Diet for cholesterol management

Hyperlipidaemia means blood has more lipids (fats), such as cholesterol and triglycerides. In hypercholesterolemia, type of hyperlipidaemia, blood has too much non-HDL cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. This condition increases fatty deposits in arteries and the risk of blockages. Another way your cholesterol level can be out of balance is when HDL (good) cholesterol level is low. With less HDL, which removes cholesterol from your arteries, risk of atherosclerotic plaque and blockages increases.


Classification of Lipid Concentrations

  • Total cholesterol: 

Total cholesterol concentrations below 200 mg/dL are desirable. A borderline high concentration is 200 to 239 mg/dL, and hypercholesterolemia is defined as greater than 240 mg/dL. 

  • Triglyceride: 

Normal triglyceride concentration is less than 150 mg/dL. Borderline is 150 to 199 mg/dL, and high is 200 to 499 mg/dL. 

  • HDL cholesterol: 

HDL concentration below 40 mg/dL is considered a major risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD).

  • LDL cholesterol: 

LDL cholesterol concentrations below 100 mg/dL are considered optimal. A range of 100 to 129 mg/dL is near optimal. Borderline is 130 to 159 mg/dL. High is 160 to 189 mg/dL. 

Lifestyle changes help bring numbers into control, if these measures don’t improve cholesterol levels, medication may be prescribed. 

Lifestyle changes include:

  • reduce your intake of saturated fat and trans-fat.
  • Limit fried food and cook food with healthy oils.
  • Eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, poultry, fish, nuts and limit red and processed meats, sodium and sugar-sweetened foods and beverages.
  • Pay more attention to food labels to know fats, salt and sugar.
  • Become physically more active.
  • Quit smoking
  • Lose weight if overweight or obese
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RD Smita Nanda
Nutrition Consultant
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