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5 Golden Rules Of The Low Cholesterol Diet Plan

5 Golden Rules Of The Low Cholesterol Diet Plan

These days with the abundance of high saturated fat foods in our food supply, I don’t think it’s an understatement to say everyone knows someone with high cholesterol. Just to clarify, cholesterol in itself is not bad. In fact, we do need cholesterol especially good cholesterol (HDL) for our bodies to function well and stay healthy. It is the excess of bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides (TG) that causes you to be a risk of heart disease. The aim of a low cholesterol diet plan is to reduce the LDL and TG and to maintain healthy levels of HDL. All you need is really a few minor changes easy dietary changes to achieve that.

Rule #1 : Go Lean On Saturated Fat

Saturated fat is bad fat that increases the LDL (think bad cholesterol). It is found mainly in fatty cuts of meat, full cream dairy and butter. I know these are the stuff that makes our food taste yummy, so what is so bad about them?

80% of the cholesterol in our body is produced by our own liver. And what does the liver use to produce cholesterol? The answer is saturated fat.  All you need to do is to reduce your saturated fat intake by 50% and you will be surprised that how much your cholesterol will improve. Here are 10 simple ways to cut down your saturated fat intake:

  • Always opt for leaner cuts of meat e.g. tenderloin
  • Trim of all visible fat and skin from meat/poultry before cooking
  • Consume more white meat and less dark meat
  • Limit the intake of red meat to not more than 3 times per week
  • Replace full-cream dairy with low-fat, skim and reduced-fat milk and dairy products
  • Use a vegetable spread e.g. canola spread in replacement of butter
  • Limit intake of fried foods to once a week
  • Make your own minced meat using lean cuts of steak instead of pre-prepared minced
  • Always go for fresh meat, avoid processed meat products that doesn’t bear a resemblance to real meat e.g. pepperoni
  • Choose vinaigrette-based and fat-free salad dressings over creamy dressings

Rule # 2 Incorporate Good Fats Into Your Low Cholesterol Diet Plan

healthy-fatsSmall amounts of good fats can in fact help to lower your LDL and TG levels and maximize your cardiovascular well-being. Do note the keyword is ‘small amounts’, don’t start going crazy over your olive oil and add it to your food like water.

There are 2 main categories of good fats:

Monounsaturated fats:  Found mainly in olive oil, canola oil and avocados

Polyunsaturated fats:  Found mainly in oily fish, sunflower oil, corn oil, nuts and seeds

To incorporate more good fats into your diet, try the following:

  • Use a unsaturated cooking oil. Olive oil and canola oil are good choices
  • Enjoy a small handful of raw nuts (6-8 nuts) as a snack
  • Have a serving of oily fish 2-3 times a week and taking a daily omega-3 supplement can also very useful  especially if you have elevated LDL and TG
  • Use a nut spread e.g.  almond spread, sesame spread for your toast, pasta and salads in replacement of butter
  • Flavor your cereals and salads with a hearty dose of flaxseed, sunflower and pumpkin seeds

Rule #3 Avoid Trans Fat At Much As Possible

Trans fat are oils that have been industrially modified to improve the texture and mouth feel of processed foods. At high temperatures of cooking especially frying, the frying oil can also be converted to trans fat. The danger of trans fat is that it will raise the bad stuff and lower the good stuff  in your body i.e. increases LDL and TG and decreases HDL.

As you may already gather, trans fat is basically found in many processed foods and foods that have been deep fried at high temperatures. Traditionally, the old method of manufacturing margarine also results in a high trans fat content.  These days, many food manufacturers have taken an effort to make their food trans fat free or at least minimize the amount present.

Pay close attention to food labels especially the ingredients list when you are doing your grocery shopping. Anything that contains ‘partially hydrogenated oils, hydrogenated oils and vegetable shortening’ means that the product contains trans fat. Of course it will be ridiculous for me to say that you have to cut out trans fat completely, that will be impossible. However, do make a conscious effort to choose foods that are trans fat free or at least low in trans fat (< 1g per serving).

