Controlling your cholesterol with healthful food choices doesn't mean you have to give up on taste. You can makeover some common meals that will satisfy your palate while being good to your body. Dietitian Sharon Richter shows us some nutritional tips for keeping cholesterol in check.
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Having high cholesterol can lead to a number of problems, including heart disease, heart attack and strokes. While high cholesterol can be inherited from your family, it can also be the result of poor food choices. Here are some simple ways you can help to lower your cholesterol through healthful eating.
Healthful Foods to Enjoy
Controlling your cholesterol with healthful food choices doesn't mean you have to give up on taste. Here are some ideas on how to makeover some common meals that will satisfy your palate while being good to your body.
Eggs are a common way to start the day, but they are high in cholesterol. Instead of using whole eggs (with the yolks), use egg whites or egg substitutes to make an omelet. You will need to use more eggs (two egg white equals one serving of a whole egg), but you will be lowering your cholesterol intake. Substitute whole eggs with egg whites for baking, too.
A typical lunch might consist of cream of tomato soup and a roast beef sandwich with mayonnaise on white bread. The cream soup is made with high fat cream, and mayonnaise also contains high fat and cholesterol. As a substitute, choose something like a vegetable soup and a turkey sandwich with lettuce and tomato on whole grain bread.
An example of a meal that's very high in cholesterol is Fettuccini Alfredo and fried mozzarella sticks. The heavy sauce and fried foods are made of high-fat ingredients. The cheese is also high in fat. As an alternative, consider a grilled pork chop with wild rice and a salad. Pork is lower in cholesterol and brown rice contains more nutrients than white rice.
Dessert foods are often loaded with cholesterol, especially those made with eggs and heavy cream. If you have dessert, replace traditional ice creams with frozen yogurts, ice milk, sherbet or sorbet. Cakes can also be a good choice-just swap out the icing for some fresh fruit. There also many fat-free dessert options like fat-free cookies, brownies and even cheesecakes.
Limit your overall intake of high-fat, high-cholesterol foods. It's okay to have them every once in awhile, but you won't be able to lower cholesterol if you eat them on a regular basis.
Increase the amount of fiber you eat. Fiber--which isn't absorbed by the body--helps speed up your digestive system and move food through your digestive tract. Whole-grain products, raw or cooked fruits and vegetables, and dried beans and peas are all good sources of fiber.
Keep portion sizes under control. Even if you successfully substitute high-cholesterol foods with low-cholesterol choices, your weight still matters.
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Nutrition - Cholesterol Guidelines. Cleveland, OH.: The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 2009. (Accessed December 15, 2009 at http://my.clevelandclinic.org/heart/prevention/nutrition/atp3.aspx.)