You can cook your way to lower cholesterol, too

Let’s look more closely at those tips we gave you for controlling your LDL cholesterol levels. The right foods can work hand-in-hand with Cholesterade® to lower those “bad” levels.

Limit your intake of foods full of saturated fats, trans fats, and dietary cholesterol. Saturated fat is found in butter, fatty flesh like red meat, full-fat and low-fat dairy products, palm oil, and coconut oil. “Partially hydrogenated fat” in the ingredient list of a food label means that food has trans fats. Top sources of dietary cholesterol include egg yolks, organ meats, and shellfish.

Keep in mind that one type of fat, omega-3 fatty acids, has been shown to protect against heart disease. Good sources are cold-water fish like salmon, mackerel, halibut, trout, herring, and sardines.

Let’s make it simpler:

You can have 2 servings a day of nonfat dairy foods.  Limit your intake of meat, poultry, and fish to no more than 3.5 to 4 ounces per day. Choose from the list below:

  • BEST: Omega-3-rich fish: salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, and trout, at least 2 times weekly. If you’re using canned fish, select very-low-sodium or no-salt-added varieties.
  • GOOD: Most other fish, plus shelled mollusks (clams, oysters, mussels, scallops).
  • OK: Crustaceans, such as shrimp, crab, lobster, or crawfish; skinless white-meat poultry; game such as bison, venison, elk, and ostrich (best if free-range and grass-fed)
  • STAY AWAY: Red meat (beef, pork, lamb, veal, goat). If you have to eat red meat, choose cuts that are under 30% fat. Red meats not only tend to have the highest proportion of saturated fats, they are also higher in heme iron, which likely raises the risk of type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer. Red meats also alter the gut’s microbiome, which research indicates may raise the risk of cardiovascular disease. 

Remember to eat more fiber, especially soluble fiber from foods like beans, oats, barley, fruits, and vegetables (we love Cholesterade® for its soluble fiber!). 

Foods naturally rich in soluble fiber have proven particularly good at lowering cholesterol. Excellent sources include oats, oat bran, barley, peas, yams, sweet potatoes and other potatoes, as well as legumes or beans, such as pinto beans, black beans, garbanzo beans, and peas. Vegetables rich in soluble fiber include carrots, Brussels sprouts, beets, okra, and eggplant. Good fruit sources are berries, passion fruit, oranges, pears, apricots, nectarines, and apples. (Cholesterade® is made from soluble Acacia fiber!)

Choose protein-rich plant foods over meat.

Common legumes such as lentils, peas, and beans are rich with nutrients and are a very healthy, protein-packed alternative to meat. Legumes help lower LDL cholesterol, non-HDL cholesterol, blood sugar, and insulin levels, and may even lower cancer risk.

Nuts and seeds have been proven to modestly lower LDL cholesterol levels. Avoid blood-pressure-raising salt by choosing raw or dry-roasted, unsalted varieties. Nuts and seeds are dense with calories, so don’t eat more than 1 ounce daily to avoid gaining weight.

Coming up:  We’ve got some recipes for you!