Rule #4 Fiber, Fiber And Fiber

get-more-fibreDietary fiber does wonders to our body. It helps to promote bowel health, regulate our blood sugars, maintain a healthy weight and it even helps to lower our cholesterol levels.  There are 2 types of fiber: soluble and insoluble.

Insoluble fiber is found mainly in whole grains and vegetables. It helps to improve bowel movement by adding bulk to the stools. By doing so, it also increases the body’s discharge of bile salt and bile juice which are excreted along side with the stools. The body uses cholesterol to produce bile salts and bile juices. So essentially, insoluble fiber helps to increase the body’s usage and metabolism of cholesterol.

Soluble fiber is found primarily in oats, lentils, seeds, nuts and fruits.  It binds the dietary cholesterol in the gut and interferes with the cholesterol absorption process. You can reduce your absorption of cholesterol by up to 20% just by having a soluble fiber rich meal.

Rule #5 Limit Intake Of Cholesterol- Rich Foods

Although the primary focus is to reduce your saturated fat intake, there are some foods that are naturally high in dietary cholesterol which also increases LDL when consumed in excess.  Foods rich in dietary cholesterol include egg yolks, seafood, crustaceans roe and offal.  Do limit your intake of cholesterol-rich foods to not more than once biweekly. For egg yolks, limiting to 3 per week is recommended.

Low Is Gold

Remember that high cholesterol is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease as well as diabetes. It can be treated and is certainly preventable. Start by giving your diet a cleanup with my 5 golden rules of the low cholesterol diet plan. Your cholesterol levels will improve and you will probably lose a few inches off your waistline too!

Post Gastric Bypass Diet: A New Way Of Eating

Post Gastric Bypass Diet: A New Way Of Eating

A gastric bypass diet is specifically designed for people who are recovering from gastric bypass surgery to help them heal and improve their eating habits. Gastric bypass is basically surgical procedure used to reroute the digestive system and shrinking the size of the stomach.

This operation is recommended for treatment of morbid obesity (BMI >40). A gastric bypass surgery typically achieves dramatic weight loss in the initial stage, however the efficacy of this procedure can be greatly reduced if one does not follow a sound post gastric bypass diet.

It is crucial to follow a  gastric bypass diet to ensure:

  • Your stomach heals well and does not get stretched by excessive food intake
  • To get used to eating lesser foods and promote proper digestion post surgery
  • To maximise weight reduction and prevent weight gain
  • To reduce the risk of nutritional deficiencies, side effects and post surgery complication.

If you are considering a bypass or have already set the appointment to do a bypass surgery, here is a preview of how your way of eating and diet needs to change after the procedure. First you need to know that your stomach will be reduced to 10% of its original size. Also, the way food is being handled and digested will change. Overall, you will eat less food and your body does absorb lesser calories from food you have eaten.

 The Basics Of The Gastric Bypass Diet

  1. Ensure adequate fluids (6-8 glasses daily)
  •  Take small sips of fluid throughout the day
  •  Avoid fluids within 30-60 minutes of a meal
  •  Do not use a straw (increases air flow into the stomach causing distension)
  • Only calorie-free fluids are allowed e.g. water, herbal teas
  1. Avoid high calorie high sugar foods and beverages e.g. cakes and soft drinks
  2. A multivitamin and calcium (citrate form) supplement is recommended due to the decrease absorption of nutrients post gastric bypass. An additional B12 and iron supplement may also be needed.
  3. Eat and chew slowly. Food needs to be chewed to a very fine consistency before slowing to reduce the risk of intestinal blockage and obstruction.
  4. Eat 5-6 small meals instead of 3 heavy meals. Pay attention to your satiety cues, stop eating when you are full.

