A Healthy Low Cholesterol Diet Plan in 15 Easy Steps

The adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” holds especially true for managing cholesterol levels. Making the right food choices in your daily diet is far better than having to afford many visits to your doctor. Your levels of cholesterol may increase when you follow a diet plan made of a lot of foods that contain sugar, saturated and trans fats. Over 71,000,000 adults in America have high levels of cholesterol at over 200 mg/dL, based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Among these people, over 47,000,000 of them do not have this condition under control, making them vulnerable to cardiovascular diseases as a result of cholesterol accumulation inside their arterial blood vessels. In case your cholesterol levels place you in danger of heart related illnesses, implementing modifications in the meals you eat every day can certainly help. Your food intake has an effect on the 3 forms of lipids parts of your blood stream: low-density lipoproteins (LDL) cholesterol, high-density lipoproteins (HDL) cholesterol in addition to triglycerides. Having a diet plan low in sugar and fats will let you reduce the triglycerides by 20 % and can as well produce positive changes to your LDL and HDL respectively the bad and the good cholesterol in accordance with the American Heart Association (AHA). Finding out about the healthy food choices as well as food preparation techniques will be helpful in developing a personalized eating plan designed to please your own preferences.

The fundamentals of a cholesterol lowering diet plan

Your goal is to try to maintain your total cholesterol (the number obtained by adding 20 % of the triglycerides to the sum of the levels of LDL and HDL) lower than 200 mg for each deciliter of blood. A total over that limit in addition to supplemental risk variables for example diabetes, hypertension, age, inherited genes and stress elevate your probability to get cardiovascular disorders. For dietary cholesterol 200-300 mg per day is recommended (no more than 300 mg of cholesterol daily is advised for healthy people and no more than 200 mg per day for adults having high LDL levels or people that are following a medical treatment for reducing their cholesterol). Stick to smaller quantities in case you deal with more than one risk factor of having cardiac arrest as well as cerebral vascular accidents. Restrict saturated fat to between 16 and 22 g per day or less than 10% of total calories in your diet, trans fat  to 2 g daily or less than 1% of total calories in your diet (your intake should be kept as low as possible), and a calorie consumption of sugar-added meals to about 100-300 mg daily. Aim to get 3 g or more of omega-3 and up to 10 g of omega-6 daily.

How to lower cholesterol with diet in 15 simple and easy steps

Picture of cholesterol free foods
Picture of foods to include in your diet

Step 1

The initial step is to start controlling portions. The food portions are often too large, but there is a practical way to control portions: measuring with hands. To know if your serving of meat or fish is ideal, simply see it fits in a hand palm. As for a serving of fresh fruit, it should be approximately the size of a fist. Finally, a serving of cooked vegetables, rice or pasta, must fit into the cupped hand.

Step 2

Increase the amount of foods that are rich in fiber in your daily meal plan. Taking in 5-10 g of fiber daily cuts down on the intake of LDL cholesterol in the blood stream. Begin the day with one and half cup of oat meal, that gives you about 6 g of fiber. Another way to get plenty fiber is by eating raw fruits, beans, brown rice and also whole-grain breads.

Step 3

Cook and eat meals with egg-whites rather than whole eggs. The major amount of cholesterol in eggs is found particularly inside the yolk. Egg-whites supply the body with healthy proteins. Go for a couple of beaten egg-whites for a healthful egg breakfast. Change your dishes by including two egg-whites in your meals instead of one whole egg.

Step 4

Drinking milk is important at any age. Many people reduce their milk consumption significantly as they get older, yet this can cause other health problems. The lower the percentage of fat in the milk, the better it is for your cholesterol. Skim milk may not appeal to everyone, so choosing 1 or 2 percent milk is still a very healthy alternative. You can also opt for low-fat dairy foods such as fat-free or 1% buttermilk and plain yogurt, Provolone, Mozzarella, part skim Ricotta and Cheddar.

Step 5

Vegetables are good for your daily eating plan
Vegetables and fruits are highly recommended.

Increase the amount of veggies in your daily dishes because they do not have cholesterol and feature less fat or calories by nature. Consider preparing recipes made up of veggies or adding vegetables as sides to the dishes. Heat your veggies in a little volume of water or stir frying them in a single canola oil tablespoon. For further health advantages, season the veggies with natural herbs rather than salt. Fruits and veggies, wholegrain bakery, and staying away from salt in what you eat are well-known commonsense diet to keeping your heart healthy.

