High cholesterol must be approached from different points of view. In the first place, you have to change habits that favor the risk of suffering cardiovascular diseases, that is, smoking, drinking alcohol, having problems of being overweight or obese and poor diet.

Many times these changes do not take place and the only solution to control cholesterol is taking medications. If the doctor recommends a drug it is very important to take it, even if you decide to also make a diet. With a cholesterol-lowering diet, you can manage to decrease the amount of medication that you need to take.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a controlled diet for 1 year before going to the drugs in case of hyperlipidemias, such as high cholesterol.

Foods with cholesterol

Cholesterol is found in foods of animal origin and they are usually high in saturated fat. In the table below you can see the main foods that have cholesterol and those that do not.

CHOLESTEROL FOODS

FOODS WITHOUT CHOLESTEROL

VEGETABLES

_

All vegetables.

TUBERS AND CEREALS

_

Everybody. Potato, rice, pasta, bread … whether whole or refined.

LEGUMES

_

All: beans, lentils, chickpeas, beans, peas …

MEATS

All of the red meats, sausages, and viscera: beef, lamb, sausage, blood sausage, pâté, liver, tongue, brain …

The meats with the lowest amount of cholesterol are white without skin: chicken, rabbit, and turkey.

FISH

Fish viscera and fish roe.

Meat from white fish without heads or viscera (hake, sole, monkfish, sea bream …) and blue. (Tuna, emperor, mackerel, bonito, sardine, salmon …)

SEAFOOD

Mussels, clams, cockles, sea snails, ink of squid and squid, heads of prawns and shrimps.

Prawn and shrimp tail, cuttlefish and squid.

EGGS

The yolk.

The egg-white.

DAIRY PRODUCTS

Cream of milk, cream, whole and semi-skimmed milk, whole yogurts, and fatty cheeses.

Are low in cholesterol: low-fat cheese, and skim milk and yogurts.

FRUITS

_

All.

NUTS

_

All.

FATS

Pork lard, butter.

Olive oil, sunflower oil, and seeds oil. Margarine.

Diet to reduce cholesterol

When cholesterol is high you have to take good care of food. First, if you are overweight you have to correct it. In addition, you must eat foods that promote the reduction of cholesterol in the blood.

The cholesterol-lowering diet should be rich in:

  • Fiber: because it decreases the absorption of cholesterol in the intestine.
  • Unsaturated fatty acids: increase HDL (good) cholesterol.
  • Antioxidants: especially Vitamin C and Vitamin E.
  • Rich in fruits and vegetables: you have to consume 5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day.

Main features and practical tips:

  • Consume more fish than meat: red meat maximum 1 day a week, white meat 3 days a week, white fish minimum 4 days a week and blue fish 2 days a week.
  • Eliminate the fatty sausages: you can consume serrano ham, york ham and turkey ham in moderation.
  • Moderate egg consumption (4-6 eggs per week) to accommodate other food groups.
  • Remove pasta, buns, and cookies.
  • Reduce consumption of sugar and sugar products to the maximum.
  • Eat legumes and whole grains: vegetables at least 2 days a week and whole-grain products every day.
  • Avoid fried foods and fats from frying: consume preferably raw olive oil.
  • It is important to combine diet with daily physical activity, such as walking, climbing stairs, etc.

The role of the dietitian – nutritionist when cholesterol is high

The dietitian – nutritionist is the most appropriate health professional to carry out a diet to combat cholesterol. Many times cholesterol “does not come alone”, but is accompanied by weight problems and other diseases such as high blood pressure, high uric acid, diabetes, etc. For this reason, it is most advisable to make a personalized diet that takes into account everything the person needs.