Best Low Cholesterol Diet Plan for Your Healthy Heart

So you have just got back the lab result on your blood work and your cholesterol appears to be high. Don’t panic just yet – this article will help you to chalk out a meal plan which is low cholesterol to help your body and your heart will thank you for that. So let us take a look at this heart-healthy diet plan made just for you.

Ideal cholesterol level in the body

As per the results of the Framingham Heart Study, the ideal blood cholesterol level is below 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL).

Top tips for lowering cholesterol in your body

1. Include soluble fiber in your diet

Soluble fiber plays a very crucial role when it comes to fighting high cholesterol levels. Fiber binds the cholesterol in your gut and prevents its reabsorption in the body. Therefore, you need to increase the consumption of food items like beans, oatmeal, sprouts, barley and berries in your diet. Studies have shown that consumption of 2 cups of beans a day can prove extremely useful in lowering the LDL cholesterol levels in your blood. There are various other sources of soluble fiber such as fruits, green leafy vegetables, flax seeds and chia seeds. So make sure that your total intake of soluble fiber through the day is in the range of 25 to 30 gms.

2. Incorporate plant-based protein in your diet

A study conducted by the University of Toronto shows that intake of plant-based protein successfully reduced the blood cholesterol levels to normal by 30 percent in a span of four weeks. Protein is an essential component of any diet. However, when you are facing high cholesterol levels, it is wiser to derive the protein through plants and not meat. Even lean cuts of meat may end up depositing plaque in your arteries. So choose plant-based proteins like soya and tofu. These are not only great sources of protein but also rich in fiber which makes them an ideal candidate when you are on a diet to lower cholesterol.

3. Reduce your sodium and sugar intake

Excess sodium and sugar can create a havoc in your body. Lowering your sodium intake is extremely beneficial for keeping your blood cholesterol levels in check. Therefore, make sure to cut down on your consumption of processed food. Make sure to read the food label before you take a bite of your favourite potato chips. Similarly, excess amounts of sugar in your body can lead to an increased risk of diabetes. Further, studies have shown that the risk of dying from heart disease for people with diabetes is two to four times higher as compared to people who do not have diabetes. So keep a check on the consumption of candies and colas – both of these come with tons of added sugar.

4. Consume fish rich in omega 3 fatty acids

Omega 3 fatty acids are known to be your heart’s best friend. Sufficient consumption of omega 3 fatty acids ensure that triglycerides are produced at a slower rate by the liver. It also helps in increasing the HDL cholesterol in the body which is beneficial. These acids also play an important role in protecting the heart from inflammation and clots. Rich sources of omega 3 fatty acids include a lot of fishes such as tuna, salmon and mackerel. Therefore, make sure that you are getting a fair share of these acids by consuming fish at least thrice a week. But be wary of the canned versions of these fishes as they contain added sodium which is not beneficial for your body.

5. Limit alcohol

You may turn to alcohol to drown your sorrows but beware – alcohol can be a big culprit behind elevated levels of blood cholesterol. Alcohol contains a lot of empty calories which leads to excess weight gain.

Low Cholesterol Diet Plan

So now let us take a look at a diet plan for 5 days which is geared to help you monitor your cholesterol levels in the body.

Day 1:

On waking up: consume a glass of warm water with lemon.

Breakfast : choose options like oatmeal or millets prepared with skimmed milk/non-fat milk. You can also go for almond or soy milk. Top it up with berries or grapes. You can also consume tea or coffee if you desire.

Lunch : choose a healthy and wholesome salad. You can whip up a quick salad with romaine lettuce, steamed broccoli, tofu and egg whites. Do not choose the dressings from supermarket aisles. Instead, whip up your own dressing using balsamic vinegar, mustard and olive oil.

Snack: go for carrot sticks along with a low fat greek yogurt dip.

Dinner: Choose a lean protein like salmon. You can opt for grilled salmon. You can make a salad to accompany the fish. You can opt for green veggies like brussels sprouts and baby greens. You can choose a dressing made of balsamic vinegar or soy sauce.

Day 2:

On waking up: consume a glass of warm water with lemon.

Breakfast: Opt for an egg white omelette along with a piece of brown bread toast. Avoid topping up your toast with butter or mayonnaise. Make sure that you also consume a bowl of fresh fruits at the time of breakfast. You can also have tea or coffee if you like but avoid the artificial creamers and sweetners.

Lunch: You can opt for brown rice or millets along with a big bowl of veggies. Make sure to include leafy greens like spinach and lettuce. You can either have it steamed or stir fried. You can also consume a wholesome soup like vegetable soup or chicken stock loaded up with vegetables.

Snack: You can choose an apple or a handful of nuts along with a cup of green tea. You can also choose a low fat hummus and consume it along with carrot sticks.

Dinner: Choose grilled chicken along with steamed veggies. Make sure to include vegetables like carrots, beetroots, leeks and celery.

Day 3:

On waking up: consume a glass of warm water with lemon.

Breakfast: You can choose muesli on day 3. Make sure that you don’t fall for pre-packaged cereals as they are loaded with sugar. You can also make your own muesli by mixing a grated fruit like apple or pear with rolled oats and yogurt. Choose stevia leaves instead of sugar.

Lunch: You can go a for a salad consisting of steamed asparagus and edamame beans. Opt for rice vinegar-wasabi dressing to go with it. This is a fairly wholesome salad and should keep you full for hours. However, if you are still hungry, you can go for a bowl of soup as well.

Snack: go for carrot sticks along with a low fat greek yogurt dip.

Dinner: Opt for a grilled trout or any other fish for your choice. You can combine this with a dressing made out of baby tomatoes, arugula leaves and feta cheese. Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil on top of the fish and enjoy this wholesome meal.

Day 4:

On waking up: consume a glass of warm water with lemon.

Breakfast: On day 4, go for a bowl of overnight oats. Top it up with cacoa nibs, fruits and coconut shavings. Choose almond or soy milk instead of regular milk. Please make sure that you also consume fruits like apple or pear along with the overnight oats.

Lunch: You can again go for a lean protein like chicken or salmon. If you are up to it and are experimental, you can also go for homemade sushi for lunch as it is one of healthier options.

Snack: You can choose an apple or a handful of nuts along with a cup of green tea.

Dinner: Opt for a nice salad filled with greens like kale, celery and asparagus. You can also consume a bowl of chicken clear soup along with the soup.

Day 5:

On waking up: consume a glass of warm water with lemon.

Breakfast: Opt for a mushroom and egg white omelette along with a glass of low fat milk.

Lunch: Opt for a bowl of grilled vegetables like butternut squash and zucchini.

Snack: go for carrot sticks along with a low fat greek yogurt dip.

Dinner: Opt for stir fried Chinese greens along with pieces of grilled tofu and egg whites.

Follow this diet plan for at least a month and you will see a substantial reduction in your blood cholesterol levels. Make sure to consume plenty of water as well.


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