Tips on Keeping a Low Cholesterol Diet

Following a low cholesterol diet is one of the best things a diabetic can do to have a healthier life.

Starting a low cholesterol diet can reduce your risk of heart attacks and the cholesterol build-up in blood vessels, which can restrict or even block circulation.

Know the difference between 'Bad' Cholesterol and 'Good' Cholesterol

It is important to know the difference between “bad” cholesterol and “good” cholesterol when trying to choose which foods to avoid. Bad cholesterol is known as low-density lipoprotein, or LDL for short, while good cholesterol is known as high-density lipoprotein, or HDL.

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Foods that are high in saturated fats are those that have the highest amount of bad cholesterol. Saturated fats are those that come from butter and the white fat that you find in meat. These types of fats can collect in the walls of blood vessels and cause blockage, putting you at a higher risk of heart attack.

Unsaturated fats, like olive and vegetable oils, provide the body with HDL cholesterol, which can help remove the harmful bad cholesterol that is in our bodies. High levels of good cholesterol can reduce the risk of heart disease, but if levels are low it can increase your risk.

Changes to Make in Your Diet

When trying to avoid saturated fats, avoid these types of foods:

  • Red meats
  • Whole or 2% diary products
  • Egg yolks
  • Cheese
  • Butter
  • Crisco
  • Lard

Keep a diet that is loaded with fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens. You should also include in your diet olives, small amounts of lean meats and skinless poultry, fish, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds. Lastly, keep an eye on your weight because a lower body weight will help you keep your cholesterol and diabetes in check.

Here are some substitutes you can begin to implement in your diet:

  1. Drink 1% milk or low-fat buttermilk instead of whole or 2% milk
  2. Eat nonfat cream cheese or laughing cow cheese instead of regular cheese
  3. Eat less cheese by selecting stronger flavored cheeses such as sharp cheddar, feta, or parmesan
  4. Use 2 egg whites or ½ cup egg substitute instead of a whole egg
  5. Use nonstick cooking spray instead of oil, margarine, or other fats
  6. Use a trans fat free margarine instead of butter
  7. Grill meat instead of frying it
  8. Eat colorful vegetables and fruits instead of high-fat snacks
  9. Eat homemade, low-fat cookies and pastries instead of store-bought varieties that are high in sugar, butter and usually trans-fats
  10. Spice up food with herbs, soy sauce, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce

Source: TheDietChannel.com, WebMD.com

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