Dieticians and nutritionists are on the case of lowering cholesterol as much as doctors and medical professionals are. What both parties know is that a proper diet is just about the best defense against high cholesterol levels. Doctors often refer patients to nutritionists to try to deal with their high LDL cholesterol levels through dietary adjustments, rather than immediately prescribing medicines. If cholesterol levels can be set straight through proper eating habits, that’s the path of least resistance, and the least costly, too.
Nutritionists agree that these three basic dietary tips are the core of getting and keeping LDL cholesterol down:
1. Cut back on saturated fats and trans fats. Saturated fats come from animal products, so always chose the leanest cuts of meat (if you eat meat), skinless poultry and low-fat dairy products. Trans fats are largely found in commercially baked good and snack foods, so check labels, make your own baked goods when possible, and steer away from junky snacks.
2. Eat at least 3 grams of soluble fiber every day. That comes from sources such as cooked oatmeal and prepared whole cereals like Bran Buds. Add a handful of berries for a powerful, nutritional, antioxidant-rich boost.
3. Add 1/4 cup of nuts to your daily diet. All nuts count (remember, peanuts aren’t nuts!), including Brazil nuts, pecans, pistachios, cashews, hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds and filberts. Among the best of these are almonds and walnuts.
Here’s a Tip: Crumble 1/4 cup of almonds or walnuts (or a mixture!) and add half of those to a dish of steaming oatmeal at breakfast and the other half to a salad with lunch or dinner. Or just eat unsalted nuts instead of greasy snacks like potato chips. Nuts with an apple and a small piece of low-fat cheese make a very satisfying mid-afternoon hunger-killer, or a terrific light lunch.
Those three diet concepts (they should be rules!) are not a tall order. You don’t need the expense and time of a professional diet coach or nutritionist in order to follow this simple routine every day. Your HDL and LDL levels will thank you, and so will your happier, healthier blood vessels. In fact, this forms the basis of a general health-conscious diet. Keep portions in check and never skip breakfast.