Cholesterol Diet

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)

A cholesterol diet aims to regulate the levels of cholesterol in the blood stream in order to prevent heart disease.

Cholesterol is a soft, waxy substance found among the lipids (fats) in the bloodstream and in all cells of the body. It helps to form cell membranes and some hormones, and performs other functions necessary in a healthy body.

Cholesterol and other fats don’t dissolve in the blood, and are transported to and from cells by special carriers called lipoproteins.

Those of significance in a cholesterol diet are low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL).


Two Types of Cholesterol

LDL Cholesterol

LDL is the major cholesterol carrier in the blood. If too much LDL cholesterol circulates, it can gradually build up in the walls of the arteries feeding the heart and brain, forming plaque that can clog those arteries – a condition known as arteriosclerosis.

A clot forming near this plaque could block the blood flow to part of the heart muscle causing a heart attack, or to part of the brain, causing a stroke.

A high level of LDL cholesterol (160 mg/dL and above) presents an increased risk of heart disease, so LDL cholesterol is called “bad” cholesterol. Lower levels of LDL cholesterol reflect a lower risk of heart disease.

Anyone with heart disease, should aim for LDL cholesterol levels of less than 100 mg/dL.

HDL Cholesterol

About a third to a quarter of blood cholesterol is carried by HDL cholesterol.

It is thought that HDL tends to carry cholesterol away from the arteries and back to the liver, where it’s passed from the body. Some experts believe HDL removes excess cholesterol from plaques, thus slowing their growth.

So HDL cholesterol is known as “good” cholesterol because a high HDL level seems to protect against heart attack.

Conversely, a low HDL level (less than 40 mg/dL) indicates a greater risk of heart attack and possibly stroke.

Cholesterol Diet for Lowering LDL

Cholesterol lowering diets aim to balance LDL and HDL cholesterol to reduce the risks.

There are two main dietary theories when it comes to lowering cholesterol:

  1. Low Fat Diets- This type of approach seeks to remove all saturated fat from the diet. It is believed that if cholesterol isn’t consumed, then it won’t build up in the bloodstream. However, this approach only helps about 5% of those with high cholesterol.
  2. Low Glycemic and Healthy Fats Approach- With this method dieters avoid high glycemic carbs and eat healthy fats from fish, olives, nuts, and flax seed. This type of cholesterol diet is high in fresh vegetables and fruit as well as legumes. This diet seeks to limit inflammation instead of dietary cholesterol.

Popular Cholesterol Diets

Great Cholesterol MythIn The Great Cholesterol Myth nutritionist Jonny Bowden and cardiologist Dr. Stephen Sinatra reveal the true causes of heart disease.
Lower Your CholesterolReveals how to eat all the foods you love and lower cholesterol at the same time.
Cholesterol Lowering French RecipesAward winning chef, Alain Braux, teaches you how to lower cholesterol using delicious French gourmet food.
CSIRO DietA low carb healthy fats approach to lowering LDL

Other low fat recipes can be found here.


There are also some supplements that can be used as part of a cholesterol diet.

  • Fiber supplements containing soluble fiber.
  • Fish oil capsules
  • Flax seed oil capsules
  • Plant sterols
  • Low dose Aspirin
  • Coconut oil
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Folic Acid

Foods to Avoid

While some experts may disagree about which foods to eat, there are some common food that should be avoided by those on a cholesterol diet.

  • Trans fat and hydrogenated oils. 
  • Oils rich in omega 6 fatty acid
  • Refined sugar
  • Refined carbs (high glycemic)
  • Processed foods

Not Just About Diet

A cholesterol diet isn’t just about the foods a person eats. Stress can also play a major role in preventing heart disease and improving health. Learning how to handle stress constructivly can lead to better heart health.

Also adequate exercise is a necessary part of the cholesterol diet. Dieters should get at least 30 minutes a day.


 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
  • Soumick Ghosh

    I am an Indian National from West Bengal. I have High Triglycerides which counts above 350 as per the last test report but my cholesterol level and sugar level are normal. As I am Bengali , I consume fish, hence, pls suggest me a regular diet which will reduce my TG & LDL level.

  • Atul lunar

    Hi my chelostrol is very high plz suggest me the dight

    • Kooky Kehrberger

      I like your comments, my chelostrol is very hi could you give me some eating tips. Thank you .

  • Darin Woods

    Why did I have a stroke of Oct. 1, 2010. I want to now?? I need to now??

