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Cholesterol Lowering Diets

Dr Xxxxx Dr Xxxxx : A Range of advice about food suitable for a cholesterol-lowering diet and to improve health.


Foods suitable for cholesterol lowering diets must be low in fat. This includes both saturated and polyunsaturated fats.  For good health it is also important to select foods that are high in fibre.  Fibre helps to lower cholesterol, though some types of fibre such as oat bran and to a lesser extent rice bran are better than others in lowering cholesterol.  Different fibres have different functions in the body.  It is therefore recommended to eat a range of foods containing fibre rather than to concentrate on any one fibre source,  E.g. Wheat bran has an important role to play in preventing diverticular disease and also reduces the risk of bowel cancer.  Wheat bran also aids bowel function and prevents winds bloating and constipation.  These symptoms are common with excess intakes of more soluble fibres such as rice bran and oat bran.

MARGARINES: the less the better
State law controls margarine manufactured in Queensland.  For the purpose of the law there are two kinds of margarine: cooking margarine and table margarine.
* Cooking margarine must contain 90% animal fat and hence tends to have a high content of
cholesterol and saturated fat.
*     Table margarines are made from 100% vegetable oils.  They will all naturally be low in
cholesterol. Their fat content is very high though.
*     If you must eat margarine, select one that is labeled mono-unsaturated.
*     BUTTER contains saturated fats and is to be avoided.

OILS: the less the better
Safflower, sunflower, corn or maize, soya bean,  grape seed or cottonseed oils are rich in polyunsaturated fats.  Safflower oil has the highest polyunsaturated content of any of the commonly available oils.   Olive oil contains mono-unsaturated oils and appears to be MORE beneficial than the polyunsaturated oils.  These oils are both preferable to saturated oil.  Peanut oil has low polyunsaturated fat content, but high mono-unsaturated oil content.   Coconut oil and palm oil are mainly saturated and are not recommended .
CARE OF OIL:  Do not overheat the oil or use more than 3 to 5 times as this breaks down the polyunsaturated oils.

MEAT & MEAT PRODUCTS: consume some for vitamin B12 ,iron, zinc not found much in other foods
Suitable meats include lean red meat, chicken with no skin, turkey, veal, rabbit and venison. Lamb, mutton and pork may be eaten but should be consumed in smaller quantities with all the fat trimmed off. Heart, liver, kidney, brain, tripe and sweetbreads have high cholesterol content.  DO NOT use duck, goose brains, sausages, luncheon meats, meat pastes or pates as these have very high cholesterol content.

All seafoods are generally low in fat compared to other foods such as meat.  Some fish are rich in special polyunsaturated oils (known as omega 3 oils), which are distinct from the polyunsaturated oils found in vegetable oils.  (These are known as omega 6 oils).  Fresh fish are preferred but tinned fish such as tuna or salmon (preferably canned in water) are also suitable. Oyster, scallops, crayfish, lobster and crabs may be used in moderation.  Prawns, fish roe, caviar and squid are high in cholesterol.  Shellfish have been found to contain cholesterol like substances in more modern assays and are not as harmful as once thought.  Seafoods if consumed after deep-frying or with butter will have a high fat content.

In general, all seafood is low in fat. Some seafood do contain significant quantities of cholesterol. Because seafood is low in fat, the absorption of cholesterol is much lower than with consumption of meat type foods.


Trim milk, Skim milk, and skim milk products such as low fat yogurt, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, evaporated skim milk and buttermilk contain very little saturated fat or cholesterol and are therefore suitable for cholesterol lowering diets.  Ice cream by law contains a minimum of 10% milk fat and is  to be avoided.  PREMIUM ice cream contains extra milk fat and must not be consumed.  However,  ICE CONFECTIONS may be suitable for a cholesterol lowering diet.  DO NOT use cream, sour cream, malted milk, cream cheese or cheese spreads.  Ice confections have a fat content less than 10%.

BREADS & CEREALS: usually low in fat except biscuits and pastries that may contain butter margarine or egg yolks.
All plain breads, plain cereals and most cereal products are suitable.  Preferably select wholemeal  bread and wholemeal cereals such as rolled oats, brown rice, and whole-wheat pastas and flours.  Choose plain noodles not egg noodles.  Avoid foods such as chips, crisps or tacos that are usually cooked in oil.  Most cakes, biscuits and pastry contain saturated fats.  Some savoury biscuits such as Ryvita and Vitawheat do not have fat and are suitable to use.  Canned spaghetti in tomato sauce or in cheese  and tomato sauce is also suitable.

Egg yolks are limited to a maximum of one or two weekly because of their high cholesterol content. Egg whites are free from fat and cholesterol.

These can be used in moderation though all have a moderate oil content.  Walnuts, pecan and almonds have the highest polyunsaturated content and are preferred in a cholesterol lowering diet. Coconuts, cashews and macadamias are not recommended due to their higher saturated fat content. Tahine (ground sesame seeds), or peanut butter may be used in very small quantities. DO NOT buy roasted nuts that have been deep fried or salted.  Nuts in general contain natural antioxidants.  This reduces much of the harm done by the fat content.

All fruit and vegetables (fresh, frozen or canned) are suitable except olives and avocados.  Canned or packaged vegetable soups (not creamed) made up with water and skim milk may be used occasionally.  It is preferable for you to prepare your own soup.  Soup cubes contain no fat or cholesterol but have a very high salt content.  Avocados contain 10% to 15% mono-unsaturated fat but contain no cholesterol.  Mono-unsaturated oils are MORE beneficial than other oils in lowering cholesterol and in making the cholesterol profile more favorable.

