A perfectly balanced diet is one of the keys to controlling cholesterol levels. It has long been proven that a person’s eating habits, that is, the foods he or she consumes on a daily basis, have a profound effect on cholesterol levels.
It has also long been proven that cholesterol levels and the risk of coronary heart disease are directly proportional to each other. If blood cholesterol levels are higher, the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease is higher at any point in life. This is potentially very dangerous.
Taking medication can lower your cholesterol level, but a healthier option would be to eat a cholesterol-free diet. Eating foods such as soy products, green leafy vegetables, and other special low-cholesterol foods can be an effective option. Adopting a vegetarian diet can reduce cholesterol levels by about one-third in one month, as studies have shown.
Including vegetables such as red peppers and broccoli in your diet (only in healthy portions) is potentially one of the best diets for lowering cholesterol. Soy products such as soy sausage and soy milk, portions of oats, bran, cereal, and whole grain bread, plenty of fresh fruit, and some nuts are an effective cholesterol-lowering diet. The above foods, especially nuts, high-fiber foods like barley and oats, and soy protein can reduce cholesterol by up to seventy percent.
To follow a low-cholesterol diet, fat intake should be reduced by about twenty-five to thirty percent and saturated fat by seventy percent. Consuming non-hydrogenated, or unprocessed, fats, as opposed to hydrogenated fats, is considered one of the ideal diets for reducing the risk of coronary heart disease. Increasing your intake of fish oil, and fats (omega-3) from fish or plant sources, such as flaxseed, is the recommended form of fat intake in a low-cholesterol diet. In addition, you should reduce your sodium intake to 2,400 milligrams per day.
You can plan your day as follows. The first meal of the day, breakfast, can consist of oatmeal with healthy nuts such as almonds or walnuts, fruit salad, soy milk, whole grain or oatmeal bread, and jam. The next meal of the day, which is lunch, can consist of bean soup with bran bread, soy nuts, and fruit. Dinner can consist of tofu, almonds, fruit, and roasted vegetables. If you follow this diet to the letter and don’t deviate from it, you can make a significant difference – a twenty-nine percent reduction in cholesterol levels in one month.