- When selecting meat for low cholesterol diets, it is important to consume lean meats, such as skinless chicken, turkey and fish. In order to lower cholesterol, meat choices should contain less than 3 grams of fat per ounce. Meats that contain a lot of white, marbled fat or are labeled "prime" are generally high in cholesterol and should be avoided.
- Low fat or skim milk and products that are made with low fat dairy products are important for lowering cholesterol, as whole milk is a source of LDL cholesterol. Also, avoid eggs and substitute them with an egg byproduct. Finally, opt for frozen yogurt instead of ice cream or skip the cream cheese on your bagel to take steps toward lowering cholesterol.
- The best way to avoid increased cholesterol due to carbohydrates is to consume whole grain foods. Whole grains are processed more rapidly by the body and will not be stored for long periods in your system, thereby reducing triglyceride and cholesterol levels.
- In addition to incorporating whole grain foods, increasing intake of soluble fiber and omega-3 fatty acids is an effective way to increase levels of HDL cholesterol. Omega-3 fatty acids are prevalent in fish and some oils while soluble fiber is prominent in oats and legumes.
Benefits of Increasing HDL
- According to the American Heart Association, there is a 2 to 4 percent reduction in heart disease risk for each 1 mg/dL increase in HDL cholesterol. In order to most effectively increase HDL levels, dietary and exercise modifications are important.