Cholesterol Advice

Cholesterol and Our Diet

Cholesterol is a soft waxy substance that is present in our body and performs various physiological functions. The liver is able to manufacture whatever cholesterol that is required by the body. An excess of cholesterol in our blood stream is deposited in the form of arterial plaque and is an unhealthy and potentially life threatening situation.

In order to monitor and control the level of cholesterol in our body, we need to restrict the consumption of foods that are naturally rich in cholesterol. We need to modify and diversify our diet by increasing the consumption of plant based and fiber rich foods and cutting down on foods such as eggs, red meat and dairy products, as these foods have a high level of dietary cholesterol.

A word about animal based foods. Not all animal based foods are bad or unhealthy. Fish is a known source of essential fatty acids or Omega 3 acids that are healthy for the heart. Fish should be cooked broiled, baked, roasted, steamed, poached or stir fried and not deep fried. Chicken and turkey should not be eaten with the skin as the skin has a high level of cholesterol. If you love eggs, then an omelet of two egg whites and one yolk will help you to cut down on your total cholesterol intake.

Plant based foods such as vegetables, fruit, beans, legumes and whole grain cereals are not only packed with anti-oxidants , vitamins and minerals but are also full of wholesome fiber that helps in the process of digestion and reduces the assimilation of dietary cholesterol by the body. Plant based foods contain stanols and sterols that help to reduce LDL cholesterol.

The choice is ours to make when it comes to reducing cholesterol levels and the attendant risk of heart disease. We can begin by changing our diet, the way we eat and the way we live.