Benefits of a Low Cholesterol Diet

When you checked your cholesterol levels with a lipoprotein profile and discovered high and dangerous levels of cholesterol, your doctor may have recommended you to make certain changes with your lifestyle, including regular exercise, a low cholesterol diet and sometimes, medication.

High blood cholesterol levels can increase the risks of stroke and heart disease. Since cholesterol is obtained through one's diet, most experts recommend drastic changes to your eating habits and choices to keep bad cholesterol (LDL) away and good cholesterol (HDL) into the body.

A low cholesterol diet limits the amount of harmful fats and increases the level of good cholesterol in the body. These kinds of low cholesterol diets focus on cutting back sodium intake as well as increasing consumption of fibers and carbohydrates. This diet teaches people to eliminate certain foods with high cholesterol and replace these "bad foods" with healthier kinds of fats found in fish, nuts, avocados and other sources of healthy fats.

Although some doctors will provide you with cholesterol-lowering medications, following a low cholesterol diet will yield long-term results. Since this diet teaches you to understand healthy food choices and change bad eating patterns, you are helping your body reduce cholesterol and prevent heart disease.

The Principles of a Low Cholesterol Diet

People have high cholesterol because of heredity, diet or both. Generally, a doctor will provide you with a complete low cholesterol diet for treatment. If your cholesterol levels do not decrease after six months, medications are added with your diet program. Be aware that medications for lowering cholesterol become more effective when combined with a low cholesterol diet.

In order to succeed with a low cholesterol diet, you need to distinguish the major types of fat obtained from food. The two types of dietary fat are saturated and unsaturated (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated).

The most important thing to remember when following a low cholesterol diet is to eat fewer "total fat". Total fat equals to both saturated and unsaturated fats you consume through food. Reducing the consumption of all kinds of fat decreases both the saturated (bad) fats and unwanted calories in your diet.

Saturated fats increases blood cholesterol levels more than any kind of food included in your diet. The largest sources of these fats include red meat and dairy products. It is also obtained from vegetable oils, poultry, shellfish and other fishes, although normally have less cholesterol than meat.

The best thing to incorporate with your low cholesterol diet is to read labels carefully. Since all food products include nutritional facts, this information can help you choose healthier foods and yield long-lasting results.