Cholesterol is required by our body to make new cells, produce hormones and insulate the nerves. Our liver produces almost sufficient amounts of cholesterol needed by the body. However, we further consume more cholesterol, as it is present in most food items (in traces or substantial amounts). For a healthy heart too much of cholesterol is dangerous. An excess of cholesterol sticks to the walls of the arteries and can slow down or even block the blood flow into the heart.
It is therefore advisable to limit the amount of cholesterol intake to keep heart issues at bay. A healthy diet for heart patients focuses primarily on cutting down cholesterol intake to reduce the risk of further heart ailments. Precautionary measures should be taken by others too.
There are two types of cholesterol known, the LDLs (Low Density Lipoproteins) & the HDLs (High Density Lipoproteins). The former is said to be bad cholesterol, however the latter one is good cholesterol. So when making dietary changes, substituting LDL containing foods with HDL containing foods is also a good measure, along with swapping them with total cholesterol free items.
Here are some food swaps you can make for a tastier low cholesterol diet :
1. Egg whites rather than whole eggs:
The yolk has the major part of total cholesterol in found in an egg. So discarding this part from your diet could be beneficial for heart health. Egg whites alone can provide ample amount of healthy proteins.
2. Lemon or vinegar instead of complex salad dressings:
Salad dressing can add more calories to your highly nutritious salad than you can imagine. The high in fat and cholesterol dressings should be substituted with natural lemon juice or white vinegar.
3. Tuna or cod fish instead of steak or chicken:
These fish contain low LDL as compared to the other non vegetarian options. They also contain healthy omega 3 fatty acids good for your overall health.
4. Instead of crisps and chips take nuts:
Fried potatoes and other unhealthy snacks should be substituted with a small fist of nuts. Nuts contain no cholesterol and are best to calm the mid meal hunger pangs.
5. Choose red wine over any cocktail:
Red wine is noted to have flavanoids that help in reducing bad cholesterol, and has just about 10% of carbohydrates in comparison to other alcoholic drinks.
6. Switch to quinoa from rice:
Quinoa is a great substitute to high in cholesterol rice. These seed grains have almost 6 times more proteins and 15% less carbohydrates in comparison to rice. It also contains a good amount of fiber and hence counted among the one best cholesterol reducing foods.