Basic Diet Information

Dietary modification is the first step in controlling cholesterol. A healthy diet should limit total cholesterol intake to no more than 300 milligrams per day. Total fat intake of less than 40 grams per day will aid in weight loss and lipid management. Different types of fats exert different effects on cholesterol levels.

Saturated fatty acids in the diet raise cholesterol. Animal foods high in saturated fatty acids include red meat, poultry skin, and dairy products. Plant foods high in saturated fatty acids include coconut oil, tropical oil, and cocoa butter. Saturated fatty acids should be less than 10 percent of total calories each day.

Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids may help reduce cholesterol levels when substituted for saturated fatty acids. They should be less than 10 and 15 percent of your daily calories respectively. Oils high in polyunsaturated fats include vegetable cooking oils, such as corn, safflower, sunflower, and soybean. Better choices are found in monounsaturated oils such as olive and canola oils.

Unfortunately, changes in diet will not always provide the necessary response in blood lipid levels; genetic factors also exert an influence. During the last several years, major advances in drug therapy have helped lead to substantial reductions in lipid levels. Consultation should be made with your doctor to choose the appropriate therapy.

Omega 3 Fish oil has antioxidant properties and may help to reduce cholesterol when taken at 1,000 to 6,000mg per day.