Diet To Lower Cholesterol And Lose Weight | 9 Proven & Effective Tips

Diet To Lower Cholesterol And Lose Weight

It’s not just what you consume that matters in a cholesterol-lowering diet; It’s also how much you consume.

Being obese or overweight increases your chances of having high LDL (low-density lipoprotein) or sometimes called ‘bad cholesterol’ and low HDL (high-density lipoprotein) or good cholesterol.

In many cases, It has been observed that just losing weight can often go a long way in reducing your cholesterol levels.

Therefore, in this article, we will share with you Diet To Lower Cholesterol And Lose Weight.

What Is Cholesterol?

Diet To Lower Cholesterol And Lose Weight

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance, or lipid, that circulates in your blood throughout your body. Because lipids do not dissolve in water, they do not dissociate in the blood.

Naturally, your body produces all the cholesterol it needs, but it can also get into your body through foods.

Cholesterol can also be present in foods and products that come from animals, such as pork, egg yolks, and cheese.

Cholesterol is not inherently “bad”. The body needs it to build cells as well as produce hormones, vitamins, and many other important substances that help in the digestion of food.

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What Causes High Cholesterol?

There can be many reasons for your high cholesterol level. But an unhealthy and inactive lifestyle is the most prominent cause among them. This can include:-

Less physical activity – This is bad for you because you are less physically active when you sit a lot and get a little exercise. So it lowers your HDL (good) cholesterol level.

Unhealthy eating habits– such as consuming too many bad fats. For example, saturated fat is found in some dairy products, meats, chocolate, and baked items, as well as many processed and deep-fried foods.

Trans fat is another form of fat that can be found in processed and fried foods. Consuming such fats can increase your level of LDL (bad) cholesterol.

Smoking– is injurious for you in many ways. When we talk about smoking and cholesterol,

It reduces the level of HDL (good) cholesterol in your body, especially in women. Along with this, it also increases the level of LDL (bad) cholesterol.

Genetics– may also play an important role in your high cholesterol level. Because it can also be due to genetics.

For example, Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH), is a hereditary form of elevated cholesterol.

High cholesterol can also be caused by many other medical problems and various medications.

What Can Higher Cholesterol Do?

Diet To Lower Cholesterol And Lose Weight

When there is too much cholesterol in the blood, it can combine with other substances in the blood to form plaque.

Plaque sticks to the inner walls of your arteries. This plaque buildup is called atherosclerosis.

It can cause coronary artery disease, in which your coronary arteries get narrowed or even blocked.

Tips To Lower Cholesterol And Lose Weight

Diet To Lower Cholesterol

Some simple yet important things that you can easily incorporate into your daily routine, can go a long way in reducing your cholesterol levels and reducing weight.

You can follow a TLC diet which can greatly help you in reducing your overall weight and lowering cholesterol levels too.

TLC stands for Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes, is a three-part program that includes diet, physical activity, and weight management.

Read the labels attentively! Although the packet of pasta claims to be just 330 calories per serving, did you notice here that there are 3 servings in the packaging?

It is allowed to snack between meals on a cholesterol-lowering diet. In fact, eating 5 or 6 smaller meals a day instead of 3 large meals will help prevent you from “crashing” and overeating between meals.

Stock up on healthier snacks like carrot sticks, blueberries, and apples, which are considered one of the top health “superfoods.”

On a cholesterol-lowering diet, replace white bread, bagels, and normal pasta with whole-wheat types. They are lower in calories and contain more heart-healthy nutrients and fiber.

Don’t drink more calories. Reduce your intake of soda, juice, and alcoholic beverages. Instead, hydrate your body with water.

If you really must drink soda, switching to diet soda will save you hundreds of calories.

Shut the night kitchen. Snacking without thinking in front of the TV after dinner is a source of many empty calories.

Shut down the kitchen at a fixed time – for example, 2 to 3 hours before going to bed – and do not open the fridge or cupboard after that fixed time.

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Diet To Lower Cholesterol And Lose Weight

Now we will discuss how you can lower your cholesterol levels and lose weight simultaneously with your diet.

