Wheat Bread Is Your Best Bet For Cholesterol Control And High Fiber
Whole wheat is your best go-to bread when sticking to a low-cholesterol diet, according to Kristi King, RDN, MPH, a clinical instructor of pediatrics and gastroenterology at the Baylor College of Medicine and senior dietitian at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. “One-hundred-percent whole grain bread is what you want it contains higher amounts of our friend fiber” King says. “A great example, and one that I love, is pumpernickel bread,” she says, which is a rye-derivative but milder. And when you add cheese such as cheddar or gouda, King says you’ll also be treating yourself to gut-friendly probiotics.
Whole wheat bread has other added benefits, too: Just one slice gives you about two grams of protein and two grams of fiber. Whether you opt to buy pumpernickel, rye, or good old-fashioned whole wheat, steer your cart to one of these choices in the bread aisle to help keep cholesterol in check.
Your Practical Cholesterol Guide
The Cleveland Clinic has a wonderful explainer on cholesterol numbers. Here are some quick takeaways to guide you on your mission to achieve or maintain healthy cholesterol levels:
- Your cholesterol includes 3 cholesterol subtypes: LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and VLDL cholesterol.
- LDL cholesterol buildup can increase your risk of heart disease.
- HDL cholesterol helps fight LDL cholesterol buildup.
- VLDL cholesterol carries triglycerides, the chemically correct label for fat in your body.
Mediterranean Breakfast Burrata Platter
This unique breakfast recipe has everything you could want for a cholesterol-lowering meal. The fiber from the whole grain bread, as well as the nutrients from the pumpkin seeds, butternut squash, and microgreens, make for an extremely healthy and fun morning option.
Get our recipe for this Burrata Platter.
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Whole Grains Especially Oats And Barley
Extensive research ties whole grains to lower heart disease risk.
In fact, a review of 45 studies linked eating three servings of whole grains daily to a 20% lower risk of heart disease and stroke. Benefits were even greater when people ate more servings up to seven of whole grains per day .
Whole grains keep all parts of the grain intact, which provides them with more vitamins, minerals, plant compounds and fiber than refined grains.
While all whole grains may promote heart health, two grains are particularly noteworthy:
- Oats: Contain beta-glucan, a
Fruit is an excellent addition to a heart-healthy diet for several reasons.
Many types of fruit are rich in soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol levels .
It does this by encouraging your body to get rid of cholesterol and stopping your liver from producing this compound.
One kind of soluble fiber called pectin lowers cholesterol by up to 10%. Its found in fruits including apples, grapes, citrus fruits and strawberries .
Fruit also contains bioactive compounds that help prevent heart disease and other chronic diseases due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Eating berries and grapes, which are particularly rich sources of these plant compounds, can help increase good HDL and lower bad LDL cholesterol .
SummaryFruit can help lower cholesterol and improve heart health. This is largely caused by its fiber and antioxidants.
Old Fave: Green Tea New Fave: Matcha Tea
Green tea is a great source of antioxidants called catechins, which improve blood pressure and cholesterol numbers. Matcha includes the whole tea leaf, ground into very fine powder, which you drink. It can have 137 times the amount of an antioxidant called EGCG in a traditional green tea, University of Colorado researchers found.
Serve it up: Whisk matcha powder with steamed water for a warm drink. Or add it to a smoothie, salad dressing, or homemade ice cream or baked goods.
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Cholesterol And Healthy Eating
What we eat has an impact on our cholesterol levels and can help reduce our risk of disease. Try to eat a wide variety of foods from each of the five food groups. Not only does this help to maintain a healthy and interesting diet, but it provides essential nutrients to the body.
The Heart Foundation recommends:
- Plenty of vegetables, fruits and wholegrains.
- A variety of healthy protein sources , legumes , nuts and seeds. Smaller amounts of eggs and lean poultry can also be included in a heart healthy diet. If choosing red meat, make sure it is lean and limit to 1-3 times a week.
- Unflavoured milk, yoghurt and cheese. Those with high blood cholesterol should choose reduced fat varieties.
- Healthy fat choices nuts, seeds, avocados, olives and their oils for cooking
- Herbs and spices to flavour foods, instead of adding salt.
Also, be mindful on how much you are eating and whether you are filling up on unhealthy foods. Portion sizes have increased over time and many of us are eating more than we need which can lead to obesity and increase our risk of cardiovascular disease.
Ideally, a healthy plate would include servings of ¼ protein, ¼ carbohydrates and ½ vegetables.
Serving size can vary depending on age, gender and specific nutrition needs.
Foods Rich In Unsaturated Fats
- vegetable oils such as olive, sunflower, corn, rapeseed, nut and seed oils
- avocado, nuts and seeds
- fat spreads made from vegetable oils, such as sunflower and olive oil
- oily fish
Oily fish are a good source of healthy unsaturated fats, specifically a type called omega-3 fats. Aim to eat two portions of fish per week, at least one of which should be oily. A portion is 140g, but you could have two or three smaller portions throughout the week. Tinned, frozen or fresh all count e.g. salmon, sardines, pilchards, trout, herring and mackerel.
