What to Read Next

Eat to lower your cholesterol

Cara Rosenbloom, RD
September 12, 2012


Having high blood cholesterol is a risk factor for developing heart disease. But did you know that you can reduce your cholesterol level by making smart food choices? It’s true! Being active and not smoking are other important factors in controlling your blood cholesterol.


Cholesterol clarified

Before we get to the details, let’s be clear on what we’re talking about. Dietary cholesterol is the cholesterol found in foods that come from animals – meat, dairy, seafood and eggs. You eat dietary cholesterol, but it does not all become blood cholesterol.


Blood cholesterol refers to the level of cholesterol in your blood. Most of it is made in your body.


Here’s the important thing: Dietary cholesterol is not the main factor when it comes to increasing your blood cholesterol level. Foods that contain lots of saturated and trans fat are the true culprits.


Now here’s how to make nutritious choices to lower your blood cholesterol.


1. Eat less saturated and trans fat.

Decrease your intake of deep fried foods, baked goods, fatty meat, cream and butter since they are high in saturated and/or trans fat, which raises blood cholesterol levels.


Read Nutrition Facts panels and choose foods that contain no trans fat.Read ingredient lists and avoid foods that contain partially hydrogenated fat or vegetable shortening.


Replace foods that are high in saturated and trans fat with better choices:




























Instead of...



Try...



Deep fried foods



Baked, roasted, grilled, steamed, stir-fried or broiled items



Baked goods made with hydrogenated oils, which means mostcommercially prepared cakes, pies, cookies and donuts



Whole grain baked goods made with healthy oils



Fatty meats



Lean meat, poultry, fish, legumes, nuts



Cream



Milk



Butter



Oil (olive and canola oil are best bets), softnon-hydrogenated margarine



 


2. Choose more unsaturated fat.

Canada’s Food Guide recommends consuming 30 to 45 mL (2 to 3 tbsp) of unsaturated fat each day. This includes foods like non-hydrogenated margarine, oil, salad dressing, nuts, seeds and avocado. These foods can help lower cholesterol levels when they replace foods that are high in saturated and trans fat. Enjoy the good fats found in fish with our Salmon and pepper oven stir-fry.


3. Get more fibre.

Fibre, especially the soluble type that’s found in oats, barley, oranges and eggplant, can help lower cholesterol levels. Aim to get 10 grams of soluble fibre every day. Each of these options will provide you with two grams:


  • ½ ripe avocado
  • ¼ cup dried figs
  • 1 large orange
  • ½ cup sweet potato
  • ¾ cup broccoli
  • ¾ cup oat bran
  • ¼ cup bran buds
  • ¾ cup chickpeas
  • 2 tbsp flax seeds
  • 3/4 cup eggplant


Try Mushroom and barley bean salad and Pear and lentil muffins for tasty ways to get more fibre.


4. Know how much cholesterol is too much.

If you are healthy, the amount of cholesterol you get from food (dietary cholesterol) usually has little impact on your blood cholesterol level. For heart health, aim for less than 300 mg of dietary cholesterol a day.

However, if you have heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes or a family history of heart disease,aim for less than 200 mg of cholesterol a day.

All animal products (meat and dairy)
contain some cholesterol. Foods higher in cholesterol include egg yolks, liver, caviar and shrimp. Limit these by reading the Nutrition Facts table on packaged foods.


5. If you have high cholesterol, add plant sterols to your diet.

Plant sterols naturally occur in vegetables, fruit, nuts and beans. However, they are found in very small quantities. Studies show that regularly ingesting 2 grams of plant sterols each day can help lower unhealthy cholesterol levels – but that amount is almost impossible to consume through food alone. Instead, look for foods enriched with sterols (the ingredient list will say “plant sterols” or “plant stanols”), such as non-hydrogenated margarine, yogurt, juice and supplements.


Plant sterol enriched foods are not recommended for children, breast-feeding or pregnant women. Lowering blood cholesterol is not normally a priority for these groups.


© – Reproduced with permission of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, 2012

Starwood Credit Card

Earn 25,000 Bonus Starpoints®! Use toward Award Nights or Flights.

Stop Paying Too Much For Your Prescriptions.

Drug prices vary wildly between pharmacies. GoodRx finds the lowest prices and discounts. Compare prices, print free coupons & save up to 80%.

Insane Navy Seal Flashlight, should it be banned?

The Military has recently released technology that is now available to the public. Get yours before they run out - Limited Supply!

Missed Open Enrollment? You can still buy Medigap!

The Medicare Open Enrollment Period isn't the only time to buy Medigap coverage. You can actually buy at any time of the year.

Kid sleep troubles email series for moms

We get it. We’ve been there. Sign up for our email track to learn how to handle kids who won’t go to sleep or won’t stay in bed.

Reconnect With Your High School Friends

Classmates® has the largest directory of high school class lists. Remember the good times and reconnect to create new memories.

How Older Men Tighten Their Skin

Men, reduce the look of wrinkles, sagging skin and fine lines with this affordable and effective skin tightening treatment without leaving your home.

Why You Should Pay Attention to Free Sample Sites

Sign up now for freebies so good you will feel guilty not paying for them! No credit card or purchase necessary.

Hilton HHonors™ Card

Earn 40,000 Hilton HHonors™ Bonus Points. Apply for Your Card Today.

Save Time & Money - Buy Online & Pick Up In-store

Skip the shipping fees this year when you shop at Kohl's. Finally, the ease of online shopping meets the convenience of same-day pick-up!

VA Mortgage Rates In 2016

VA Rates as Low as 2.75% (3.028% APR) 15 Year Fixed. Exclusive For Veteran & Military Takes 1 Min!

Banks Are Worried Homeowners Will Do This.

Homeowners are surprised and furious. If you owe less than $625,000 on your home, you better read this.

“It works. Officers were at my home in minutes."

Built by the leading engineers in the country with revolutionary wireless technology... Engineered to make your home feel like a fortress...

Heartburn During Pregnancy

Dealing With Pregnancy is Hard Enough. Getting Heartburn While Pregnant is a Pain. Learn What Causes Heartburn During Pregnancy.