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Diet for high cholesterol

Cholesterol is primarily produced by the liver and is very essential for every cell of the body. However, it is said that about 20 to 30 percent of cholesterol is derived from the food we eat. Normal cholesterol levels in the body are between 150 to 200 milligrams per 100 milliliters of blood and they usually appear in the blood along with certain fats or lipids and thus, are also known as lipoproteins. These lipoproteins are of two main types and they are low density lipoprotein and high density lipoprotein. Low density lipoprotein is said to be very harmful as it leads to accumulation of cholesterol in blood vessels which in turn puts a person at a very high risk of getting a stroke or heart disease.
Thus, if the ratio of low density lipoprotein to the total cholesterol is very high, you are more susceptible to suffer from a heart disease or other such problems. High cholesterol levels can be brought down by bringing about a change in your lifestyle and making healthy choices when it comes to food because healthy diets lower high cholesterol levels in the blood. It is essential you go on a strict diet for high cholesterol and follow it religiously. Ideally, you should shift to a diet that is low in fats and high in complex carbohydrates. You should stop your consumption of foods that are high in Trans and saturated fats. A few examples of these include butter, margarine or clarified butter. Instead, you should use olive oil or fish oil as they are healthy. You need to avoid intake of all processed foods as they are responsible for increasing your cholesterol levels. On the other hand, you should indulge in eating wholesome foods and fresh foods.

Red meat is a strict no if you want to go on a low cholesterol diet and therefore, you should opt for lean meat instead. You should always remove the excess fat that is visible to your eyes from all animal food before eating it. Eggs, milk and cream sauces, white bread and so on should be avoided as far as possible and these should be replaced by whole grains, wheat bran, fortified cereals, onion, flaxseed, garlic, beans and oats. Use of white flour should be restricted and should be replaced by whole grains as some studies have revealed that the intake of high amounts of carbohydrates are said to increase your cholesterol level. When you use dairy products, make sure they are low fat or skim dairy products as those are a healthy option. There are a number of low cholesterol diets that you can follow. The Atkins high cholesterol diet is a popular diet plan that is followed by many. This diet plan primarily focuses on avoiding the intake of any sort of carbohydrates whether simple or complex. The Mediterranean diet plan is another diet for high cholesterol and includes consumption of a lot of fresh vegetables and fruits and eating meat on a weekly basis that consists of poultry, eggs, lamb and fish. You are also required to eat nuts, legumes and beans everyday. This diet ensures that you reduce your intake of saturated fat as that is bad fat and increase your consumption of unsaturated fat which are essentially the good fats and are found in olive oil, fish and nuts. A diet for hypercholesterolemia (high blood cholesterol) also includes following a low fat diet that is primarily low in total fat as well as sodium and on the other hand, is high in fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grain carbohydrates. However, it is advised you consult your doctor before getting onto any diet.
Submitted on January 16, 2014