Step 6

Eat more fresh fruits. Everyone knows fruits and vegetables are essential for a heart-healthy diet. The added ingredient is the amount of fiber a particular fruit or veggie has since fiber works to further reduce a person’s cholesterol level. But which ones are the best? Two fruits that lead the list of high fiber foods are apples and pears. With a dietary fiber count of 4.4 and 5.5 g respectively for a medium size fruit, choosing these over salty or sugary snacks positively contributes to your overall health. So, always have some fresh and cleaned fruits inside a kitchen counter bowl to enable you to quickly take one to have a healthy and safe snack not high in calories and free of cholesterol. But do not skin these fruits! Compared to meats, with skin is healthier than without skin.

Step 7

Eating fish a couple of times per week is highly recommended. Fish has less saturated fat while being a very good supply of healthy proteins. A number of fish species such as halibut, tuna fish and cod contain significantly less LDL when compared with steak or chicken. By simply substituting your red meat with a single fish every week in your food plan, you may reduce your overall cholesterol score. Other fish such as herring, salmon and mackerel are an excellent source of N-3 (Omega-3) fatty acids which enable you to get shielded from cardiovascular issues. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for our health (brain function, blood pressure, heart health) but unfortunately our body cannot produce them. A minimum of three servings of Omega-3 rich fish on weekly basis is recommended. You can broil, grill or bake your fish rather than frying it or preparing it in oily sauces.

Step 8

Yummy low cholesterol chicken breast recipe
Make heart-healthy meat choices in your diet like this tasty low cholesterol chicken breast recipe

Your body needs protein to maintain muscle health. For most people, their protein supply will come from meat. So, want to eat meat? There is considerably less fat and cholesterol in chicken than most red meats, unless the red meat is very lean. Look at a skin free poultry to get a nutritious meal loaded with proteins. Skinless chicken is preferred because the skin is the most fatty part. So, the simple and very flexible meat option is chicken. But, you do not need to eat only chicken. You can make low-fat choices like beef sirloin, round roasts or pork tenderloin and restrict your day-to-day meat consumption to 6 oz. Broil, grill or bake your lean meat and steer clear of adding greasy sauces.

Step 9

Eat nuts! Instead of potato chips, opt for a handful of nuts when you get hungry. Almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, pine nuts, peanuts and pistachios are rich in protein, fiber, antioxidants and healthy fats that help lower cholesterol levels, according to the American Dietetic Association.

Step 10

Eat healthier desserts. Not everyone is content with a piece of fruit for a dessert option, so there are low cholesterol alternatives that will satisfy a sweet tooth. Doctors put angel food cake on the list of foods for a diabetic diet. It has enough sugar to sweeten the sweet tooth while not overdoing it, plus is a very low cholesterol food. It can be topped with a fruit such as strawberries to make the body both healthy and happy.

Step 11

Avoid the consumption of foods that are loaded with trans fats in your diet plan, for example pastries bought at store. Meals that contain trans fats really increase your LDL levels. It is better to make desserts by yourself at home to ensure the use of only healthy and low cholesterol ingredients.

Step 12

A balanced diet should constitute of between 50 to 55% of carbohydrates. However, it is necessary to make a proper selection of them. You should reduce those quickly absorbed carbohydrates (sugars, sweets, kneaded pastry, etc.) and increase those that are slowly absorbed (seeds, whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes).

Step 13

Drink more water to maintain your body cells well hydrated, which in turn prevents blood from thickening due to excessive amounts of cholesterol. Drink also sodium bicarbonate mineral water regularly during main meals because according to studies published by the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry in 2010, regular sodium-bicarbonated water consumption reduces total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol significantly. The researches explained that bicarbonated water increases the pH of the stomach, thus decreasing the release of the hormone cholecystokinin, which causes gallbladder pour less bile in the intestine and thus produces a lower lipid absorption.

Step 14

Want to drink alcohol? Drink red wine but moderately. Red wine in composition, presents a series of compounds containing aromatic rings with highly antioxidant properties, called polyphenols. The most important are tannins, found mainly in grape skins and seeds. According to studies published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2007, polyphenols inhibit LDL oxidation, which influence the delay in the onset of atherosclerosis, since the oxidized LDL form a plaque in the artery. Red wine also increase levels of HDL. These two features can produce improved cardiovascular health. A glass of red wine a day is enough to get these benefits. More than that (like with any other alcoholic beverages) can cause much damage to health and interpersonal relationships.

Step 15

If you control fat and cholesterol at home, you do not have to leave that far away when you go to the restaurant. You must choose the menu well and reduce portions. Choose foods that are grilled, baked or steamed, avoid fried foods and sausages. In addition, practice portions control, for example by requesting middle portion of a plate.


The guidelines above are not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, although based on the recommendations from the AHA, FDA and conclusions of recent researches on cholesterol and nutrition. You are recommended to work with your doctor or a registered dietitian to design a customized food plan that will work best for you. It is also highly advisable to incorporate exercising into your daily routine.