Step one – cut down on SIS (Salt, Industrialized Foods, Sugar)
Salt: Lowering your salt intake will not directly lower cholesterol, but it can help in keeping your blood pressure in check, reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Industrialized Foods: Similarly, industrialized, processed foods, from white-flour muffins to potato chips, and highly sugared foods and drinks are not necessarily cholesterol-raisers. But they can damage our arteries in a myriad of other ways, such as raising triglyceride fats, blood glucose, and inflammatory levels, not to mention packing on the pounds.
Sugar: Many people don’t realize that having type 2 diabetes, the all-too-common result of our highly processed American diet and sedentary lifestyle, dramatically increases the risk of a heart attack. What’s more, the chance of dying from heart disease for people with diabetes is two to four times higher compared to those who do not have diabetes.
Step 2: Minimize foods that raise blood cholesterol.
Reduce or remove
Saturated-fat-rich foods such as butter, tropical oils like coconut oil, fatty meats, and dairy foods like cheese, cream, and whole/low-fat milk
- Organ meats
- Processed meats such as hot dogs, bacon, and bologna
- Partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (also known as trans fats)
- Cholesterol-rich foods like egg yolks (Egg yolks are not OK, irrespective of “research”)
Step 3: Increase cholesterol reducing foods
Foods proven to lower blood cholesterol are whole foods that are naturally rich in fiber, especially soluble fiber.
- Beans (also known as legumes) such as lentils, peas, kidney beans, lima beans, black beans, red beans, pinto beans, and so on
- Yams (Sweet Potatoes)
- Brussels Sprouts
Eat Fruits, Vegetables, Beans and Whole Grains
Prepare your meals on weekends, and freeze them in portions (in Tupperware) for the week. Each meal should be about the size of your fist. Your can mix and match your fish, chicken or beef. Ideally keep meals and healthy snacks small and eat about 5 or 6 times during the day to keep your metabolism going.
If you are not sure of what to eat, visiting a dietician to draw up an eating plan for you is ideal. The dietician will take your weight and life-style into consideration when drawing up the plan. Not everyone has an hour each night to prepare healthy meals.