A good diet is the first treatment of excess cholesterol. It can even sometimes avoid drug treatment, and it always helps to reduce cardiovascular risk. So many good reasons to adopt the right dietary rules!
Cholesterol: The food to be preferred
Dietary priorities are now well defined. These include:
- Reduce overall fat intake, which should not represent more than 30 to 35% of total calories (instead of 40% to 42% today);
- Decrease saturated fatty acids that lead to higher cholesterol (including “bad” LDL cholesterol). They are brought by butter, foodstuffs of animal origin (meat, eggs, cheeses, whole milk), but also pastries and pastries, as well as certain industrial products such as biscuits, prepared meals, etc.;
- Favour unsaturated fatty acids (poly and monounsaturated) beneficial: they allow a decrease in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (especially polyunsaturated fatty acids) while preserving the “good” HDL cholesterol (thanks to monounsaturated fatty acids). These fatty acids are supplied by vegetable oils (sunflower oils, maize, rapeseed, are rich in polyunsaturates, olive and peanut oils contain mostly monounsaturated), margarines obtained from these oils, dried fruits oilseeds, cold-sea fatty fish (which provide very polyunsaturated fatty acids);
- Limit dietary cholesterol, because in some cases of hypercholesterolemia, it can play an important role in the elevation of blood cholesterol. It is present in animal fats (butter, fat of meats and cheeses), and particularly abundant in offal and egg yolk;
- Increase the protective antioxidants that are vitamins C, E and beta-carotene, carotenoids and polyphenols: these elements are supplied mainly by fresh fruits and vegetables;
- Weight loss in case of overweight, even if only a few kilos: it is always beneficial for the blood constants, and this is sometimes enough to correct the excess of cholesterol.
Anti-cholesterol Diet: some daily rules
In practice, following these priorities is a matter of respecting some simple rules:
- Replace the butter with a vegetable margarine rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (and possibly enriched with phytosterols (antioxidants of plant origin): Studies show that a consumption of 20 g per day of this type of margarine-an intake of 3 G of phytosterols-reduces the rate of blood cholesterol by an average of 10%;
- Use either a compound vegetable oil (type Isio 4) or 2 oils: olive oil (or peanut) + sunflower oil (or corn, or nuts), to obtain an optimum balance of fatty acids;
- Consume Lean milk products (skim or semi-skimmed milk, light cheeses) to reduce the intake of saturated fatty acids, while continuing to benefit from their nutrient richness, including calcium and protein;
- Avoid delicatessen, with the exception of cooked or raw ham (making sure to remove the visible fat) and pastries;
- Eat fish if possible 2-3 times a week, choose lean meats (always remove visible fatty parts, avoid “parsley” meats);
- Do not exceed 2 eggs per week (but White can be consumed without limitation);
- Prefer fresh fruits and vegetables (seasonal, canned, or frozen).