Checklist: A Diet to Lower Cholesterol & Lose Weight

6 Diet Tips for Lower Cholesterol

Medically Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on October 23, 2008
From the WebMD Archives

It's not just what you eat that counts in a diet to lower cholesterol, it's how much you eat. Being overweight increases your risk of having high LDL bad cholesterol, and low HDL good cholesterol. Often, just losing weight can help you lower your cholesterol. Here are six tips to help you get started.

___ Follow the TLC Diet to lower cholesterol. It's custom-designed to help you maintain a healthy weight for you.

___ Read the labels -- carefully! That package of pasta may say it's only 330 calories a serving, but did you notice that there are three servings in the package?

___ It's okay to snack between meals on a diet to lower cholesterol. In fact, eating five or six small meals a day instead of three large ones can help you avoid "crashing" between meals and overeating. Stock up on healthy snacks like carrot sticks, apples, and blueberries -- one of the top health "superfoods."

___ Switch from white breads, bagels, and regular pastas to whole wheat varieties on a diet to lower cholesterol. They tend to be lower in calories, and they have more heart-healthy fiber.

___ Don’t drink your calories. Cut back on soda, juice, and alcohol. Hydrate with water instead. If you must drink soda, a switch to diet soda will save you hundreds of calories.

___ Close the night kitchen. Mindlessly snacking in front of the TV after dinner is the source of many an empty calorie. Close the kitchen at a certain time -- say, two to three hours before you go to bed -- and don't open the fridge or the cupboards after that time.

Show Sources

SOURCES: National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: "High Blood Cholesterol: What You Need to Know." National Cholesterol Education Program of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: "Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (Adult Treatment Panel III)." Mayo Clinic: "Dietary fats: Know which types to choose." Antonio Gotto, MD, the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, N.Y. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: "Introduction to the TLC Diet." "Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) diet for high cholesterol." Reuters Health: "Moderate Exercise Can Improve Women's Cholesterol." Harvard HealthBeat: "What to Do About High Cholesterol." National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: "Cholesterol-Lowering Medications and You." American Heart Association: "Side Effects of Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs."

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