Cholesterol Advice

Cooking For Lowering Cholesterol- A Few Tips

Lowering cholesterol does not mean simply switching to low-cholesterol and low-fat foods. Not many of us know that high levels of cholesterol are also a result of the cooking habits which we follow on a daily basis. It has been suggested that if cooking is made cholesterol-free, a lot can be achieved in terms of lowering cholesterol.

Healthy Cooking Habits
* Reduce the number of meat-based dishes
Meat, especially red meat, is a rich source of fat (and cholesterol). Hence, reduce the amount of meat you consume and instead replace it with vegetables. If you want to still have some meat then use it sparingly.

* Die-hard non-vegetarians can opt for sea-food
Those who can not live on vegetables and want something fleshy to eat can choose from a variety of sea-food. Most sea-food items are extremely low on cholesterol (except crawfish, shrimp, and tuna) and are a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids.

Note: Avoid frying them. Instead, you can bake, boil, poach, roast, steam or grill your sea-food.

* Replace whole eggs with egg-whites
Whole eggs are rich in cholesterol and protein. However, it can be made healthier by removing the egg yolk from the egg. Egg preparations can be cholesterol-free by using only the egg-white.

* Use vegetable oils for cooking
If you are using butter, margarine or lard to cook for your food in then you are increasing cholesterol in your dishes. In place of butter, lard or margarine you can use vegetable oils such as canola, sunflower, soybean, and olive can be used to stir-fry or sauté vegetables and other things. These oils are healthy as they contain healthy monosaturated fats.

* Eat less table-salt
The table-salt which we use is a vital source of sodium (Na). While eating it in regulated quantities (any amount less than 2300 mg) is essential for a healthy body, over-eating can result in kidney and heart disease. While its quantity in cooked foods can be self-regulated, you need to reduce your consumption of processed foods (which are high in sodium content).

* Reduce amount of dairy fat
Milk and milk products (such as cheese) are sources of fat as well. It is easy to ignore this fact under the general presumption that milk and milk-products are only calcium-rich. While this is true, the amount of fat present in milk is also high and is a cause of concern. Hence, you can use low-fat or skimmed milk in preparations such as puddings.

* Resist the temptation of flavoring
Most flavorings (unless they say so) available in the market are high on fat and cholesterol, and thus bad for health. In their place you can use healthy flavoring options such as spices, herbs, mustard, salsa, red pepper flakes, vinegar, lemon juice, catsup and a host of other non-fat or low fat dressing options.