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Low Cholesterol Diet

What Is A Low Cholesterol Diet?

Elevated cholesterol can increase your risk of developing heart disease. Although there are risk factors that you cannot control such as age, gender and family history, others are modifiable such as increasing physical activity, maintaining healthy body weight and dietary modifications.


Foods To Eat


Fruits and vegetables are high on the list of foods to include in your diet. Any type of product can be included in your diet, including:

  • Leafy greens
  • Citrus fruits
  • Apples, pears, and plums
  • Grapes
  • Root veggies
  • Cucumbers, celery, peppers
  • Avocados

Whole Grain Foods

Whole grain foods are typically higher in fiber than their more refined counterparts. The more common whole grains include:

  • Barley
  • Oatmeal
  • Bulgur
  • Quinoa


Fish are low in fat and carbohydrates and high in protein. More commonly available fish include halibut, tilapia, and cod. Additionally, some fish such as tuna, salmon, and herring contain omega-3 fats, a type of healthy fat that has been shown to help reduce triglyceride levels.


Nuts are high in fiber and other healthy nutrients. Practically any type of nut will do, however, walnuts, pecans, almonds, and pistachios are the more commonly consumed nuts. Studies have shown that roughly a handful of nuts daily can have a positive impact on your lipid levels.

Lean Proteins

Lean proteins, including turkey, soy, or chicken are your best bet when looking for options to include in your diet since these typically contain saturated fat and calories than fattier proteins. Some ways to cut fat from your animal meats include:

  • Selecting cuts of meat that do not have any visible pieces of fat on them
  • Cutting away any fat on the piece of meat before serving
  • Using healthy cooking methods that will not add more fat to your meat. Grilling, broiling, or roasting are all healthy options to prepare your meat.


Dietary Modifications

  • Start your day with oatmeal.
  • Choose fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, lean protein, and nuts.
  • Limit red meat and eggs. Replace whole eggs with egg whites or a cholesterol-free egg substitute. Choose fatty fish like salmon.
  • Replace butter, trans fat margarine, and polyunsaturated oil with canola oil, olive oil, or plant sterol spreads. Flavor with oregano, basil, parsley, rosemary, thyme, cilantro, coriander, or cumin.
  •  Look for products specifically created for low-cholesterol diets. Many of these foods have been fortified with plant stanols and sterols that help to block the absorption of cholesterol.

Your doctor will advise you if your levels are not adequately lowered by diet and exercise alone. Please consult with our dietitian for additional heart-healthy diet tips.


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Meet Jennifer Bonheur, MD

Dr. Jennifer Bonheur is a board-certified gastroenterologist who loves her work and values her relationships with her patients. As a female gastroenterologist, she strives to connect and treat the patient and not simply the illness. Dr. Bonheur offers specialized care in gastroenterology and therapeutic endoscopy. Together with her staff, she is committed to providing the highest quality medical care in a comfortable, professional and personalized environment. Learn More »