If blood tests showed that your cholesterol levels are too high, what can you do to prevent further damage from occurring? To begin with, you can change the types of food you consume. In fact, the choice for cutting back on certain foods can favor the elimination of LDL, or “bad cholesterol” and become a way to fight off high cholesterol.
Cereals, legumes & vegetables
Eating cereals, legumes and vegetables is highly recommended. In fact, these foods contain no cholesterol and help reduce excess levels. Plants high in fiber can also help reduce the absorption of dietary cholesterol in the intestine. If cholesterol is high, it is necessary to eat normal portions of cereals, preferably integral to those processed, and legumes, assuming the latter at least 2-4 times a week. Cereals that are most commonly recommended include bread, pasta, and rice, as well as oats and barley. It is also important not to forget including at least 2-3 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruit in one’s daily meals.
Eating fish is recommended at least 2 or 3 times a week for individuals who suffer from high cholesterol due to particular composition of fat. It is also advised to grill, bake or steam the fish rather than frying it in order to avoid adding unhealthy fats. As for molluscs and crustaceans, consumption is not recommended more than once a week.
Less fat is better
Saturated fats of animal origin tend to cause an increase in cholesterol levels, whereas unsaturated fats of vegetable origin can help reduce cholesterol levels. Therefore, using monounsaturated or polyunsaturated vegetable oils, such as extra virgin olive oil, can help lower LDL.
One can freely consume meat, both red and white, though lean cuts are commonly recommended. It is also important to remember that before cooking, it is necessary to remove any visible fat and skin of poultry.
Less fat is better: it is essential to minimize the consumption of sausages, cheese and eggs that contain relatively high amounts of fat and negatively affect cholesterol levels. Instead, it is preferable to eat skimmed or semi-skimmed meats as opposed to whole meats.
As far as cooking methods are concerned, it is advised to avoid any methods such as boiling, steaming, microwaving, grilling or frying, which can lead to added fats.