Nowadays, many suffer from have high cholesterol as well as heart diseases, which remain the number 1 cause of death worldwide. There are two (2) types of cholesterol:
- LDL, aka Low Density Lipoprotein, which is also named "bad" cholesterol
- HDL, aka High Density Lipoprotein, which is considered "good" cholesterol.
Let’s dig a bit deeper and tackle the food plan!
The most impactful game changer in the cholesterol universe is nutrition. Of course, someone with high cholesterol levels should follow a nutrition plan that abides to the following:
- Avoid Trans-fats: trans fats are the type of fat that raises the LDL level while lowering the HDL level. The FDA, Food and Drug Association, allows companies manufacturing products with less than 0.5 grams trans-fat per serving to indicate 0G of Trans Fats on their label. This could be a problem for people with high cholesterol. My tip here is to check the serving size. When the serving size is very low and unrealistic on the package, the company might have done this on purpose so you don’t notice that you are eating a lot more than the amount stated as the serving size. Hence, if the serving supposedly has 0.5G of Trans Fat and you are eating 6 servings a day, this is 3G of Trans-fat coming to you from 1 product! Imagine the compounding effect of things here, so be wary and watch out!
Foods that include Trans Fats might be found in frozen pizza, cookies, Coffeemate, Sweeteners, fast food, microwavable popcorn, etc.
- Less than 7% of your daily calorific intake comes from saturated fats. Saturated fats are found in lots of oils, beef, lamb. For example, if you are consuming 2,000 calories per day, 7% equates to 140 calories. We divide 140/9 (since each gram of fats has 9 calories), the result is 15.5 Grams of saturated fats. See how easy this is to watch out and keep on believing in the power of nutrition?
- Less than 25% of your total calorific intake is from fats: anything between 18 to 25% of your calories should come from fats, all types of fats. Thus, for a 2000 calorie plan, it's 500 calories/9= 45G of Fats.
Honestly, my cholesterol levels are very good and I currently eat 25% from fats, so this can be very easily implemented:
- Increase your fiber intake: eat healthy salads and vegetables so you can increase your fiber intake. This is very helpful. This can help you lower your LDL while feeling fuller, which will decrease your snacking cravings considering that some snacks are sometimes high in fats.
When consuming fruits and oats you are kicking of the day off with a healthy, well balanced meal. This is indeed a great idea!
- Replace meat with fish if you are a protein lover!
I’m all about sports, and protein is my favorite macronutrient. I love steak, ground beef and lean mincemeat. Nonetheless, going big on meats is not a great idea for people with high cholesterol. Hence, I would recommend you swap your meats with fish. For instance fish, such as salmon, are high in Omega 3 Fats which are heart-healthy.
Nuts are very good fat sources as well
- Try vegan! If you want to challenge yourself and go a step further, try going a vegan lifestyle for a while. I believe that this lifestyle can get you massive results in lowering your cholesterol levels. The China Study, a book published by Dr. Campbell is a great reference to know more on this matter.
- Stay active: workout, workout, workout! Getting active can be tremendous. Aim for 3 hours a week, as it is easily implemented. If you are not active at all, start with a 10-minute walk and build the momentum from there. You can do it!
- Eat in a deficit: having a high cholesterol is due lot of times to higher weight. Hence, eating in a deficit will help you lose weight. I would recommend losing weight slowly and focusing on the bigger image. For more tips you can revisit other articles published by myself.
- Stay positive and try to be more relaxed. A lot of studies link cholesterol levels to high stress and bad mood. Hence, be Happy!
Now that we have gone through the low cholesterol lifestyle choice, which are we going to look closer into next?
Pierre, the Healthy Foodie