Cholesterol Free Foods
When your doctor says you need to lower your cholesterol by eating more cholesterol free foods, here’s the main thing you have to remember.
Cholesterol is a fatty substance. Fat is produced in animals and is not found in food that comes from plants.
So, if eating only fruits, vegetables and nuts appeals to you, you will probably never have a cholesterol problem.
There’s a pretty good chance that’s not to going to work for most people who grew up eating hamburgers, hot dogs and french fries as part of their daily diets.
So what do you do to stop eating all your favorites – foods that are tasty but boost your cholesterol levels – and start eating cholesterol free foods that help you lose weight and reduce the risk of heart disease?
Popular Cholesterol Free Foods
There are probably very few individuals who have the desire, willpower and discipline to completely substitute cholesterol free foods for the high cholesterol foods they’ve been eating for years.
An approach that works best for most people is to eat fewer high cholesterol foods and more cholesterol free foods. In other words, eat larger portions of fruits, vegetables, grains and nuts, but smaller portions of food that comes from animals – or is fried in animal fats.
Here’s a quick introduction to some foods that are cholesterol free, and a little information about why they’re so friendly to your heart. Incidentally, cholesterol free foods also help you lose weight in addition to reducing your risk of heart disease.
Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes – Foods in these groups are cholesterol free. But remember that it’s possible to add cholesterol and fat during preparation. The best example is french fried potatoes or potato chips, which are loaded with fats that are bad for you.
Oat bran – Oatmeal is a great choice for a number of reasons. It’s not only cholesterol free, but it also adds a lot of fiber to your meal. Many people add fruit to oatmeal and eat it like a cereal, but you can also make pancakes with it.
Beans – Cooked beans, such as pinto and kidney beans, can add variety to nutritious soups and salads. Besides being cholesterol free, many kinds of beans have a high protein content, so they provide an alternative to getting your protein from meat.
Carrots – Dietary researchers recently discovered that one raw carrot a day at breakfast could lower total cholesterol by as much as 11 percent.
Olive Oil and Canola Oil – These contain a lot of monounsaturated fats, which are helpful as part of a low-fat, low cholesterol diet. They are a source of “good cholesterol,” the type that actually flushes fatty deposits out of the bloodstream.
Besides lowering your cholesterol levels and reducing your risk of heart problems, eating cholesterol free foods is a great way to lose weight. But there are some points about weight loss to remember.
Breads, cereals, rice, and pasta are generally high in starch. Although they contain little or no cholesterol (depending again on how they’re prepared), they contain a lot of carbohydrates. As you probably know, a lot of “carbs” from such starchy foods will add pounds rather than taking them off.
Certain types of nuts contain no cholesterol, but are very high in calories. They’re cholesterol-friendly in small portions, but will not help you lose weight if you eat a lot of them.
Another cholesterol lowering alternative to high cholesterol meats and animal based foods is anything that contains an essential fatty acid (EFA) called omega 3. Fish like salmon, mackerel, and tuna are packed with omega-3 fatty acids.