Avoid coconut and palm oil as, unlike other vegetable oils, they are high in saturated fat.
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Whole Grains And Oat Bran
Oat bran is an excellent source of a soluble fiber known asbeta-glucan, which may reduce the amount of cholesterol in your blood. Also, increasing your intake of whole grains like brown rice, bulgur, quinoa, and steel-cut oats can help lower LDL cholesterol levels, according to a 2015 systematic review published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
There are two types of fiber: soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber is the main cholesterol-lowering fiber type. Blatner says fiber can act like a sponge to soak up excess cholesterol and remove it from the body. Including foods with soluble fiber in your diet can helpreduce LDL cholesterol.
Baked Goods And Sweets
Cookies, cakes and doughnuts usually contain butter or shortening, making them high in saturated fat and cholesterol.
They also tend to be full of sugar, which can lead to high levels of blood triglycerides, an unhealthy blood fat that can be a risk factor for coronary heart disease.
Instead, make your desserts at home, choosing recipes that dont need shortening or lots of butter. This also allows you to modify recipes and cut down the amount of sugar used, to half or three-quarters the recommended amount. You can also enjoy baked fruit as a dessert, or substitute applesauce for eggs or butter in your baking.
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Can My Diet Help My Cholesterol
Eating certain foods can help improve your cholesterol and overall heart health.
The best place to start is to eat a wide variety of plant foods. These include:
Eating plant foods will help you get a range of nutrients, heart-healthy fats and fibre. These all promote optimal heart health.
Apple Slices With Walnuts
For those times when you dont have time to whip up a homemade snack, keep it quick and simple with the basics. An apple with a handful of walnuts has about 267 calories and is rich in soluble fiber for a cholesterol-busting treat. The fiber and healthy fats will also keep you full until dinner. Youll also want to try these heart-healthy snacks.
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How Can I Lower Cholesterol With Diet
Heart-healthy lifestyle changes include a diet to lower your cholesterol. The DASH eating plan is one example. Another is the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes diet, which recommends that you
Choose healthier fats.You should limit both total fat and saturated fat. No more than 25 to 35% of your daily calories should come from dietary fats, and less than 7% of your daily calories should come from saturated fat. Depending upon how many calories you eat per day, here are the maximum amounts of fats that you should eat:
|Calories per Day
Saturated fat is a bad fat because it raises your LDL level more than anything else in your diet. It is found in some meats, dairy products, chocolate, baked goods, and deep-fried and processed foods.
Trans fat is another bad fat it can raise your LDL and lower you HDL . Trans fat is mostly in foods made with hydrogenated oils and fats, such as stick margarine, crackers, and french fries.
Instead of these bad fats, try healthier fats, such as lean meat, nuts, and unsaturated oils like canola, olive, and safflower oils.
Limit foods with cholesterol. If you are trying to lower your cholesterol, you should have less than 200 mg a day of cholesterol. Cholesterol is in foods of animal origin, such as liver and other organ meats, egg yolks, shrimp, and whole milk dairy products.
Eat plenty of soluble fiber. Foods high in soluble fiber help prevent your digestive tract from absorbing cholesterol. These foods include:
What Can You Eat On A Low Cholesterol Diet
Being mindful about what you eat can lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk of developing heart disease. Foods to include in a low cholesterol diet include those that lower bad cholesterol or low-density lipoproteins and increase good cholesterol or high-density lipoproteins .
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Old Fave: Oatmeal New Fave: Quinoa Flakes
Are you so over oatmeal? Make a warm bowl of quinoa porridge. Like rolled oats, quinoa flakes are steamed and then rolled to flatten them. They cook faster than regular quinoa without losing nutrition.
Serve it up: Add 1/3 cup quinoa flakes and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon to 1 cup simmering water. Stir until creamy in texture. Top with your choice of nuts and fruits. Also use quinoa flakes instead of oats when making granola or fruit crisps.
Fried Foods And Highly Processed Foods
There is little to no room in a low cholesterol diet for fried foods, fast food, and highly processed foods. Everything in moderation is acceptable, but if youre trying to reduce LDL levels, eliminating foods high in cholesterol like deep-fried items, chips, deli meat, bacon, and hot dogs, can go a long way in keeping your cholesterol levels in check.
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What Causes High Cholesterol
Genetic factors can lead to high blood cholesterol levels. This means that some individuals will produce excessive amounts of cholesterol particularly LDL cholesterol leading to high levels of blood cholesterol. This is called genetic or familial hypercholesterolemia.
Certain lifestyle factors can influence cholesterol levels. For example, eating foods that contain high amounts of cholesterol, saturated fat, and trans fat have all been shown to increase blood cholesterol levels.
These can be found in the following foods:
- Processed carbohydrates: These includ white bread and white pasta.
- Saturated fat: This includes red meat, full-fat dairy products, and processed foods.
- Trans fat: These include fried and highly processed foods, such as cookies, crackers, and doughnuts.