Signs of fullness are:

  1. a) a feeling of pressure in the center just below your rib cage
  2. b) nausea
  3. c) a pain or tightness in chest
  4. Always consume the protein component of your meal first to ensure you are achieving adequate intake of protein. If you are unable to eat a large serving of protein due to the feeling of fullness, try to incorporate 1-2 high protein snacks into your diet once you are allowed to be on solid foods.
  5. The gastric bypass diet will progress in phases from liquids to semi-solids and eventually full solids.

Phase 1: Clear liquids diet (immediately post surgery)

water-benefitsIn the first 3-4 days after your surgery, only clear liquids are allowed.

This includes:

  • Clear broths
  • Water
  • Herbal tea (no sugar)
  • Unsweetened fruit juices ( no red or brown juices to minimize possibility of undetected  post surgical bleeding)

Phase 2: Full liquid diet (1-2 weeks post surgery)

1-2 weeks after your procedure, your gastric bypass diet allows you to consume low-sugar full fluids. Full fluids includes:

  • Milk and Milkshakes (no added sugar)
  • Cream soups
  • Custards and yogurts (sugar free varieties)
  • Unsweetened smoothies

At this stage, digestive discomfort may occur.  Avoid high sugar fluids as this may provoke the ‘dumping syndrome’ which is classified as rapid movement of contents from the stomach into the intestine.  This causes severe diarrhea and malabsorption as the intestinal contents do not stay long enough your gut to be digested.

Phase 3: Puree diet (2 weeks post surgery)

This is the first step to introducing solids back into your gastric bypass diet. A puree diet can comprise of easily digestible foods such as potatoes, rice, oats, minced meat, vegetables (without stalk) and fruits (flesh only). Do incorporate high protein foods into the meals. Again stick to low sugar principle.

It is essential that you pay close attention to signs of fullness. The point of the surgery is to reduce your stomach capacity to contain food as a regulatory mechanism to control your food intake.

Eating to a point of being uncomfortably full will distend your stomach.  You also risk vomiting and various post surgical complications.

Phase 4: Soft diet (3 weeks post post surgery)

3 weeks into your gastric bypass diet depending on your tolerance to puree foods, you can progress to a soft food diet. Basically, foods that are soft enough consistency are those that can be easily mashed with a spoon. . Foods allowed include:

  • Soft fully ripen fruits (no skin and seeds)
  • Ground meat, tofu and baked beans
  • Cooked vegetables (leaves only)
  • Pasta,  rice, cous cous and oats (Avoid whole grains and multi-grain at this stage as they are difficult to digest)

Phase 5: Regular diet (after 1-2 months)

In the last phase of your gastric bypass diet, you can gradually resume solid foods.  Some individuals may not tolerate spicy and crunchy foods. The key is to experiment with small amounts of regular foods to gauge your tolerance level.

Foods To Avoid For A Gastric Bypass Diet

  • Dried fruits
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Popcorn
  • Carbonated beverages and alcohol
  • Granola
  • Stringy or fibrous vegetables, such as celery, broccoli, corn or cabbage
  • Tough meats with gristle

These foods are not very well tolerated months after surgery. However you can with time re-introduce some of these foods into your diet under the supervision of the dietitian.

Sample Meal Plan Of A Gastric Bypass Diet (Phase V)

Breakfast

  • 1/3 medium banana
  • 1 soft poached egg
  • 1 slice of white toast

Morning snack

  • 1 cup of non fat no added sugar yoghurt

Lunch

  • 2 ounces of steamed chicken breast
  • 1/4 cup mashed peas
  • Garden salad, no dressing

Afternoon snack

  • 1 cup of mixed fruit cocktail, packed in water

Dinner

  • 1/3 cup cooked pasta with tomato sauce and minced meat
  • 1/2 cup cooked green beans

Evening snack

  • 2 pieces saltine crackers with hummus dip

* And remember to sip water and no-calorie beverages throughout the day

Gastric bypass is a life changing decision. It can and will result in long term weight reduction. The success greatly depends on your dietary habits.  If you do return to unhealthy eating habits and overeat after weight-loss surgery, you may not lose all of your excess weight, or you eventually regain any weight that you have lost. So be compliant with the  gastric bypass diet, exercise regularly and you will be living a lighter and healthier life.

