Lowering your cholesterol through diet is more about incorporating the right foods rather than just cutting out bad foods. For the best results however, you will need to stick to an eating plan that is overall, balanced. So what does that mean?
It means a balance of food groups, and a balance of protein, fibre nutrients and fat. A diet that includes regular burgers, pizzas and pastries or is overflowing with chips, white bread and pasta, fizzy sugared drinks, biscuits, cakes is not a balanced one. These foods should be eaten in moderation, if at all, especially if you are trying to reduce weight as well as lower cholesterol. Likewise, processed meats – sausages, bacon, salami and the like should be used sparingly as they have all been linked to heart disease. The majority of meat should be eaten fresh, unprocessed, organic or at least free range.
Junk foods may also contain trans -fats the one thing that is off limits in a cholesterol lowering eating plan. These trans-fats are fats that have been chemically altered in a lab, and are used in pre-prepared meals and food. They have no health benefits, and may directly increase cholesterol levels in the blood. What’s more, your intake of sugar and other refined carbohydrates will be far too high. This may also have a similar effect on cholesterol as trans-fats.
If you follow a healthy eating plan, your diet will be balanced – high in fresh produce, lean protein, beans, pulses, wholegrains, fibre and healthy fats.
A balanced eating plan does not exclude the occasional take away but the more foods you eat that fall into the ‘good’ category, the better, not just for cholesterol but all aspects of your health.