  • prince bathla

    i am suffring with high cholesterol 201 triglycerides 386 drct hdl 27 vldl 77.2 ldl chstrol 96.8 total chrol hdl ratio 7.444 ldl hdl ratio 3.585 bp 170/120 160/110 140/100 140/90 my age 31 i want to eat sweets n chiken n fish ………..plz tell my diet ……………

  • Praha

    My bp is 120/70 and my LDL cholestrol is224.5 and hdl is 54.6 suggest me a proper diet chart

  • Prem Chand

    I have high LDL + total cholesterol. Can I have diet chart for remedy. REgards

  • abera

    i had bp 170/100 last5 month but now my bp is 120/80,1300/90,110/70 and sometimes it becoms 120/90.
    i feel heart pain,headach and pain at my back.what should i do for this case?

  • Ankur

    Hi ,

    my LDl cholesterol- is 129, Total -207 HDl -40, .I am a non-vegitarian ,please send me a diet chart that fits to my blood biochemistry.Thanks

  • Dr Biswajit basu

    my LDl cholesterol- is 138, Total -210 HDl -40, VLDL -32 ,Uric acid 7.9 .I am a non-vegitarian ,please send me a diet chart that fits to my blood biochemistry.Thanks
    Dr. Biswajit basu

    • Melissa

      I have those bad parents too and grtarpadenns etc all of them gave me the high cholesterol. I work out and eat fairly healthy but the number didn’t come down without the lipator. I figure, 2 grandfathers died of heart attacks in their 50’s, grandmothers and mom have all had strokes that I will take my chances with the lipator. I was switch to a statin because of the cost of lipator and had such horrible muscle pains I couldn’t walk must less run! Went back to the lipator.

  • Dee Hart

    I have slightly high chlosterol and my husband is higher. He is on 3 medication now, I do not take any for meds for this. Can you send me a diet that we can both follow. Our ages are 65 and 69 years. Thanks in advance

    • ted

      We don’t have diets to send, but there’s one linked to above in the review.

  • Girish Kamothi


  • Marianne Stroud

    this can help me,thanks

  • andrea row

    MY mother has a slight cholestyrol problem. She is 73 yrs old and very active. Pl suggest a suitable non veg diet for her. Any other suggestions are also welcme.

  • Peter

    lowing my cholesterol

  • sandhya

    useful information

  • marina fernandes

    Please let me know the diet I should have everyday as when checked myself, had known that I have cholesterol, can you please suggest the best diet for me???? waiting for your response.

    Thanks a ton.

  • dharmesh punjani

    i have a heigh Cholesterol can i drink bear please suggest and send me a very good diet plan
    my age is 59year old and i have 240 cholestrol and i am vegiterian

  • sadiyya

    hi, i have an unt, she is bout 70yrs old and indian, she has recently been diagnosed with cholesterol, i would like to know what she can and cannot eat as indian people eat alot of butter and curries and well unhealthy stuff. she complains that she is always hungry and does not know what to make for hr to eat and in the end she eats all the wrong things.

  • Raj Ghorela

    Take alwayas low cholesterol dites and compelsery morning walk about 5 kilometers daily With light exircise.

  • jack

    take cereal all bran and it’s so good i mixt it with fruits strawberry or blueberry…wow

  • AMIT

    eat regular garlic

  • nisar

    pls recomend a indian low cholestrol and protein diet

  • Holland

    Your site is very informational for me. I learned way more from your site than I did from my own doctor. Thank you!


  • ginnunggap


    Some cholesterol is converted into bile acids to aid in lipid digestion. A good deal of the bile is recycled, a small amount is excreted in stool. This is, really, the ONLY way we get rid of cholesterol (we don’t metabolize it for energy, we just shuffle it around in various other forms, like cell components or hormones). However, by consuming a high fiber diet, frequent bulky bowel movements will reduce some of the bile recycling, thereby increasing elimination. Increase output and decrease input and your cholesterol level drops.

  • just a nurse

    i would not suggest that anyone use laxatives on a regular basis without “need”. the body will adjust and one could become dependent on the medicine and cause other gi problems.

  • Anonymous

    by not going to the bathroom every day makes your cholesterol go up ?? and why

  • Just-Fit Guy

    Laxative 3 times a day!!!! whoooo!!! I hope that toilet holds up well. Overall the info on HDL vs LDL is accurate. I dont agree with this type of diet. I recommend a diet filled Omega-3 and 6, a glass of wine and exercise to increase HDL (good cholesterol.

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