These are rich sources of protein, contain little vegetable fat and virtually no cholesterol. Soya beans, kidney beans, lima beans, lentils may be used as substitutes for most (BUT NOT ALL) meat in the diet.  Canned baked beans are also suitable to use. There are many vegetable products made with beans or lentils or textured vegetable protein.  These do not contain saturated fat and are suitable for use.

Goo the Numbat Goo : What about the Good Stuff? Lollies, Sweets etc

Dr Xxxxx Dr Xxxxx : CONFECTIONARY: can have sugary sweets but not oily ones
These foods are not recommended because they contain significant quantities of refined sugars. DO NOT use oily confectioneries such as chocolate, butterscotch, fudge, caramel or any coconut containing confectionery.

Tea and Coffee may be used as desired. Soft drinks have a high sugar content.
DO NOT use coffee whiteners as they contain saturated fats.  ALCOHOL may be used in moderation.  If less than two average drinks per day are consumed it
actually helps to lower the cholesterol.  This effect is lost if more than two drinks per day are consumed.

Polyunsaturated mayonnaise (made with no eggs) or low fat (oil) salad dressings made with polyunsaturated oils may be used sparingly.  Most gravy mixes and flavourings may be used as they usually contain only flour plus flavouring. Gelatin and egg white may be used freely in cooking.  Herbs and spices may be used to replace salt.  Kraft “FREE” is one of the low fat mayonnaises on the market but still contains approximately 15% fat.

Most food prepared outside the home will contain saturated fat.  In particular, avoid deep fried foods such as fried chicken, battered fish, chips and other fast foods such as meat pies, hot dogs, sausage rolls and spring rolls.  Snack foods such as potato crisps, popcorn and pretzels should be avoided.


Goo the Numbat Goo : What Sort of Meats Are Recommended?

BEEF               VEAL                    LAMB                    MUTTON
Fillet               forequarter             fillet                      fillet
Skirt                osso bucco              shanks                  shanks
Round             schnitzel               eye of loin             eye of loin
Blade             loin chops              round                  
Rump              leg                      silverside              mince/cubes/diced
Silverside        fillet                    topside
Sirloin              mince/cubes/diced       mince/cubes/diced
Topside           Strips/cubes/diced Mince


Goo the Numbat Goo : Tell Us About Fibres

Food                          total fibre(g/100g)                food total fibre (g/100g)

Rye crispbread               11.37                         Fresh apples             1.42
Wheat crispbread            4.83                          Dried apricots           24.00
Brown Bread               5.11                              Bananas             3.40
High fibre brown bread         9.50                      Currants                     8.70
Wholemeal Bread                8.50                       Dried Dates          8.70

All Bran cereal              26.70                         Passionfruit             15.90
Bran                          44.00                         Prunes                    16.10
Muesli                          7.41                           Sultanas              7.00
Puffed Wheat                 15.41                        
Shredded Wheat               12.26                         Baked beans           7.30
Weetbix                       12.72                              Broccoli-boiled                4.10
Brussel sprouts- boiled             2.90                Brown flour             7.87
Cabbage boiled                  2.20                             Soya low fat              14.30
Parsley – raw                   9.10                             Wholemeal flour       9.51
Parsnips-boiled                 5.20                            
Peas-boiled                          6.30
Brazil nuts                           9.00                           Spinach-boiled            6.30
Peanuts                          8.10                             Potatoes-baked         2.50
Peanut butter                     7.60    




Goo the Numbat Goo : Tell us about a SAMPLE DIET FOR LOW CHOLESTEROL INTAKE

Dr Xxxxx Dr Xxxxx :
BREAKFAST:       Fruit or juice (240ml) or dried fruit ( fruit may be 1 large apple, 40g dried apricots,
1 banana = 120g)
(1 grapefruit = 240g; 2 large mandarins = 240g; 2 Tbsp. Raisins / sultanas = 40g)
(4 medium prunes = 30g; 30 strawberries)
*  Plus 1 egg white or 30g low fat cheese or 90g baked beans
*  Plus 4-6  slices tomato/asparagus or 1 standard cup Mushroom/capsicum
*  Plus 2 toast/bread slices or 90g cereal plus milk instead of the above 3 items
*  Plus tea/coffee as desired


MILK: DAILY ALLOWANCE 450 ml of skim milk or can have the equivalent low fat cheese/low fat
Yoghurt / or nuts


LUNCH:  2 slices of bread or equivalent crispbread or avoid and have extra bread or potato at tea.

*  Plus  90g meat or 130g chicken or 130-160g tuna/salmon/fish or 200g of cottage ricotta cheese
Or 1 carton low fat yoghurt or 200g baked beans/soy/lentil beans or 45g nuts/seeds
*  Plus  salad vegetables as desired (use low fat dressing)
*  Plus  fruit or juice or dried fruit  (as specified above)
*  Plus  tea/coffee as desired

DINNER:  canned soup (1-1.5 cups) or ½ -2/3 of packet soup or 1-2 sachets of cup of soup

*  Plus 120g meat or 180g fish or 4 fish fingers (grilled) or 250g baked beans/soybeans/lentil beans or casserole with approx. 120g meat (cooked weight) or 120g nutmeat
*  Plus 2-3 scoops potato or ¾ cup rice or ¾ cup pasta or 1-2 bread
*  Plus salad vegetables as desired
*  Plus fruit or fruit juice or dried fruit as specified above



50g potato = 50g parsnips = 50g peas = 50g corn = 50g broad beans = 100g brussel sprouts = 100g carrots = 100g pumpkin = 100g squash = 150g spinach = 150g turnips

Salad vegetables contains negligible calories and may be used as desired e.g. asparagus, French runner beans, bean sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, capsicum, cauliflower, celery, chokos, cucumber, eggplant, lettuce, marrow, mushrooms, tomatoes, sauerkraut, zucchini.