Cholesterol Diet

Two of the major factors contributing to your cholesterol level are your diet and your weight. So adopting a healthy eating plan is the first step to reducing a high cholesterol problem and also to shedding those excess pounds.

A typical diet designed to reduce your cholesterol level will:

Restrict saturated fat to less than 7 percent of your daily calorie intake and total fat to 30 percent.

Include less than 200 mg a day of cholesterol.

Consist of only enough calories to reach or maintain a healthy weight.

Here are some suggestions for a cholesterol reducing diet:

* Using fiber-rich foods such as whole grains as your primary source of carbohydrates. This should go together with an increased intake of fresh fruit and vegetables such as blueberries, oranges, apples, pears, grapes, bell peppers, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, tomatoes, dark leafy greens celery, squash and eggplant among others.

* Avoiding saturated fats which are mostly found in animal foods such as meat, poultry and dairy products. Choose unsaturated fats instead, specifically omega-3 fats. Good sources of these would be the vegetable and fish oils.

* Obtain your protein from soy protein, poultry, and fish instead of meat. Restrict yourself to two egg yolks a week.

* Major lifestyle change as a part of a cholesterol diet would mean weight control, exercise, and quitting smoking.

It usually takes a healthy cholesterol diet three to six months before you can see any change in cholesterol level. Some patients though, have seen results in a single month. While a low cholesterol diet is a good way to start a lifestyle change towards a healthier heart, bear in mind that proper exercise is as important. Inactivity is believed to be one of the four primary causes of coronary heart disease. The three others are smoking, unhealthy cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Even with a newly-acquired low cholesterol diet and some learned simple exercises, you may want to think hard before lighting another cigarrette.