Foods that reduce cholesterol are important to include in anyone’s diet as part of a daily regimen for better health. In the case of one’s health, change can be a good thing. “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8) Although Christ doesn’t change, humans always do. A change in lifestyle to a healthier way of living can mean a second chance at life. A cholesterol diet plan can be found among many online sources addressing the important issue of cholesterol control. Most people aren’t even aware of where this lipid originates and are unfamiliar with the steps to reduce its effects on the body. Too much can cause plaque to build up in arteries and eventually restrict the blood flow throughout the body. When the restriction becomes severe, a heart attack or stroke can result.
Cleansing the arteries of plaque is an important result of eating foods that reduce cholesterol. Oatmeal is one such food which has undergone up to 40 scientific studies and been found to help reduce this lipid in the body when added to a healthier lifestyle. It is now proven that overall levels can be reduced by eating approximately one and one half cups of cooked oatmeal a day, which is equivalent to about 3/4 cups uncooked oatmeal. For people who don’t like plain oatmeal, they can look for fruit flavored instant oatmeal or combine plain with fresh fruit or raisins.
Scientists are not sure how adding oatmeal to a cholesterol diet plan lowers a person’s lipid level. Dietitians and doctors hypothesized that the existing fiber in the oats passes through the intestine and causes cholesterol to adhere to the fiber. The fat is then washed from the intestines and removed from the body. However, no matter how this lipid does this, oatmeal remains one of the top dishes for reduction. It is easy to add to your present menu by eating the breakfast cereal, sprinkling oat bran as a topping on other foods, making lots of oatmeal cookies and adding as much oats to any recipe as possible.
Since the source of cholesterol resides in animals, the most important foods to eliminate are those that have large amounts of fat. Meats such as beef and pork as well products of animals such as cheese are high in this lipid. Fatty foods that are fried in animal fat also have high amounts adding to the overall high intake for any given meal. Many people are also unaware of the fact that the human body itself manufactures its own cholesterol as well.
A genetic predisposition for a high level can account for one person having a higher level with well-maintained healthy eating habits, while another person may eat fried foods and red meat all the time and maintain a low level. A person that is genetically predisposed for high cholesterol will need to implement a multiple attack by adding healthier snacks and meals to a healthier lifestyle. They will also need to add daily exercise and perhaps other vitamins, minerals, supplements or medicines.
Many people are quite health conscious and prefer to attempt to lower their level through other avenues rather than drugs. There are some supplements as well which have been touted to lower levels such as red yeast rice. Found in health food stores around the country, red yeast rice is a powder that can be added to a cholesterol diet plan. Studies have found that this rice lowers some user’s levels as much as 40% and some consumers add it daily to their other foods that reduce cholesterol. Moderately priced, red yeast rice is very popular among health food enthusiasts who want to add an alternative to drugs to their healthier eating habits.
In a cholesterol diet plan, foods like red yeast rice and oatmeal can also be used in conjunction with replacing high fat foods with meats such as turkey, chicken and fish. One of the other important foods to replace is processed sugar. Processed sugar has been proven to elevate the level and choosing other sweeteners such as a natural sweetener can be very helpful. Stevia is one of the popular natural sweeteners that is derived from a plant rather than sugar cane. It is not processed chemically and can be used for cooking as well.
Healthy eating and exercise can reduce the risk for heart disease that is associated with high levels of cholesterol. Adding healthier snacks and meals can also be part of a healthy, preventive diet for adults and children. A healthier snack and meal schedule can actually be a normal pattern of eating for the whole family. Family members should work together in the household to maintain a healthier lifestyle. Replacing movies with bike rides and potato chips with foods that reduce cholesterol are simple ways to ensure a longer, healthier life.