is these foods are also ingredients that go into the preparation of delicious dishes from around the world. 

Add Herbs And Spices

In case you didn’t know, most spices and herbs in the world are superfoods packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Whether you consider herbs like mint, cilantro, dill or tarragon, or spices like ginger, turmeric, garlic and even red chillies, adding these to your diet can help prevent LDL cholesterol from oxidizing and leading to plaques. 

Pick The Right Fats

While saturated fats are considered to be harmful and may cause high cholesterol, unsaturated fats are considered to be healthy. So, avoid eating saturated fats like butter, oil and fried foods. Instead, depend on foods like avocados, olives, nuts and oils and butters derived from them. On the positive side, these sources of saturated fats are absolutely delicious, so shifting to these shouldn’t be a chore at all.  

Avoid Processed Foods

One sure-shot way of having plenty of saturated fats sneak into your diet is through processed foods. High in sodium, sugar, artificial flavours and preservatives, processed foods and pre-packaged foods are loaded with saturated fats that will not only increase your cholesterol levels but also lead to unnecessary weight gain. So, avoid everything from cold cuts to packaged juices, and consume fresh foods instead. 

Select Healthy Proteins 

While animal products are generally considered to be packed with saturated fats, there are some that do mor harm than good. Red meat, for example, is definitely more harmful than lean chicken and fatty fish. Similarly, nuts, seeds and dry fruits are packed with proteins but are healthy. Many believe eggs, especially egg yolks, to be harmful, but studies show that up to seven eggs a week should be fine even for those with high cholesterol. Paneer, tofu, soy, edamame are all healthy proteins too. 

Whole Over Refined

There is a reason why nutritionists and health experts say that those with high cholesterol should avoid baked goodies and bakery foods. The reason is that most baked goods are made with refined flours. So, if you shift to whole grains and non-refined flours made from these, then your cholesterol levels should be better. Pick baked goodies made with whole wheat, multigrain, millet flours and quinoa flour instead and you should be good to go. 

Opt For Homemade

The most important thing to remember with high cholesterol is that your intake should be more of healthy foods rather than unhealthy ones, and the only way to regulate this is by eating homemade food. With takeaways or foods prepared beyond your own home and hearth, you cannot tailor the use of saturated fats. So, make your own instead of buying from other places, especially if you don’t know how the food is being prepared.