A cholesterol-lowering diet is nutritious and balanced
Choose foods from each of the four major food groups: vegetables and fruit; grains; milk and alternatives; and meat and alternatives.
- Follow a lower-fat diet with 20% to 35% of calories from fat. That’s equal to 45 to 75 grams of fat per day for women and 60 to 100 grams per day for men.
- Avoid trans fat, which is found in foods made with shortening or partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, such as fast foods and many packaged foods. Trans fat raises “bad” LDL-C and lowers “good” HDL-C levels.
- Reduce your intake of foods that are high in saturated fat, such as fatty meats, and dairy products such as butter, cheese, cream or homogenized milk.
- Choose healthy unsaturated fat found in oils (olive, canola, peanut, safflower, sunflower and corn oils; not coconut, palm and palm kernel oils, which are saturated oils), nuts and fish.
- Include more vegetables and fruits, whole grains, legumes and nuts in your diet.
The foods that raise your blood cholesterol the most are saturated fat and trans fat. Dietary cholesterol only has an effect in some people. Foods that have high levels of dietary cholesterol include egg yolks, organ meats (liver, kidney), shrimp, squid and fatty meats.