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Diet to Lower Cholesterol

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If your total cholesterol level is between 200-239 md/dl and if you have no other risk factors (eg. family history of coronary heart disease before the age of 55, elevated blood pressure, tobacco smoking, diabetes, vascular disease, obesity, male gender), you should follow a cholesterol-lowering diet to normalize your level and thereby reduce your risk of atherosclerosis. If your cholesterol level is higher or lower, be advised by your doctor as to what type of cholesterol-reducing eating plan is best for you.



1800-Calorie Diet to Lower Cholesterol


Food Groups
No of Daily Servings
Serving Portion Size
Quantity equivalents for each food group
3 servings
(1.5 cups)
More is better
Fruits - 1 cup chopped raw or cooked fruit, 1 cup fruit juice.
Vegetables Dark green vegetable.
Orange vegetable.
Starchy vegetable.
Other vegetables.
5 servings
(2.5 cups)
More is better 3 cups/wk
2 c/wk
3 c/wk
3 c/wk
6.5 c/wk
Vegetables - 1 cup chopped raw or cooked vegetable, 1 cup vegetable juice, 2 cups leafy salad greens.
Grains Whole grains
Other grains
6 oz 4 oz
2 oz
Grains - These each count as 1 ounce-equivalent (1 serving) of grains: half cup cooked rice, pasta, or cooked cereal; 1 ounce dry pasta or rice; 1 slice bread; 1 small muffin (1 oz); 1 cup ready-to-eat cereal flakes.
Ultra Lean Meat, Chicken or Turkey fillet, White Fish, Beans, Nuts
Include vegetarian-protein options within your weekly eating plan
5 oz
Meat and beans - These each count as 1 ounce-equivalent: 1 ounce lean meat, poultry, or fish; 1 egg; quarter cup cooked dry beans or tofu; 1 Tbsp peanut butter; half ounce nuts or seeds. Trim all meats of skin and visible fat before cooking.
Dairy (Fat-Free)
3 cups
Milk - These each count as 1 cup (1 serving) of milk: 1 cup milk or yogurt, 1.5 ounces natural cheese such as reduced-fat Cheddar cheese or 2 ounces reduced-fat processed cheese.
Oils and Fats
Representing the amounts that are added to foods during processing, meal-preparation cooking, or at the table.
24 grams
Oils/fats should be free of trans-fats, and low in saturated fat.
Remaining Calorie Allowance
The discretionary calorie allowance is the remaining amount of calories in each food pattern after selecting the specified number of nutrient-dense forms of foods in each food group. The number of discretionary calories assumes that food items in each food group are selected in nutrient-dense forms (that is, forms that are fat-free or low-fat and that contain no added sugars).
195 calories
If as part of your eating plan you choose foods with a higher fat or sugar content than those recommended, these extra calories should be taken from your remaining calorie allowance.