If you’ve been diagnosed with high levels of LDL cholesterol, you can follow a clean diet, exercise, take your medication, and go for regular blood tests to manage it. While medication helps, lifestyle changes are an absolute must. This is because the body produces cholesterol, but we also consume it through dietary sources, and certain foods also contain chemicals that affect how the body absorbs and eliminates cholesterol.
Here are a few dietary tips for patients with high cholesterol:
Reduce cholesterol intake
Yes, we all consume cholesterol when we consume foods that are sourced from animals. This includes all types of meats and dairy products. One of the best dietary tips for patients with high blood cholesterol is to avoid the consumption of cholesterol-heavy foods in the first place. Remember to keep track of your cholesterol intake. Anything less than 200mg a day is perfect.
Include lots of vegetables and fruits
Fruits and veggies are known for helping you lead a healthy lifestyle, but how does it help with cholesterol? Well, a lot of fruits and vegetables come with cholesterol-lowering elements known as stanols and sterols, which can help you in your journey to beat high cholesterol. Not to mention, they’re delicious and filling.
Eat fish with lots of omega-3 fatty acids
Reducing fat intake is a priority when it comes to controlling blood cholesterol levels, but we suggest you get your weekly dose of omega-3- fatty acids. Why? Because while they may not be able to directly reduce the level of LDL cholesterol in your blood, they can sure help increase the HDL or good cholesterol levels.
Soluble fibers for the win
Soluble fibers act as deterrents when it comes to cholesterol being absorbed in the gut. Foods like whole grains, legumes, and even fruits and vegetables are great sources of fiber and will keep you healthy in more ways than one.
Steer clear of excess salt
Salt contains sodium, which does not help with the reduction of cholesterol in the bloodstream, but it will definitely increase your blood pressure as well. Cholesterol and blood pressure are both important risk factors of heart disease, so you should ensure to keep your daily salt intake lower than 2,300 mg. This includes the amount of salt you add while cooking and the amount that’s already present in your food and drinks.
Reduce alcohol intake
Heavy alcohol consumption can usually get an individual sick, but even small amounts are best avoided if you have high cholesterol. This is because alcohol is packed with calories and can increase your chances of being overweight. Not to mention, it elevates the risk of heart disease and affects blood pressure and triglyceride levels. A helpful dietary tip for patients with high cholesterol is to stick to a maximum of one drink a day.