Health & Fitness

Good Cholesterol Bad Cholesterol


Foods with good fiber (fruits, vegetables, whole grains) and unsaturated fats include nuts, seeds, and oily fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel contain good cholesterol.

High cholesterol level contributes to atherosclerosis (build-up of plaque in the arteries), which risks cardiac health.

Key to managing your cholesterol 

Adopting a healthy balanced diet

Leading an active lifestyle

Taking medication (if prescribed by your doctor)

Consume Fibre and Unsaturated Fats

Fiber helps to reduce total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol by excreting cholesterol through feces. Good sources of fiber include fruits, vegetables, whole grains like brown rice, wholemeal bread, chapatti oats, and barley.

How much fiber to consume daily

To achieve sufficient fiber intake, nutritions recommend consuming Two servings of fruit (1 serving of fresh fruit equals the size of your fist), Two servings of vegetables (1 serving equals ¾ cup), 2-3 servings of whole grains.

My Healthy Plate 

An easy way to remember the proportion of nutrients of your healthy meal is to fill ¼ of your plate with whole grains, ¼ with lean protein, and ½ with vegetables and fruits.

You can replace your saturated fats with unsaturated fats to reduce LDL cholesterol.

Foods like nuts, seeds, avocado are rich in unsaturated fats. Oils extracted from canola, sunflower, olive, peanut, corn, soybean, and sesame are healthier.

Fish like salmon, cod, saba, sardine, tuna and mackerel are rich in omega3, which helps reduce LDL cholesterol.

Include a palm-size piece of any oily fish (mentioned above) in your diet at least twice a week.

No to Saturated Fats and Trans Fats

Saturated fats increase LDL cholesterol (or “bad cholesterol”). If you already have high cholesterol, it is time to say NO to saturated fats. Animal fats like skin and fats of meat/poultry, butter, ghee, margarine, whole cream dairy products are significant sources of saturated fats. Likewise, the consumption of palm oil, cocoa butter, coconut oil, and coconut milk also shows the way to increase LDL cholesterol and reduce HDL-cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol). Thus, it is essential to utilize marginal trans fats in your food intake. Fried and baked foods have high trans fats.

Will my cholesterol improve with diet changes?

Of course, Yes!! But it will not happen in a few days. It may take a few weeks to months for a healthy diet to show improvement, but if you do sufficient exercise and diet management together, the results will be better and quicker.

Dr. Ramsha Shahid

Doctor of Human Nutrition and Dietetics

I’m on Instagram as @dr.ramsha_shahid

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