The test results are in, and they’re not pleasant. It seems your cholesterol numbers have been sneaking up when you weren’t paying attention! While high cholesterol doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go on a strict diet, a few important changes in the way you eat will help you get those numbers back in the normal range. According to a May 2008 study by the Mayo Clinic, the most important move is to immediately eliminate the bad fats from your diet and then concentrate on other foods.
Reduce saturated and trans fat from your menu. Saturated fat is found in some meats and oils, such as marbled beef, fatty pork, processed meats and the skin of chicken. Choose lean beef such as sirloin, round and chuck, and select grade beef over choice or prime. Pork should come from the tenderloin or lean chops, and trim off all the fat before preparing. Trans fat, or partially hydrogenated oil, is found in processed foods such as cakes and cookies, French fries and doughnuts.
Substitute fish for meat in your diet at least twice a week. While most fish is high in Omega-3, which is beneficial in reducing cholesterol, the best types of fish to choose are salmon, albacore tuna, lake trout and mackerel.
Cook fresh vegetables with steam instead of frying them. This will also help the vegetables retain their maximum nutritional value. If you stir fry, use olive oil.
Switch to liquid oils such as canola, sunflower or soybean instead of solid shortening, and add olive oil to your salad or fish. According to the American Heart Association, olive oil contains potent antioxidants that can reduce the risk of heart disease.
Substitute egg whites for whole eggs in as many recipes as possible. Eggs whites are high in protein, while the yolks are the bad guys when it comes to cholesterol. Two egg whites equal one whole egg when cooking.
Lower the dairy fats in your diet by switching to skim or 1-percent milk, skim-milk mozzarella, low-fat cottage cheese and other reduced-fat cheeses. Don’t forget your morning coffee; if you’re accustomed to cream or half & half, switch to low fat.