Here is a list of some tips which are easy to follow and effective too.

Eat Foods Rich In Soluble Fiber

Beans, legumes, whole grains, flax, apples, and citrus are high in soluble fiber. Since humans lack the enzymes needed to break down soluble fiber, It travels through the digestive tract to absorb moisture and form a thick paste.

Soluble fiber is absorbed by bile, bile is a substance produced by the liver to aid in the digestion of fats. Both the fiber and the associated bile are eventually excreted in your stool.

Bile is made from cholesterol, so when your liver needs to produce more bile juice, it pulls cholesterol out of your bloodstream, which naturally lowers your cholesterol levels.

Regular soluble fiber consumption is related to a 5–10% decrease in both total cholesterol and “bad” LDL cholesterol in as little as four weeks.

It is recommended to consume at least 5–10 grams of soluble fiber per day for the optimal cholesterol-lowering effects, although benefits have been reported with even lower intakes of 3 grams per day.

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Eat Lots Of Fruits And Vegetables

Eating fruits and vegetables is a simple and easy way to lower “bad” LDL cholesterol levels.

According to research, adults who consume at least 4 servings of fruits and vegetables every day have about 6% lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol than those who eat less than 2 servings each day.

Fruits and vegetables are also rich in antioxidants, which prevent LDL cholesterol from oxidizing and building up plaque in your arteries.

Fruits and vegetables are also rich in antioxidants, which prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol and plaque buildup in the arteries.

Together, these antioxidants and cholesterol-lowering properties may reduce your risk of heart disease.

Those who ate most fruits and vegetables were 17 percent less likely to develop heart disease over a 10-year period than those who consumed the fewest.

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Add Herbs And Spices To Your Diet

Herbs and spices are powerhouses of nutrients that are rich in vitamins, minerals, and various important antioxidants.

In several human studies, regular consumption of garlic, ginger, and turmeric has been found to be particularly effective in lowering cholesterol.

In fact, consuming one garlic clove every day for 3 months can effectively reduce total cholesterol by up to 9%.

Herbs and spices also contain antioxidants that prevent “bad” LDL cholesterol from oxidizing, therefore reducing the development of plaque in your arteries.

Even though herbs and spices are not typically consumed in large quantities, they can significantly increase the total amount of antioxidants taken each day.

Both fresh and dried herbs and spices can greatly help you to reduce cholesterol levels. These include antioxidants that prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol.

Cholesterol-lowering antioxidants are found in abundance in dried oregano, mint, sage, clove, thyme, allspice, and cinnamon, as well as fresh herbs including marjoram, oregano, dill, and cilantro.

Consume A Variety Of Unsaturated Fats

There are mainly two types of fat found in our food:-

  1. Saturated fats
  2. Unsaturated fats

If we examine them at the chemical level,

Saturated fats have no double bonds and are highly straight, making them very tightly packed together and solid at room temperature.

Unsaturated fats have at least one double bond and a twisted shape, which prevents them from bonding as tightly as saturated fats.

Because of these properties, unsaturated fats remain in a liquid state at room temperature.

According to research, replacing almost all of your saturated fat with unsaturated fat will reduce total cholesterol by 9% and “bad” LDL cholesterol by 11% in just 8 weeks.

Long-term analyses have also shown that people who consumed more unsaturated fat and less saturated fat had lower cholesterol levels over time.

Avocados, almonds, olives, nuts, and fatty fish are high in heart-healthy unsaturated fats, so regular consumption of such foods is beneficial for us.

Avoid Consuming Artificial Trans Fats

While trans fats naturally exist in red meat and dairy products, most individuals obtain them through artificial trans fats, which are found in many restaurant dishes and processed foods.

Artificial trans fats are created by hydrogenation — that means adding hydrogen — to unsaturated fats such as vegetable oils to modify their molecular structure and make them solid at room temperature.

Trans fats are a low-cost alternative to natural saturated fats and are widely used by food manufacturers and restaurants.

