If you want to lose weight and get fit, you have to be strict about the kinds of food that you eat. You should get rid of those that are high in cholesterol, fat, and sugar because they are only going to impede your progress. Instead, you should eat meals that are abundant in protein, phytosterols, soluble fiber, and unsaturated fats. That way, your heart is protected against various illnesses and complications, and you can live a happy and satisfying life for a long time.

On your next trip to the supermarket, make sure to pick up the following low cholesterol foods so that you can begin your health and fitness journey on a good note:

  1. Whole grains

Whole grains contain higher amounts of fiber in comparison to other grains, so they are the preferred option for a low cholesterol diet. The more fiber you eat, the better your digestive system performs. You can say goodbye to constipation, and you no longer have to deal with irregular bowel movement too. And, because fiber also has the ability to slow down the rate of absorption of sugar by your body, it helps keep the glucose levels in your bloodstream from increasing abruptly.

Among all the most easily available whole grain foods, oatmeal is probably the most commonly consumed. Every morning, you can prepare a bowl of oatmeal to fuel your body for a long and busy day ahead. Other good examples of whole grain foods to ensure that your heart remains in good condition are barley, quinoa, and bulgur.

  1. Fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are among the best low cholesterol foods around. They are loaded with nutrients that provide the different parts of your body the fuel that they need to function well. In addition to that, they contain high levels of phytosterols and fiber, which are two compounds that help manage your body’s low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or LDL cholesterol, levels.

Some of the best fruits to introduce to your new low cholesterol diet are orange, grapefruit, kiwi, apples, plums, avocados, grapes, and pears; and examples of nutritious veggies to complete your menu are carrots, celery, beets, kale, lettuce, and spinach.

  1. Nuts

Nuts are a great snack to munch on while you are watching a movie, reading, or studying. They are also quite effective in suppressing hunger sensations, especially if you are on a strict diet plan. They can be eaten in between meals, or used as an ingredient to prepare other dishes. Because they are a great source of omega-3 fats, they can positively impact your lipid levels. And, thanks to their high fiber and nutritional content, they can promote smoother digestion and excretion, and boost your bodily organ’s efficiency.

As long as you consume nuts in moderation, you should be able to lower your cholesterol levels. Some good nuts to try are pistachios, almonds, pecans, and walnuts, which you can add to salads, pastries, soups, and more.

  1. Fish

Fish are a very heart-friendly food. They are not only low in cholesterol, but are also low in carbohydrates and fats. Moreover, they contain high levels of protein, so they are a popular option among the health conscious. With their abundance of omega-3 fats, they can reduce your body’s triglyceride levels, warding off the dangers of hypertension, heart attack, and other cardiovascular complications.

Tuna, herring, and salmon are three healthy fish choices that you can add to your diet to help you reach your goals. They are best prepared grilled and baked to minimize the calories. They can also be sautéed lightly in olive oil. However, they should not be fried as frying only increases the calorie count and fat content of your meal.

  1. Lean meats

Lean meats are necessary to provide your body the proteins that it needs to build muscles, grow cells and tissues, and do other functions, without ruining your commitment to lowering your cholesterol levels. Compared to other proteins, they do not contain as much calories and fats. They have been carefully cut to remove the visible fats and other unhealthy portions.

Some good quality sources of lean proteins are turkey and chicken. At the grocery store, you have to select cuts that are free of the fatty stuff. Or, once you get home, you do it yourself and get rid of the fatty sections.  And, when cooking, it is best to stick to healthy cooking methods like roasting, broiling, and grilling. If you fry the meat, you are only introducing additional calories and other unnecessary substances to your dish.

  1. Legumes

Legumes, just like lean meat, contain high amounts of proteins and are low in fats. They are a smart addition to any low cholesterol diet because of their ability to keep your body’s lipid levels in check. In addition to that, they are filled with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that supply your brain, heart, liver, and other body parts the sustenance necessary for their proper functioning.

Beans, chickpeas, and lentils are three good examples of legumes. They can be munched on as snacks, in between your regular meals, or added to your dishes to enhance their flavors. They are quite versatile, so do not hesitate to make good use of them if preparing salads, soups, entrees, dips, or sides. Just remember to avoid adding extra ingredients, like those with high fat or sugar content, to not increase the calorie and lipid levels.

  1. Green tea

Green tea is a popular drink in many countries around the world. It is typically served alongside meals and snacks. It contains high amount of catechins, which is a type of antioxidant that helps manage the cholesterol levels in your body and protects against high blood pressure. In addition to that, it contains elements that boost memory, cognitive performance, and brain function, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and cancer.

Everyday, you can drink a cup of hot green tea as you enjoy your low cholesterol meals and snacks. You can also use it as an ingredient to make baked goods, salad dressing, smoothies, and others.