Boots WebMD Partners in Health
Return To Boots

Cholesterol management health centre

Select a topic to explore more.
Select An Article

A diet to lower cholesterol and lose weight


WebMD Medical Reference
Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks

What you eat counts in a diet to lower cholesterol, but so does how much you eat.

As well as choosing healthier food choices, losing weight can help lower cholesterol.

Being overweight increases your risk of having high LDL bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and low HDL good cholesterol. Often, just losing weight can help you lower your cholesterol.

Lower cholesterol tips at home

 

  • Read the labels carefully! That may say it's only 330 calories a serving, but did you notice that there are 3 servings in the package?
  • Replace saturated fat rich spreads and oils with the healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as olive, rapeseed or sunflower oils and spreads.
  • Eat fish twice a week, and make one of them oily (non-white fleshed fish). Oily fish is rich in omega-3 fats that helps maintain heart health.
  • Consider sterol or stanol-enriched foods, such as spreads. These can help to reduce LDL cholesterol levels as part of a healthy balanced diet. Or consider taking a one-a-day stanol or sterol-ester ‘shot’ drink before or after your main meal for maximum cholesterol-lowering effect.
  • It's OK to snack between meals on a diet to lower cholesterol. In fact, eating 5 or 6 small meals a day instead of 3 large ones can help you avoid "crashing" between meals and overeating. Stock up on healthy snacks like carrot sticks, apples or a small handful of nuts.
  • Switch from white breads and pasta to wholewheat varieties for more heart-healthy fibre.
  • Don’t drink your calories. Cut back on fizzy drinks, large glasses of fruit juice and alcohol. Hydrate with water instead. If you must have fizzy drinks, switching to diet drinks will cut both sugar and calorie intake.
  • Close the night kitchen. Snacking in front of the TV after dinner is the source of many unnecessary calories. Close the kitchen at a certain time - say, 2 to 3 hours before you go to bed - and don't open the fridge or the cupboards after that time. If you feel peckish - chew some gum.

 

Eating out

As a nation we love to eat out. However, if it’s a regular feature of your social life you should consider these simple tips for enjoyment and health.

Before you order

  • If you are trying a new restaurant, take time to study the menu. Not sure which of 2 choices to go for? Choose the one that sounds the healthiest, ingredient wise.
  • Is the bread basket and butter left in front of you on the table? Pass it around and make sure it’s not in your reach. If you’re still tempted, don’t deliberate on what to choose. Pick up the smallest piece possible, ideally the one with seeds.
  • Ask for water at the table, and drink a glass before your food arrives.
  • Drink two full glasses of water before your food arrives.
  • Avoid foods described in the following way - buttery, buttered, fried, pan-fried, creamed, escalloped or au gratin (with cheese), or those coated in a rich cheesy sauce.
Next Article:

Cholesterol newsletter

The latest heart health news and information, delivered to your inbox.
Sign Up

Popular slideshows & tools on BootsWebMD

agave syrup
These may not be so healthy
exercise illustration
The 7-minute workout
female patient consulting with female GP
How to boost your chances
bowl of soup
Small changes that lead to weight loss
heart rate graphic
What is it, and how is it treated?
smiling woman
Much more than weight loss
crossword puzzle
Tips for the first hard days
sperm and egg
Facts to help you get pregnant
smiling_handsome_man
Put your best face forward
sick child
Treating your child's cold & fever
couple makigh salad
How it can help with weight loss
couple watching sunset
How much do you know?