Heart disease and stroke are often triggered by high cholesterol in the blood. Lowering your cholesterol for some is just a matter of changing your diet. Others may need to diet and the help of medications prescribed by their doctor. Either way, lowering your cholesterol can save your life.
Changing your diet to lose weight is not the same as changing your diet to control your cholesterol level. While losing weight will certainly improve your health, you also need to monitor your diet to exclude foods that are causing your high cholesterol levels.
Monitoring your diet does not mean giving up all the foods you love. Many foods are healthy and good for you. For instance, a good variety of fruits and vegetables (with five or more servings per day), grain products like bread, cereal, rice, and pasta (choose six or more servings per day). In addition, lean meats and poultry (without skin and up to 6 ounces per day), fat-free and low-fat milk, beans and peas, nuts and seeds in limited amounts, and fatty fish (which can be baked or broiled, but limited to 2-3 servings per week). You should use vegetable oils like olive oil or corn oil when preparing your foods. There is also a large assortment of spices to give your food that extra pizzazz.
There are a number of foods you should omit from your diet if you want to lower your cholesterol. Whole milk and ice cream should be avoided. Additionally, butter, egg yolks, and cheese, and foods that include them should be removed from your diet. Finally, organ meats like liver, high-fat processed meats (like sausage and hot dogs), and limit your intake of fried foods.
Eating healthier involves knowing how to prepare your foods and changing your diet. If you are not able to lower your cholesterol by diet and exercise alone, your doctor may have to prescribe medication.
Dieting and eating healthier to lower your cholesterol will improve your quality of life and significantly reduce your risk of other health problems. High cholesterol is a serious health problem, and you can take action to avoid further health complications.