Cholesterol is a substance produced naturally in the body. There are two types of Cholesterol: HDL, commonly known as good cholesterol, and LDL, commonly referred to as bad cholesterol. A high level of cholesterol in the body can cause serious problems. One way of lowering cholesterol levels is through diet. A good cholesterol-controlling diet should avoid certain foods and encourage others. Here are some dietary suggestions for lowering cholesterol levels.
Avoid Foods that Contain Saturated Fat
Cholesterol is produced from saturated fat. A good cholesterol-controlling diet, therefore avoids foods high in saturated fat, and if possible eliminates them altogether. In cases where certain foods cannot be totally avoided, they should be consumed in very low quantities. Some of these foods are processed foods and high-fat animal products such as beef and chicken skin. In addition, saturated vegetable fats should be avoided. These also raise the level of bad cholesterol in the body.
Eat Foods Rich in Fiber
To control or lower cholesterol levels, you must eat more high-fiber foods like bread; especially those made from less-refined flour. In addition, you should eat a generous amount of grains and cereals. These foods not only lower cholesterol levels, they also lower the amount of calories you consume. Excess calories are naturally converted into fat by the body. If you have too much excess fat, the risk of having higher cholesterol levels increases.
Eat More Vegetables and Fruits
Cabbages, carrots, cucumbers and green leafy vegetables should be included in the diet of anyone who wants to lower or control her cholesterol levels. In addition to vegetables, fresh fruits should also be consumed. Fat levels in these foods are very, very low. These foods contain naturally-occurring minerals and vitamins.
Eat Fish and Lean Meat
A cholesterol-controlling diet should include generous portions of fish. Fatty fish, like cod, salmon and tuna, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, an important nutrient needed by the body to remove excess cholesterol.
Those who cannot avoid eating meat should opt for lean meat such as poultry without the skin.
Eat the right quantities
It is not just removing or adding food items to your diet that matters in lowering or controlling cholesterol levels. You should also be eating these foods in the right quantities. It is recommended that you read the label or find out the levels of various nutrients in a particular food before you eat it. About 6- to 7-servings of cereals, 3- to 5-servings of vegetables, and 2- to 4-servings of fruits a day is good to keep your cholesterol levels low.