The cholesterol-lowering diet should be low in fats, especially saturated and trans fats, and sugars, in order to improve blood circulation and reduce the risk of accumulating fat in the blood, avoiding cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attack or Stroke.
In addition, it is important to increase the consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole foods, which, due to their rich fiber content, help to control cholesterol levels in the blood by decreasing their absorption at the intestinal level.
It is important that the diet is accompanied by the performance of some type of physical activity, at least 3 times a week for 1 hour. This is because exercise favors weight loss and increased muscle mass, which has the consequence of lowering cholesterol levels and improving heart health.
Foods allowed in the diet
Foods that should be included in the diet to reduce the amount of cholesterol are:
Foods rich in fiber, giving preference to the consumption of oats, brown bread, brown rice, brown pasta and whole flours such as locust bean, almond and buckwheat flour.
Fruits and vegetables, preferably raw and with peel to increase the amount of fiber, should be consumed 3 to 5 servings of these foods per day.
Increase the consumption of vegetables, such as beans, chickpeas, lentils and soybeans, and should consume twice a week.
Dried fruits such as walnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts and peanuts, since in addition to providing fiber to the body, they are also rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which favor the increase in good cholesterol, HDL.
It is important that small amounts are consumed daily, as their caloric intake is high.
Skimmed milk and dairy products, giving preference to low-fat white cheeses and unsweetened plain yogurt.
White meats like chicken, fish and turkey. In addition, food should be prepared cooked or steamed, avoiding fried foods, stews, seasonings and sauces.
To add flavor to foods, it is possible to use natural spices such as rosemary, oregano, coriander or parsley.
It is also important to drink about 2.5 L of water a day and have 3 main meals and 2 snacks, as it is also possible to control the weight.
There are also some foods that can be included in the diet to regulate blood cholesterol levels due to their properties.
|Foods||Properties||How to consume|
|Tomato, guava, watermelon, grapefruit and carrot||These foods contain lycopene, which is a substance with antioxidant properties that helps lower bad cholesterol, LDL, blood and increase good cholesterol, HDL.||They can be used to prepare salads, natural sauces, juices or vitamins.|
|Red wine||This drink contains resveratrol and other compounds that act as antioxidants and prevent fat molecules from being deposited in the wall of the arteries, thus favoring blood circulation.||Only 1 to 2 glasses of wine should be consumed for lunch or dinner.|
|Salmon, hake, tuna, nuts and chia seeds||They are rich in omega 3s with anti-inflammatory properties, and also help prevent the emergence of clots that can clog the arteries and lead to infarction, in addition to preventing the formation of fat plaques in the arteries.||These foods should be included in the food in a variety of ways and should be consumed 3 to 4 times a week at least.|
|Purple grapes||This fruit is rich in resveratrol, tannins and flavonoids, which are compounds that exert a powerful antioxidant effect, helping to relax blood vessels and lower cholesterol.||They can be used in juices or consumed as dessert.|
|Garlic/black garlic||It contains a substance called allicin, which fights levels of bad cholesterol (LDL), helps reduce blood pressure and prevents the formation of thrombi, thereby decreasing the risk of heart attack.||Can be used to season food.|
|Olive oil||Prevents cholesterol oxidation, has anti-inflammatory properties and lowers blood pressure.||At least 1 scoop of olive oil should be added per day and can be added in salads or food after ready, since when heated, olive oil may lose its properties.|
|Lemon||It contains antioxidants that prevent the oxidation of good cholesterol, HDL.||You can add lemon juice in salads or mix with other juices or teas.|
|Oats||It is rich in beta-glucans, a type of soluble fiber that helps lower cholesterol levels.||It can be added in juices or vitamins or used in the preparation of cakes and biscuits. It is also possible to consume 1 cup of oatmeal for breakfast or use oat milk in place of cow’s milk.|
|Artichoke||It is a plant rich in fiber and luteolin, an antioxidant that prevents the increase in cholesterol and favors the increase of good cholesterol (HDL).||This plant can be cooked and accompany meals, and can also be consumed in the form of supplement or tea.|
|Cinnamon and turmeric||These condiments are rich in antioxidants and fibers that help improve blood circulation and favor lowering cholesterol.||These aromatic condiments can be used in food preparation.|
There are also some teas that can be included in natural cholesterol-lowering options, such as artichoke tea or dandelion tea. Check out how to prepare these and other teas for cholesterol.
Foods to Avoid
Some foods that favor the increase of bad cholesterol (LDL) because they are rich in saturated fats, trans and / or sugars are:
Inlaid as sausages, chorizo, bacon, salami and ham.
Red meats high in fat.
Whole milk, yogurt with sugar, butter and margarine.
Yellow cheeses and cream cheese.
Sauces like ketchup, mayonnaise, aioli, barbecue, among others.
Oils and fried foods in general.
Processed or frozen foods and fast food.
In addition, foods rich in sugar such as cakes, cookies and chocolates should also not be consumed, this is because the excess sugar is accumulated in the form of fat and favors the production of cholesterol in the liver.
Cholesterol-lowering diet menu
The following table shows an example of a 3-day menu that shows how foods that help lower cholesterol can be used:
|Meals||Day 1||Day 2||Day 3|
|Breakfast||1 cup oat milk + 1 slice of toasted whole meal bread with peanut butter||1 cup unsweet-free coffee accompanied by 1 slice of wholegrain bread with 2 tablespoons ricotta cheese + 2 cups purple grapes||1 cup flaked oatmeal with 1 teaspoon cinnamon + 1/2 cup sliced fruit + 1 cup unwetted orange juice|
|Morning snack||1 cup natural unsweetot grape juice with 1 tablespoon oatmeal + 30 g walnuts||1 medium banana cut into slices with 1 tablespoon oatmeal||1 natural unsweet yogurt + 1/2 cup sliced fruit + 1 teaspoon chia seeds|
|Lunch/ Dinner||Mashed potatoes with grilled salmon + 1/2 cup broccoli salad and cooked carrot seasoned with 1 teaspoon olive oil + 1 apple||Whole meal pasta with diced turkey breast and prepared with natural tomato sauce and oregano + steamed spinach salad seasoned with 1 teaspoon olive oil + 1 pear||Sautéed asparagus with grilled chicken + salad with lettuce, carrot tomatoes + 1 teaspoon olive oil + 1 cup purple grapes.|
|Afternoon snack||1 natural unsweet Od yogurt with fruit pieces + 1 tablespoon chia seeds||1 cup diced watermelon||1 vitamin (200 mL) avocado with natural yogurt + 1 teaspoon of seed, accompanied by 30 g of almonds.|
|Evening snack||1 cup unsweet used artichoke tea||1 cup sugar-free dandelion tea||1 cup sugar-free turmeric tea|
The amounts included in the menu vary according to age, gender, physical activity and whether the person has any other associated disease or not. Therefore, the ideal is to consult a nutritionist so that a complete evaluation can be carried out and a nutritional plan tailored to your needs is elaborated.