Other lifestyle factors that can contribute to high cholesterol include smoking tobacco products and inactivity.
Some medical conditions may also cause high cholesterol, including:
has also explored the benefits of the traditional Mediterranean diet.
The lists eating foods in various quantities and frequencies:
- dairy, nuts, seeds, legumes every day
- fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, such as olive oil, whole grains, nuts with every main meal
- at least 2 portions of fish or seafood every week
- 2 portions of white meat and 24 portions of eggs every week
- limiting red meat to no more than 2 portions per week and sweets to no more than 3 portions per week
Add These Foods To Lower Ldl Cholesterol
Different foods lower cholesterol in various ways. Some deliver soluble fiber, which binds cholesterol and its precursors in the digestive system and drags them out of the body before they get into circulation. Some give you polyunsaturated fats, which directly lower LDL. And some contain plant sterols and stanols, which block the body from absorbing cholesterol.
1. Oats. An easy first step to lowering your cholesterol is having a bowl of oatmeal or cold oat-based cereal like Cheerios for breakfast. It gives you 1 to 2 grams of soluble fiber. Add a banana or some strawberries for another half-gram. Current nutrition guidelines recommend getting 20 to 35 grams of fiber a day, with at least 5 to 10 grams coming from soluble fiber.
2. Barley and other whole grains. Like oats and oat bran, barley and other whole grains can help lower the risk of heart disease, mainly via the soluble fiber they deliver.
3. Beans. Beans are especially rich in soluble fiber. They also take a while for the body to digest, meaning you feel full for longer after a meal. That’s one reason beans are a useful food for folks trying to lose weight. With so many choices from navy and kidney beans to lentils, garbanzos, black-eyed peas, and beyond and so many ways to prepare them, beans are a very versatile food.
4. Eggplant and okra. These two low-calorie vegetables are good sources of soluble fiber.
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What Is High Blood Cholesterol
High blood cholesterol, also called hypercholesterolemia, is an unhealthy level of cholesterol in the blood. Having high levels of blood cholesterol can cause your child to have heart problems when he or she gets older. But there are changes you can make in your child’s diet now to lower the blood cholesterol.
A Low Cholesterol Diet Recipe Just For You
Now that you know about which foods will help you lower your bad cholesterol, heres an easy recipe to help you get started. This Tofu with Brown Rice and Veggies make use of the healthy ingredients mentioned above.
In this recipe, we used brown rice, which is among the whole grain foods, and is healthier than white rice. Tofu is an example of soy food, which is also among the healthy foods. As a tip, if you want more flavor, you can season the sweet potatoes and tofu with cayenne or paprika if you want it with a bit of spice. You can also use oyster sauce to season the dish instead of salt.
What makes this recipe even better is that you can just wait for it to cook in the oven with your baking pan and parchment paper set. Definitely makes cooking easier and healthier!
Dont forget to share this recipe to help your friends get started on a low cholesterol diet plan, too!
What other recipes would you like us to post? Leave us a comment or send us a message!
- 200gramsChinese soy tofucut into cubes
- 1/3cupfresh flat-leaf parsley leaveschopped
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Low Cholesterol Diet Plan For Beginners
Learn how to lower your high cholesterol and improve your heart health by following this simple 7-day low cholesterol meal plan for beginners.
In this 7-day plan for beginners, we map out a week of healthy meals and snacks that will help lower your cholesterol. To keep it simple, we meal-prep breakfast and lunch so you can grab-and-go plus we focus on simple recipes without lengthy ingredient lists. Bonusyou’ll see several one-pot and sheet-pan dinners which means less time spent on cleanup. To help lower cholesterol, we include plenty of fiberan important nutrient for both gut and heart healthby focusing on fruits and vegetables, whole grains and legumes while limiting cholesterol-raising saturated fat and simple carbohydrates.
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Red Meats And Processed Meats
Aim to reduce or eliminate animal products such as fatty cuts of beef or red meat and processed meat such as sausage and hot dogs. Examples of red meat with a higher saturated fat and cholesterol content include steak, beef roast, full-fat ground beef, and ribs.
If youre going to eat animal proteins, opt for lean meats like turkey, chicken , and pork loin. Healthier red meats like 90% lean ground beef and lean cuts of beef like tenderloin and flank steak are good alternatives to fatty cuts of red meat.
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Foods To Avoid On A Low
Because trans fats and saturated fats are associated with increased LDL cholesterol levels, and excessive cholesterol intake also seems to contribute to the issue, these should be limited. Note that trans fats are hydrogenated oils added to foods to improve stability and saturated fats are solid at room temperature and are mostly found in animal products. The following foods are particularly high in trans fat, saturated fat, and/or cholesterol and should be avoided on a low-cholesterol diet:
Eating For Lower Cholesterol
Healthy eating can make a huge difference to your cholesterol levels and your heart health, whether your cholesterol has crept up over the years or you have a genetic condition. It will improve your health in other ways too, helping to lower your blood pressure, prevent diabetes and maintain a healthy weight.
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