If your doctor has recommended you lower your cholesterol, you may have high triglyceride levels and high low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or bad cholesterol, levels. Although taking prescription cholesterol-lowering medications may help, another way to lower your total cholesterol levels is to change your eating habits. The US Food and Drug Administration recommends eating 2tbsp of olive oil a day to help lower cholesterol. By incorporating olive oil into your diet and substituting it for other foods you normally eat, you may be able to lower your total cholesterol levels.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- Small container
- Dinner rolls
Mix one part olive oil and one part balsamic vinegar in a small container, then drizzle it over salad as a dressing, suggests MayoClinic.com in the article "Cholesterol: Top 5 foods to lower your numbers".
Add 2tbsp of olive oil to a stir-fry, instead of oils like peanut oil or palm oil, which are higher in saturated fat, recommends the American Heart Association in the article "Frequently Asked Questions About 'Better' Fats". Do not heat olive oil over 205C (400F) or you risk decreasing its nutritional value.
Baste a turkey or chicken with olive oil instead of butter. Butter is high in saturated fat, which will raise your LDL and total cholesterol levels.
Dip your dinner rolls into olive oil instead of spreading butter or margarine on them for a flavourful, satisfying appetiser that doesn't leave you feeling deprived.
Swap olive oil for butter when baking by adding 3/4 cup olive oil for every cup of butter you would normally add in the recipe.
Tips and warnings
- Substitute olive oil in place of other, less healthy fats, rather than adding olive oil to your diet as an additional fat.
- Extra virgin olive oil is less processed, and is more beneficial in lowering your cholesterol levels than light or pure olive oil.
- Consult your doctor before making any changes in your diet, especially if you have health problems or allergies.
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