However, substantial evidence suggests that consuming artificial trans fats raises “bad” LDL cholesterol, lowers “good” HDL cholesterol, and is associated with a 23% increased risk of heart disease.

When you buy food items, in the ingredients list, look for the word “partially hydrogenated.” This term indicates the presence of trans fat in that product and hence should be avoided.

As of June 2018, artificial trans fats are no longer allowed in restaurants or processed foods sold in the United States, making it much easier for you to avoid them.

Naturally occurring trans fats present in dairy products and meat can also raise “bad” LDL cholesterol.

However, they are present in such small amounts that they are not generally considered a major health risk.

Restrict Added Sugar

Saturated fats and trans fats aren’t the only substances that can raise cholesterol levels. Consuming too much sugar can have the same effect.

In one study, it was found that adult participants who consumed 25% of their calorie intake from beverages containing a high concentration of fructose corn syrup had a 17% increase in their LDL cholesterol levels in just two weeks.

Even more worrying, fructose also increases the amount of small, densely oxidized LDL cholesterol particles, which contribute to heart disease in particular.

According to one survey, between 2005 and 2010, it is estimated that 10% of Americans get more than 25% of their daily caloric intake from added sugars.

A 14-year-long study found that these individuals were almost 3 times more likely to die of heart disease than those who had taken less than 10% of their daily caloric needs from added sugars.

The American Heart Association recommends that men consume no more than 150 calories (37.5 grams) per day. While women and children should consume no more than 100 calories (25 grams) of sugar per day.

You can easily accomplish these goals by reading labels carefully and choosing items with no or very little added sugar wherever possible.

Eat More Soy

Soy is a major source of plant-based protein. Soybeans are high in protein and also contain isoflavones, which are plant-based compounds with a similar structure to estrogen.

Studies have found that soy protein and isoflavones have remarkable cholesterol-lowering effects and may significantly reduce your risk of heart disease.

In fact, consuming soy daily for at least 1 month can raise “good” HDL cholesterol by up to 1.4 mg/dL, while reducing “bad” LDL cholesterol by about 4 mg/dL.

Less processed forms of soy, such as soy milk or soybeans, are likely to be reduced cholesterol more effectively than processed soy protein extracts and supplements.

Eat Food Fortified With Sterols And Stanols

Stanols and sterols are substances extracted from plants that enhance the body’s ability to absorb cholesterol from foods.

Companies are putting them in everything from granola bars and margarine to orange juice and chocolate. They are also available in the market as a supplement.

One small study has found that two grams of plant stanols or sterols per day can reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol by up to 10%.

But the results are not yet conclusive and more research is needed.

Can Use Cholesterol-Lowering Supplements

There are many supplements available in the market that can help you a lot in reducing your cholesterol levels naturally.

Psyllium Husk

Psyllium husk is a great herb, which is rich in soluble fiber. If consumed regularly, it can significantly reduce your cholesterol level.

Psyllium husk is very easy to use, you just mix one teaspoon of husk in 100 ml of water. Wait for 10 minutes after that drink the mixture.

Research has found that the consumption of psyllium husk complements cholesterol-lowering medications.

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A daily intake of 1-6 grams of a niacin supplement can reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol levels by up to 19% within a year.

However, it can have some negative side effects and should be used only under a doctor’s prescription and under medical supervision.


L-carnitine reduces oxidation and lowers “bad” LDL cholesterol levels in people with diabetes.

It has been seen that taking 2 grams every day for 3 months can reduce the level of oxidized cholesterol by more than 5 times compared to a placebo.

These supplements are good and effective but it is advised that you should always consult a doctor before starting any supplement or regimen.

The Bottom Line

Not all but “bad” LDL cholesterol can be very harmful to you and it can become the culprit for serious heart problems.

If you control your weight to a normal range and do some lifestyle and simple dietary changes, your cholesterol level will start lowering with time.

But if you are following a good cholesterol-lowering diet, doing physical activity for a long time, and still your cholesterol level is not going down.

I will advise you to consult with your doctor and get diagnosed to find out any underlying causes.

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