Tips for Planning a Quick Weight Loss Diet

Tips for Planning a Quick Weight Loss Diet

To ensure compliance to any weight loss diet, be sure that the food choices and the menus are simple and easy to follow. Likewise, healthy foods must be available within the locality and are affordable. An easy to follow and efficient meal plan can either be personally developed or can be patterned from the guidelines provided by the weight loss plan agency online.

In making your own diet plan consider the following guidelines:

Make it a habit to make a weekly meal plan so you will be able to check how many calories you will consume each day. It will also give you the chance to create different menus from healthy food groups to avoid getting tired of the same taste each time you eat which may induce food cravings.

Keep in mind that the average daily calorie requirement for men is 2700 calories and 2000 for women. Extra calories consumed will be deposited in the body and will increase body weight. Select foods which are low in cholesterol and fats such as whole wheat, brown rice, soda crackers, low-fat animal crackers and so on. Plan to cook foods by steam or grill. Limit dairy products and red meats.

Include in your meal plan fresh fruits and vegetables. They are good sources of vitamins and minerals that are needed by the body.

Go for natural and fresh foods and say no to canned and processed foods. Schedule youer meals into 5 different timings. Breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack and dinner. Avoid evening snacks to prevent weight gain.

Always remember that water is the healthiest drink. Consume 8-10 glasses of water each day. Avoid drinks with cola and alcohol.

Do some online research about the nutritional contents of the foods to further guide you in making your meal plan.

Lastly, keep in mind that in order to attain the target weight, one must have self-discipline and strong determination.

After having read the guidelines, sit down and make your own diet plan and enjoy the results after a few weeks.

Or if you prefer to choose from an online diet plan to help you more in planning your meals, check for the following criteria:

  1. The plan must be developed by a registered nutritionist or doctor specializing in health promotion and wellness.
  2. Make sure that the diet plan has passed the test of time. Look for testimonies claiming that the diet plan is efficient and effective.
  3. Check if you have online access in case you need to clarify things about your diet plan and other weight loss related activities. Also check if they are offering continuous support after you have completed the whole weight loss plan. Returning to your normal diet is the crucial period hence you you need additional support to maintain your weight.

Examples of the easy to follow online weight loss plan:

MyPyramid Plan

This diet plan is developed and introduced by United States Department of Agriculture or USDA many years ago. MyPyramid helps clients develop a meal plan depending on their goal. No pills and no food restriction. However, this plan requires dieters to choose food from pyramid levels such as protein, grains, fruits, vegetables and dairy. To access their menu planner and tools you should sign up in their website as a member.

The 17 Day Diet

17-day-dietThis diet plan was initially formulated by Dr. Moreno for the purpose of losing extra weight and preventing weight gain during holidays. Yet this diet may be used anytime according to individual preference.

The 17 Day Diet is composed of four Cycles. The first stage is the Accelerate Phase. This phase is the period for sudden decrease in carbohydrates intake to facilitate fat burning and significant weight loss. The second phase is the Activate. This stage entails carbohydrate cycling to reset body’s metabolism thereby preventing weight stagnation. Achieve Phase is the third stage. This marks the reintroduction of formerly restricted foods but his time you will have to focus on healthy balanced eating habits. And finally the Arrive Phase. This is the weight maintenance phase. On week days you must have self-discipline in sticking to the required diet meals and on weekends you can feast on your favorite foods.

Suggestions

To further enhance the effect of your weight loss diet, you need to indulge in physical activities. Always remember that having a healthy diet and exercising are good partners in weight loss management. You may either do outdoor exercises like walking, running, jogging and bicycling or indoor exercises such as treadmill running, stationary bicycling, aerobics, etc.

To summarize, I believe that most dieters will be able to finish the whole course of a dietary regime when it is made simple and easy to follow and when the result is quickly visible. Additionally, dieters will become consistent in performing exercise when they will find the type of exercise that is comfortable to them.