For people battling high cholesterol, choosing meals wisely can be a challenge. Restaurants, holiday meals, even an office potluck may present unhealthy temptations. However, making dietary modifications that cut out the bad stuff while still allowing you to enjoy your meals is possible and relatively easy – try these healthful ways to lower your cholesterol:
- Reduce saturated fat. The richest sources of saturated fat (fat that is usually solid at room temperature) in the diet are red meat and dairy foods. Substitute soy protein for animal protein, and try non-fat versions of dairy products.
- Avoid trans-fat. If “partially hydrogenated oil” is found in the ingredient list on food labels – especially snack foods – try baked or air-popped versions of those treats instead.
- Use fresh garlic regularly in your meals. Garlic has been shown to help lower cholesterol levels.
- Drink green tea daily. The antioxidants in green tea help lower cholesterol and prevent the cholesterol in your blood from oxidizing.
- Eat plenty of soluble fiber. It has a powerful cholesterol-lowering effect. The best sources are beans and lentils, apples, citrus fruits, oats, barley, peas, carrots and freshly ground flaxseed.
And don’t forget one of the best ways to lower cholesterol levels: exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight. Your doctor can provide you with diet and exercise recommendations specific to your situation.