A diet to lower cholesterol need not deprive your taste buds!
Patients with high cholesterol are now more common than those with good cholesterol readings. We are constantly enjoined by our physicians to monitor our cholesterol readings, with good reason. High cholesterol levels of the bad sort and low cholesterol levels of the good type lead to artery blockages and heart attacks.
Our dietary habits play a big role in keeping bad cholesterol levels under control. In addition to medications which reduce cholesterol, a proper diet to lower cholesterol levels is essential. It can be discouraging to be on constant alert with what we can and cannot eat. We may regard a strict diet as depriving us of the normal enjoyment of eating. This need not be the case. You can enjoy your food, perhaps more than before you got the bad news, with a diet to lower cholesterol.
People of the Mediterranean regions seldom suffer from high cholesterol. You may well ask why. The secret to their good heart health lies in the consumption of heart healthy foods. Olive oil has no cholesterol and is a mainstay in the fats consumed. Fish, with a high content of the antioxidant Omega-3 fatty acids, also contribute to lowered cholesterol levels.
Fresh garlic is included in the tasty Mediterranean diet in copious amounts. Entrees, salads and whole grain breads slathered with garlic and fresh produce play a major role in a diet to lower cholesterol. Bruschetta, an Italian favorite, is often composed of a garlic, olive and diced tomato mixture spread on the bread. It is a fact that garlic, given a prominent place in the diet to lower cholesterol, is as effective as pharmaceutical medications in reducing bad cholesterol. Some studies have shown garlic to be even more effective than the pharmaceuticals!
If you must adhere to a diet to lower cholesterol, the Mediterranean menus are certainly no punishment to your palate. The proof in this pudding is that Mediterranean populations rarely have high cholesterol levels and the death rate from heart attack is one of the lowest in the world.
Would you ever imagine that pizza would be an excellent addition to a diet to lower cholesterol? Unlikely, if you are eating a pizza prepared in the American way. A Mediterranean pizza is prepared with olive oil and much lesser amounts of the fatty meats we use. Olives are frequent additions to the Mediterranean style pizza, as are fresh tomatoes and low fat fresh mozzarella cheese.
The Mediterranean diet uses small amounts of fatty meats, instead favoring lean meats such as pancetta and lamb. Meats are used judiciously, more as flavoring than bulk. Pasta dishes emphasize the pasta, drizzled with olive oil and small amounts of meat, vegetables and seasonings for sensational taste appeal.
If you must adhere to a diet to lower cholesterol, take a page from the normal Mediterranean diet and get healthy!
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