Tips for a Low Cholesterol Low-Fat and Low Sodium Diet Plan
It is always demanding to follow a low cholesterol diet because there are many limits placed on the various food types. For example, with a diet that is low in cholesterol, carbohydrates, and fat, you will need to exclude many sugary fruits, starchy vegetables, and processed foods. By planning your meals carefully and making sure you avoid snack foods that are unhealthy, you will be able to keep your diet balanced.
Meat, Poultry, Fish
In your low cholesterol diet, it is important to emphasize meats that are lean with all fat that is visible trimmed away. Make sure to purchase chicken or turkey without the skin or take it off before eating it. Poultry and meat do contain saturated fat, but if you use less fatty types, you can lower your fat intake and still be able to get enough protein. Fish is usually lower in saturated fat than either poultry or meat. Many foods also contain omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower cholesterol. These cholesterol-lowering foods include mackerel, salmon, tuna, halibut, and herring. It is also important to eat fish twice a week, if not more. Try to broil, grill or bake meat, fish and poultry rather than frying.
Fruits and Veggies
Foods that are low in calories, cholesterol and sodium are fruits and vegetables. These foods also don’t have any trans fat, saturated fat or cholesterol. As a bonus, most often they are also high in vitamins. However, certain foods are an exception to this are avocados, coconuts, and olives. All of these foods are high in fat. When buying frozen vegetables or fruits, make sure you have checked the label and are sure the product doesn’t have any added salt, butter or sugar. Also, if you’re following a low-salt diet, be sure to stay away from vegetables that are packed in brine because these are very high in salt.
Choose Healthy Snacking
It is important for everyone to snack in a healthy way, especially children. As you learn how to eat low-cholesterol, low-sodium and low-fat foods all day, you will probably find that eating this way is a lot easier than you first thought. If you eat snacks that are raw vegetables and fruits, you will get no cholesterol, low sodium and only tiny amounts of fat. So enjoy these fresh vegetable snacks combined with protein and your appetite will be curbed and your energy level will go up dramatically. For example, you can eat a great snack that consists of baby carrots dipped in ranch dressing that is fat-free. Or, you can have air-popped popcorn sprinkled with a spice that you love, such as garlic powder or chili powder. Another great choice would be banana slices or sticks of celery with low-fat peanut butter or low-fat, low-salt cheddar cheese on apple wedges. A delicious fresh fruit salad would certainly be a very healthy snack. Try to have fresh fruit for your snacks instead of processed, higher fat foods such as those you might find in the vending machine.
Another big reason to limit your dietary fat is that it is usually very high in calories. That increases your chances of becoming obese and of getting other diseases. Of course, you need some fat in your food, but you should choose the right amounts and types of fat in order to get the best health outcome for you. The American Heart Association has suggested that you should have a total fat intake that is no greater than 35% of the daily calories you consume. In addition, they recommend that you get no more than 10% of your calories per day from either polyunsaturated or saturated fats. If you consume fat, it should be of the monounsaturated variety. If your LDL cholesterol level is high, to lower it, you will need to limit saturated fat consumption to a high of 7% of daily calories. It is best to eat fish more than poultry or meat, to choose low-fat dairy items and to use nut or vegetable oils rather than lard or butter.