What are the best diets for high cholesterol? High cholesterol can increase your heart disease risk dramatically and can have other negative effects like high blood pressure. If you want to live a long, healthy life it is imperative that you get your cholesterol in check.
But how? Regular exercise is one key factor in cholesterol level, but if you have high blood pressure high cholesterol it is vital to find a diet that works for you.
All the best diets for high cholesterol have a few features in common. Processed grains are avoided and whole grains emphasized. Most of these diets are high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes as well. Lean meats and fish are favored over meats high in saturated fat, like ribeye steak, or pork belly.
These diets have a lot in common but each offers its own unique advantages.
Men's Health magazine has stood behind The Abs Diet for several years now. While its focus is on weight loss, it hold cholesterol reduction as a high priority as well.
One feature that sets it apart is that the Abs Diet allows one meal per week for its followers to splurge, eating whatever they feel like having.
Steak, potatoes, beer, butter, dessert and anything else you might want is fine once per week. The concept is that a weekly breaking of the rules psychologically makes a diet or a new eating habit easier to follow for the long term.
Another tenet of the diet is to eat several smaller meals throughout the day rather than two or three large ones. This helps you to burn more metabolism, prevents you from feeling overly hungry and as a result stops you from overeating.
Another of the best diets for high cholesterol is the Mediterranean Diet. In it, dieters attempt to emulate the cuisines of southern Italy and Greece, which both feature an emphasis on seafood, red wine, fresh vegetables, unrefined grains, citrus, nuts, olive oil as the primary fat source.
The diet originated with the observation that while the people of these regions love their food and wine, they have longer life expectancies than those eating British or American cuisines loaded in processed grains and saturated fat.
The explanation was simple: virtually every food in traditional Mediterranean cuisine is a proven cholesterol-improving ingredient. The Mediterranean has the added benefit of being widely available and delicious.
Perhaps the simplest diet for high cholesterol is the Whole Foods Diet. Having no affiliation with the popular grocery chain of the same name, the Whole Foods Diet has essential one rule: always choose the lease processed food option.
If you follow this diet, when faced with two types of bread, would choose a whole grain option, or would choose brown rice over white, fresh vegetables over canned, and organic options over non-organic.
While no emphasis is placed on avoiding meats high in saturated fat, the almost exclusive use of whole grains and frequent use of fruits and vegetables make this diet an excellent choice for high cholesterol.
There are far too many diets for high cholesterol to list here. Though when you are considering a diet, make sure it is sound in philosophy (if it recommends large portion of bacon, for example, it is probably not too sound).
Most important, though, make sure it is one that you can personally follow for the long term. Any diet, no matter how well-grounded in nutritional theory, is worthless if it can't be maintained.