Cholesterol is a part of the diet and something that is
needed, but you have to make sure that you are getting the right kinds and that
the "bad" kind remains a very limited part of your diet. High
cholesterol may lead to a variety of serious health problems, so it is
important to maintain a healthy balance of cholesterol levels. Knowing which
foods are low in cholesterol is one way to modify your diet so that it becomes
Daily Cholesterol Intake
Technically, you do not need to take in any extra dietary
cholesterol each day because cholesterol is manufactured by your liver. This
organ makes about 80 percent of the cholesterol necessary to keep your body
going. This is enough to maintain the body processes that use cholesterol. Now,
it is difficult to eat a diet completely free of cholesterol, so the general
guideline is to not exceed more than 200 milligrams each day of cholesterol
from food sources. 200 may sound like a lot, but it really is not. For example,
the average egg (the yolk) contains more than 200 milligrams of cholesterol, so
eating just one egg with yolk would put you over your limit. This means that
you have to know what you're eating and the food's cholesterol content to stay
on the safe side of cholesterol.
Low-Cholesterol Food Choices
A great way to keep your "bad" cholesterol levels
in check is to go for "good" cholesterols found in healthy unsaturated
fats. Seeds, olive oil, nuts (especially pistachios and walnuts), avocado and
fish (especially salmon) are excellent choices in this category.
You probably think that animal meats are going to be a
complete no-no on a low-cholesterol diet, but this is not true. You can still
go for moderate portions of lean turkey and chicken. Just be sure to trim off
the fat before eating.
Fruits and vegetables are also safe. You can pretty much eat
as many of these as you would like. In addition to being low in cholesterol,
they are also packed with other essential nutrients.
Now, if you adamant about eggs, you can still have them.
However, if you are following a strict low-cholesterol diet, you will have to
skip the yolk. The yolk is what contains most of the cholesterol. Egg whites
can be used just like an egg with a yolk in it, though, to make great omelets,
sandwiches, scrambles and just about everything else, except sunnyside-up eggs.