Kitchen Makeover for a Low Cholesterol Diet
Follow these 9 steps for a kitchen that makes it simpler to stick to your low cholesterol diet.
Low Cholesterol Diet Tip 3: Stock Up on Heart-Healthy Oils and Fats.
One key to a low-cholesterol diet is using unsaturated fats instead of saturated fats.
Polyunsaturated fats, such as those found in nuts and seeds (sunflower, peanut, and walnut oil) have been shown to reduce LDLs. Monounsaturated fats, like olive, peanut and canola oils, have been shown to reduce the "bad" LDLs and increase HDLs.
Low Cholesterol Diet Tip 4: Replace Refined Grains with Whole Grains.
The white flour used in white pasta, cake mixes, many crackers, and some breads doesn't have as much nutritional value as whole-grain flour. These commercially baked products may also contain trans fats and/or saturated fats.
Instead, buy products made from whole grains or flours.
Whole grains (such as oatmeal, brown rice, whole wheat flour, and barley) can bolster a low cholesterol diet in several ways. First, the grains themselves have no cholesterol or saturated fat. Second, oatmeal has lots of soluble fiber, which actually helps bind cholesterol and get it out of your body. Whole grains also have nutrients that help the heart (as well as the rest of your body) and, as complex carbohydrates, provide long-lasting energy to keep you going through the day.
The fiber in whole grains can keep you feeling full longer, too. That can help you avoid bingeing on unhealthy foods. It can also help keep your total calorie consumption down, a key factor in controlling weight.
Low Cholesterol Diet Tip 5: Hide the Remaining Goodies Well.
Sure, you can put the packaged chocolate chip cookies for your kids on a high shelf in the kitchen. But if you can put them up there, it's probably pretty easy to get them down again.
Consider making not-so-healthy food even less accessible. Try storing it on a shelf in the garage, in the recesses of your freezer, or behind the pots and pans.
''The idea is that if it's harder to get to it, you'll be that much less likely to eat it,'' says Christine Gerbstadt, MD, a registered dietician and practicing physician at Altoona Regional Medical Center in central Pennsylvania.