Dates and Low-Cholesterol Diets


Diet Description

A low-cholesterol diet aims to decrease cholesterol levels in the blood. This is done through a balanced diet. It must focus on reducing consumption of unhealthy fats. We also recommend increasing your intake of foods with fiber and healthy fats in the diet.

Diet Purpose​

Cholesterol is a fat-like substance. It is made and used throughout the body to maintain its normal functions. There are two types of cholesterol. The first is your low-density lipoprotein (LDL), known as “bad cholesterol.” The second is the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) known as “good cholesterol.” High levels of LDL can lead to a buildup of cholesterol, called plaque, in the arteries. This may decrease blood flow. Over time, excess plaque can lead to various health issues. It can also increase your risk of heart attack, atherosclerosis, and stroke. A low-cholesterol diet can help reduce plaque. It will also help prevent these health problems.

Dates in a Low-Cholesterol Diet

Dates are heart-healthy fruit. They do not have any cholesterol or fat. Dates make a great fit in a low-cholesterol diet because they contain dietary fiber. This contributes to lowering cholesterol.

What to Eat

There are many foods that can help lower cholesterol. This includes whole grains, legumes, nuts, fruits, and vegetables. Plant-based foods are naturally cholesterol-free because they contain mostly unsaturated fats. We recommend avoiding processed foods and other sources of unhealthy fats. You can replace them with plant-based foods and sources of fiber instead. By doing so, you may be able to lower your cholesterol. These foods are beneficial in lowering cholesterol because they contain dietary fiber. They also have healthy fats and plant sterols. These all naturally help lower cholesterol in the body.

Oily fish makes a good protein option for a low-cholesterol diet. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are a source of healthy fats. You may also choose lean protein sources while following a low-cholesterol diet. This includes lean cuts of meat, fish, skinless poultry, and low-fat dairy. Additionally, tofu, beans, nuts, and seeds are some plant-based protein sources. You can also incorporate them into your diet.

You may have adequate nutrition information. However, it may still be hard to figure out what to eat. Navigating the grocery store can be tough. This is especially true when you are making a transition to any diet. Creating a list of low-cholesterol foods can be effective and efficient. It will surely help you stay on track. Here’s a list of easy, low-cholesterol swaps:

INSTEAD OF: TRY:
Full-fat dairy products
Reduced-fat dairy products or plant-based varieties
Fatty cuts of meat (beef and pork)
Lean cuts of meat, substitute fish, poultry (without skin), or plant-based proteins
Butter, hydrogenated oils, coconut oil
Liquid vegetable oils (olive oil, avocado oil)
Packaged snack foods
Fruits (such as dates) and vegetables, trail mix, air-popped popcorn, hummus

What to Avoid

Foods that have unhealthy saturated and trans fats should be minimized in the diet. This includes processed foods and fatty cuts of meat. We also recommend avoiding fried foods and full-fat dairy products. Reading the nutrition facts label on packaged foods is a good idea. It will help you find out which foods contain high amounts of cholesterol, saturated fats, and trans fats. Restaurant foods and take-out are usually higher in unhealthy fats. Therefore, we recommend cooking at home instead. If that is too hard, you can also search for a restaurant’s nutrition facts before ordering.

Conclusion

A low cholesterol diet helps reduce LDL levels. It also helps prevent plaque formation in the blood. This can lead to further health issues. This diet includes a variety of fiber-rich foods and healthy fats. We recommend reducing your intake of foods that contain large amounts of cholesterol and unhealthy fats. Consuming more plant-based foods like dates naturally lowers your cholesterol. It will also contribute to an overall healthy lifestyle.

Written by:

Kayla Farrell, RDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Reviewed by:
Registered Dietitian
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