Low Cholesterol and Low Saturated Fat Diet
The purpose of this diet is to reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood and to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Avoid or restrict high cholesterol foods, such as egg yolks and organ meats. Because cholesterol is found in all foods of animal origin, portions of meat and poultry should be reduced. Fish is lower in cholesterol and saturated fat. Plant foods (fruit, vegetables, grains, and legumes) are cholesterol-free.
Restrict foods with saturated fat, even if the food containing them is "cholesterol-free." Saturated fat will raise blood cholesterol even more than foods containing cholesterol.
Saturated fats include:
Fats of animal origin (the fat of meat, lard, butter, cream, and other dairy fats). Animal fats contain both cholesterol and saturated fat.
Tropical oils, including coconut, palm, and palm kernel oil. These highly saturated oils are used in commercially baked or processed foods, such as cookies, crunchy snack foods, oily crackers, and many nondairy creamers and whipped toppings.
Vegetable oils that have been hydrogenated (hardened). These include solid shortening used in, baking and hard stick margarines.
Replace part of the saturated fat in your diet with unsaturated fat, such as olive oil, other vegetable oils, and soft tub margarine, but reduce the total quantity of all fats and oils you consume. This restriction has the added benefit of lowering total calorie intake. Because fat in our bodies is a hard, saturated fat, weight loss often reduces blood cholesterol in people who are overweight.
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Timothy L. Biliouris, M.D.
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