Cholesterol is a fatty substance made in
the body, but it is also contained in foods. "Bad" cholesterol clogs
arteries and leads to heart disease and stroke. The higher the levels of
blood cholesterol, the higher the risk of heart attacks, according to
the American Heart Association. It recommends limiting foods that
contain "bad" cholesterol, commenting that, "the biggest influence on
blood cholesterol level is the mix of fats in your diet -- not the
amount of cholesterol you eat from food."
Protein Foods That Are Low in Cholesterol.
Animal protein contains high amounts of cholesterol in general, but some
sources are lower than others. Chicken and fish contain lower amounts
of cholesterol than red meats like beef and lamb. Fish are also good
sources of low cholesterol protein. Six ounces of salmon contains 34
grams of protein and 4 grams of fat, compared to a six-ounce steak,
which contains 38 grams of protein and 44 grams of fat. Vegetables can
also provide protein. Foods such as lentils provide 18 grams of protein
with less than 1 gram of fat. Other sources of protein that are low in
fat and cholesterol include nuts, beans and grains.
Lowing Cholesterol in Calcium Intake
Dairy products contain calcium. Only raw milk and products made from raw
milk are advised. Non-dairy sources of calcium are lower in cholesterol
and better for overall health. The Harvard School of Public Health
recommends non-dairy sources of calcium as well. The college suggests
adding vegetables high in calcium, such as bok choy, to the diet. Other
high calcium foods include baked beans, collard greens, sesame seeds,
Low Cholesterol Oils
Oils and fats can be high sources of cholesterol but low cholesterol
alternatives are readily available in the supermarket. High cholesterol
fats include those from dairy, such as butter. The Harvard School of
Public Health recommends plant oils, especially coconut oil. Healthy
oils can also be added to the diet with the addition of liquid vegetable
oils such as olive oil, sesame oil, almond oil and avocados. Consuming
walnuts or flax seed also adds "good" oils in the diet. Read labels and
avoid food products that contain trans fats or hydrogenated oils as
these can contribute to high cholesterol.
Add Healthy Omega-3 Fatty Acids to Lower Cholesterol
Healthy fats from fish and walnuts provide numerous health benefits.
Omega-3 cannot be manufactured in the body but are necessary for a
variety of functions in the body. They also contribute to disease
prevention by helping to lower blood pressure and to reduce arrhythmias,
and they may prevent heart disease and stroke.