Genetic factors and diet are the two most common reasons for high cholesterol levels in your body. Though, you may not do anything about what you inherited genetically, you can always control your diet to keep the cholesterol level low, as required by your body.
A high cholesterol level leads to building up of a waxy substance cholesterol plaque in your arteries that obstructs the blood flow. Gradually, it leads a dysfunctional organ and may be a heart attack as well. A planned cholesterol diet is essential to keep it in control. In fact, a minimum level of cholesterol is always required for your body as it helps in repairing cell membrane, and in producing some useful hormones. However, after a certain level, it is dangerous to have high cholesterol level in your body.
Plan your diet and see what foods can help you lower your cholesterol level. There are some foods that can lower your cholesterol; while others can help it not rising beyond the required level. Generally, you should reduce fat intake and avoid oily and fried foods. Since fats are the main sources of calories, replace the saturated fats intensive diet by natural foods such as fruits and vegetables, and more of complex carbohydrates.
Low Cholesterol Diet
Certain foods are very good for low cholesterol. You should have fish, at least three times in a week. A few kinds of sea fish contain omega-3 fatty acid that helps you lower blood cholesterol. Reduce your fat intake. A low cholesterol diet should include more of complex carbohydrates such as whole grains and potatoes. These are excellent sources of energy and these take care of the benefits that you might miss because of avoiding fats.
While purchasing food items from market that are cooked, baked or roasted, read the label carefully and see there should not be any saturated oils. In addition, have lots of natural fruits, such as fruits or vegetables. These are rich source of fiber that your body requires for many reasons. Apples, carrots, brown rice, barley and legumes form a very good low cholesterol diet. A widely recommended herb psyllium also helps you reduce cholesterol level, if taken daily.
You can also have soya to control cholesterol level in your body. Research has shown that soya milk helps in reducing cholesterol. If possible, have at least 2-3 glasses of soya milk everyday. However, there are a variety of soya sweeteners such as for ice creams or desserts. Read out the sugar content and the amount of calories in those items and select the one that don’t have too many calories.
In true sense, a low cholesterol diet does not require wholesome changes in your diet; rather, it only requires using alternative methods of preparing food. For example, if you are in the habit of having salads, try having potato salad. Cut a few boiled potatoes into thin slices and soak these into plain, low fat yoghurt. Serve these with fresh chive, or even with onions. This is a good low cholesterol diet that is an excellent source of carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.
High Cholesterol Diet
There is no such defined or standard high cholesterol diet. As long as you take planned diet and take enough of vitamin C, even a diet that is high in cholesterol too is not bad for your body. The problem arises when the excess of cholesterol is not balanced due to lack of vitamin C, or antioxidants. The high cholesterol level leads to arteries’ blockage, and heart related diseases.
If you see that your cholesterol level is higher than required, cut down on fats and oily foods, reduce the sodium content in your meals. A high cholesterol diet usually consists of meats, dairy products and foods that contain hydrogenated or saturated oils. Trans fats are particularly harmful for people who have high cholesterol. Many packed and processed foods that are available at stores contain trans fats or saturated oils, and you should avoid such products for a healthy body.
Even if you are taking required precautions with respect to your diet, ensure to have a decent intake of vitamin C. Have lots ofruits and vegetables as these are generally good antioxidants. Orange, lemon, papaya, cabbage and grapefruit are good sources of vitamin C.
If your doctor says that you should seriously avoid all fats and take minimum of salt, it means that you need to take such food items that have no cholesterol at all. Slowly, a cholesterol free diet helps you neutralize the high cholesterol level in your body. Some of the items that you can take are Orange Juice, Raw Melon, Seedless Raisins, Raw Watermelon, Boiled and Drained Asparagus, Apple, Banana, White Rice, Sweet Potato, Oat Bran, Spinach, Tomato, Cabbage, Cucumber, and Onion to name a few.
Garlic should be integral part of your cholesterol free diet since it is an excellent product for cholesterol control. Research has shown that a clove of garlic for 12 consecutive days starts bringing down the cholesterol level to normal.