Kitchen Makeover for a Low Cholesterol Diet

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Let’s say you’ve decided to get serious about reducing your cholesterol. You’ve committed to exercising more regularly, losing some weight, and starting a low cholesterol diet in several ways. First, the grains themselves have no cholesterol or saturated fat. Second, oatmeal has lots of soluble fiber, which actually helps bind cholesterol and get it out of your body. Whole grains also have nutrients that help the heart (as well as the rest of your body) and, as complex carbohydrates, provide long-lasting energy to keep you going through the day.

The fiber in whole grains can keep you feeling full longer, too. That can help you avoid bingeing on unhealthy foods. It can also help keep your total calorie consumption down, a key factor in controlling weight.

Low Cholesterol Diet Tip 5: Hide the Remaining Goodies Well.

Sure, you can put the packaged chocolate chip cookies for your kids on a high shelf in the kitchen. But if you can put them up there, it’s probably pretty easy to get them down again.

Consider making not-so-healthy food even less accessible. Try storing it on a shelf in the garage, in the recesses of your freezer, or behind the pots and pans.

”The idea is that if it’s harder to get to it, you’ll be that much less likely to eat it,” says Christine Gerbstadt, MD, a registered dietician and practicing physician at Altoona Regional Medical Center in central Pennsylvania.

Low Cholesterol Diet Tip 6: Bring on the Fruits and Vegetables.

Clean the leftovers out of the vegetable bins, and stock up on a variety of fruits and vegetables, in all colors of the rainbow. Fruits and vegetables are rich in soluble fiber, as well as phytochemicals, which have been shown to help .

Low Cholesterol Diet Tip 7: Make Healthy Foods Accessible.

Wash and chop fruits and vegetables and store them in plastic containers in the refrigerator, so you can grab them whenever you’re hungry. You can also put out bowls or baskets of fruits (such as apples, pears, and plums) for easy access.

”If you make it easier to eat, you’ll eat it,” Gerbstadt says. ”No one wants to pull a melon out of the refrigerator and cut it up. So just do it ahead of time.”

Low Cholesterol Diet Tip 8: Get a Few Good Tools.

Having nonstick frying pans allows you to cook with less butter and oil. Buying your own oil pump allows you to make ”cooking spray” from the oil of your choice. Good knives (that is, sharp ones) make chopping easier. A steamer lets you to cook vegetables without oil, while still keeping them crisp.

Low Cholesterol Diet Tip 9: Keep a Friendly Kitchen.

If your cooking space is clean, well-organized, and attractive, you’re more likely to want to be in the kitchen — and out of the fast food drive-in lane or the snack aisle at the grocery store.

Keep your herbs and spices fresh and alphabetically organized, so you can easily flavor your food without resorting to high-fat sauces. Keep your plastic containers organized so you can easily store healthy snacks in the refrigerator.

And keep your kitchen and dining room tables cleared of clutter, so family members can sit down and enjoy a real meal together, rather than snacking from cabinets or the fridge.