A low cholesterol diet begins by eating a variety of nutritional foods that are known for keeping cholesterol levels under control. Not only will this type of diet slash your bad cholesterol, but it can also improve the health of your heart.

Selecting Heart Healthy Foods

Foods high in fiber and antioxidants are the best way to lower your cholesterol levels. You can begin by incorporating items such as legumes, fruits, vegetables and whole grains into your daily diet. Oils that include polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are another healthy part of the diet. Instead of cooking your food in lard or butter, opt for olive, corn, soy or sunflower oils. An example of a meal that is high in antioxidant, and it can help lower cholesterol would be a leafy green salad, tomatoes, steamed salmon, avocado and carrots. Instead of topping your meal with fattening croutons or meat, you may want to try sprinkling pine nuts, a drizzle of olive oil and herbs for added flavoring. For breakfast, try adding oatmeal to your daily meal plan. Research has shown that a bowl of whole-grain oatmeal can lower your cholesterol by a whopping 6 percent. Omega-3 fatty acids such as herring, salmon, mackerel, tuna in water, sardines and trout are all packed with nutrients.

Limit Your Junk Food Intake

Limit or avoid bad cholesterol labeled foods such as red meat, pork, lamb, whole-fat dairy products, organ meats, fried and processed foods, butter, egg yolks and sugar laden baked goods. Hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries, cookies and cake are all items that can increase your bad LDL cholesterol levels.

Opting for Heart Healthy Snacks

A small portion of walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts and almonds are chalk full of antioxidants, and they contain properties to help lower your cholesterol. Instead of heading to the vending machine for a candy bar, choose a granola bar as your afternoon snack. A handful of Cheerios or celery with a teaspoon of almond butter are better choices if you’re looking for an evening family snack.

Preparation

You can enjoy all of the healthy foods in the world, but if you fry them in butter, you will be defeating the purpose of following a low-cholesterol diet. Steaming, poaching, baking and grilling are better options for food preparation as long as you use a limited amount of a heart healthy oil.