To lower total cholesterol levels, a good diet, exercise and healthy lifestyle are required. In some cases people need to rely on medication, but a change in the diet can lower cholesterol by up to 15%. A decrease of 1% to 2% of cholesterol levels reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Here are 14 tips on how to reduce high cholesterol by diet.
1. Avoid sources of trans fat
– are known as partially hydrogenated fats.
– Sources: bakery, biscuits, fast foods, fried foods, soups package.
2. Cut down total fat from your diet.
– Prepare food steamed, baked or grilled. Not fried.
– Prefer the home cooking and avoid fast foods.
– Avoid visible fats like butter, sour cream, cream cheese, dressings …
3. Limit intake of saturated fat.
– Sources: bacon, sour cream, cream cheese, butter, sweet cream, pate, fat meats and dairy, chicken skin, fatty meats (chorizo, salami, sausage), cheese.
– Opt for products Light or low-fat.
4. Limit intake of cholesterol a day.
– Limit egg to 3 times a week. Egg hill limits the absorption of cholesterol and seems to have a negative effect on blood cholesterol, but should be consumed in moderation.
– Cut down on meats, organ meats (liver), cheese, red meat, chicken skin, and seafood (shrimp, clams, mussels, squid).
5. Prefer unsaturated fats, which have a cardio-protective effect
– Polyunsaturated. soybean oil, canola, flaxseed, nuts, fish
– Monounsaturated vegetable oils (corn, sunflower olive), olives, nuts, mayonnaise.
6. Include sources of omega-3 polyunsaturated fats in your cholesterol lowering diet 
– Omega-3 is an anti-inflammatory and helps reduce cholesterol and triglycerides, and improves “good” cholesterol HDL.
– Sources: blue fish (trout, salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel) , soybean oil, canola, flaxseed, walnuts.
– If you do not like or can not eat these fish, rely on a fish oil supplement – Omega 3 (2-3 g / day). Learn about all the benefits here.
7. Increase consumption of dietary fiber
– Include 2 servings of fruit and 3 servings of vegetables a day
– Prefer whole grains and cereals (brown rice, whole wheat pasta and bread, barley, oats).
– Look for breakfast cereals that provide more than 10 grams of fiber per serving as Kellogg’s All Bran Cereals.
– Include at least one serving of legumes a day (chickpeas, beans, lentils, peas)
– You can include a fiber supplement such as bran ( 2 tbsp), psyllium fiber (5 grams), ground flaxseed (2 tablespoons).
8. Reduce alcohol
– Moderate consumption of alcohol can raise levels of “good” cholesterol HDL by up to 10%.
– Maximum recommended 1 drink for women and 2 drinks for men.
– If you do not drink alcohol, do not start the habit.
9. Drink green tea
– It has been shown to contain compounds that help lower LDL cholesterol.
10. Include fortified with sterols
– Some products like margarines are fortified with phytosterols, which can absorb the cholesterol in the intestine and lower cholesterol.
11. Avoid smoking
– Smoking reduces levels of “good” HDL cholesterol and is a major risk factor for heart disease.
12. Be physically active
– It is recommended for 30 to 60 minutes of exercise every day.
– Not only help lower cholesterol but to improve cardiovascular health, weight control and reduce stress.
13. Maintain a healthy weight
– This will help reduce the risk of complications.
14. Read nutrition labels
– If a product does not have nutritional label, do not buy it.
– Avoid foods high in sugar, high in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, and sodium.