Reducing High Cholesterol
As the name itself suggests, a “low cholesterol diet” will concentrate on limiting, or eliminating foods that are have a high cholesterol content and replacing them with food that has either lower, or no, cholesterol.
It is well known that there are certain foods that naturally have much higher cholesterol content than most others and it is a relatively simple matter to limit how big a part they play in your diet, or even avoid them altogether.
The “Big 6” foods that are naturally high in cholesterol and should be limited if you are working on reducing your cholesterol are: Meats from organs (brains, liver, etc.)
Egg Yolks (but egg whites are fine)
Whole milk (use 2%, or low fat)
While it is true that avoiding these foods will reduce cholesterol intake, it really isn’t a very good idea to completely eliminate any of the foods listed above. Besides having high levels of cholesterol, these foods also contain vital proteins, minerals, and vitamins our bodies absolutely require to maintain proper basic functioning.
Plus the body does require some cholesterol as well. It is a fundamental building block of the cell membranes and is also a vital source of energy. So, before beginning a diet primarily made up of cholesterol lowering foods you will need to plan on how to replace not only the lost nutrients but also make up for the lost energy source as well.
Lowering Your Cholesterol
Begin by making sure that you have a generous supply of dietary fiber included in your daily meal plans. Fiber is crucial in any diet for lower cholesterol and is very heart healthy as well. Adding fiber to your diet will also help by reducing those annoying hunger pangs.
A critical part of all low cholesterol diets is exercise. It is important to get at least 30 minutes of exercise at least 4 or 5 days a week. This holds true for other diets as well; increasing exercise levels will also increase the amount of calories that your body burns. And weight loss really isn’t possible unless your body is burning up more calories than it is being fed.
Adding exercise to your routine is not hard and does not require a gym membership or a treadmill in your bedroom. You can very easily increase the amount of exercise by doing simple things like parking at the back of the parking lot at work, or when going to the store. Another good tip is to walk the stairs rather than ride the elevator or escalator. The opportunities for additional exercise are everywhere, all you need to do is recognize them.
One word of caution about exercise: If you are now doing none it is a very good idea to talk to your doctor about what a safe level of exercise may be.
Many of the missing vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients are easily replaced by adding chia seed to your diet as a supplement. Among others, one of the Chia benefits is that it is a concentrated source of omega-3 fatty acids which are very useful in reducing cholesterol levels. Other chia benefits include other important nutrients such as Potassium, Selenium, Magnesium, antioxidants, and Iron.
Chia is also hydrophilic which means that it absorbs many times its own weight in fluid. This property provides a couple of benefits; one, it helps keep you hydrated throughout the day and two, this property will help you feel “full” for a much longer period of time after a meal which will reduce between meal snacks.