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What cholesterol recipes are available when I go out to eat?

Many patients have found themselves very capable of eating properly at home but quickly fall into old habits when it's time to eat out. During the past 10 years or so, however, restaurants have become more aware that many of their patrons are on restricted diets. There is absolutely no reason to feel uncomfortable about ordering a baked potato and a salad in a fine restaurant. In fact, you can and should, make special requests for foods that are more appropriate to your needs. Keep the following tips in mind when you order a meal:


  • Entrees covered with sauces, as well as creamy dressing, thick soups and casseroles should be avoided because they are usually rich in fat. Unfortunately, most desserts in good restaurants are terribly high in saturated fats. Ask for a dish of fresh fruit instead or, as a treat, share a single "sinful" dessert with others.
  • Avoid fried foods. Choose baked, broiled, boiled, roasted, steamed and grilled.
  • Club soda, herbal tea, and decaffeinated coffee are good choices of beverages at a meal, as is a glass of ice water with a wedge of lemon or lime.
  • Sourdough, whole-wheat, rye and French breads are lower in saturated fats than biscuits, white bread, and dinner roles.
    Salads are available almost everywhere. Order salads with reduced-calorie salad dressing. Choosing your meal from the salad bar is a good source of good foods.
  • Ask to have sauces and gravies omitted, or "on the side".
  • Look for items labeled "heart-healthy" on the menu.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask how a dish is prepared.
  • Substitute low-fat choices (steamed vegetables for creamed sauces, baked potatoes for french fries, etc.).
  • Avoid items described with terms like battered, creamed, au gratin, scalloped, breaded. Good terms include au jus, poached, steamed, baked, etc.
  • Pizza: choose thin-crust, avoid meat toppings and get small amounts of cheese.
  • Pastas: good choices if accompanied by red marinara sauce or simple vegetables. Avoid cream or meat sauces.
  • Sandwiches: choose lean and not processed meat, get extra lettuce and tomato, and hold the mayo.

  • More information on cholesterol

    What is cholesterol? - Cholesterol is a steroid lipid, found in the cell membranes of all body tissues, and transported in the blood plasma, of all animals.
    What is LDL cholesterol? - Low-density lipoprotein (or "bad") cholesterol carries the largest amount of cholesterol in the blood and is responsible for depositing cholesterol in the artery walls. An elevated LDL cholesterol level is associated with a greater risk of heart disease.
    Why is LDL cholesterol considered "bad"? - When too much LDL cholesterol circulates in the blood, it can slowly build up in the inner walls of the arteries that feed the heart and brain.
    What is HDL cholesterol? - High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is one of several types of fats and is measured as 'Total Cholesterol'. HDL is thought to pick up cholesterol from body tissues and bring it back to the liver for reprocessing or excretion.
    Why is HDL cholesterol considered "good"? - Because HDL clears cholesterol out of the system and high levels of it are associated with a decreased risk of heart disease, HDL is often called "good" cholesterol.
    How to raise HDL Cholesterol (good cholesterol)? - Regular aerobic exercise, loss of excess weight (fat), and cessation of cigarette smoking cigarettes will increase HDL cholesterol levels.
    How cholesterol is measured and tested? - Cholesterol is measured in units called millimoles per litre of blood, usually shortened to "mmol/litre" or "mmol/l".
    What're the cholesterol readings? - Cholesterol readings you receive from your medical provider generally include total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and high density lipoproteins cholesterol levels.
    How often should my cholesterol be checked? - According to a new set of national guidelines governing cholesterol measurement and treatment, it is recommended that the level be treated every 5 years.
    What causes high cholesterol? - High cholesterol is caused by eating a diet that is high in saturated fats and cholesterol. Some people, however, have an inherited disorder in which the body cannot properly metabolize cholesterol.
    What are the high cholesterol risk factors? - A diet high in certain types of fats is one factor. Medical problems such as poorly controlled diabetes, an underactive thyroid gland, an overactive pituitary gland, liver disease or kidney failure also may cause high cholesterol levels.
    What're the symptoms of high cholesterol? - People with severely elevated cholesterol may have fat deposits in tendons and skin, liver and spleen enlargement, and abdominal pain if pancreatitis develops.
    What are triglycerides? - Triglycerides are another type of fat that is associated with adverse health consequences. Many patients with high cholesterol also have high triglycerides.
    How to test triglycerides? - For triglycerides testing, blood is drawn from a vein in the arm. A vein at the inside of the elbow or on the back of the hand is usually selected.
    How can LDL cholesterol levels be lowered? - Lowering low-density lipoprotein cholesterol involves losing excess weight, exercising regularly, and following a diet that is low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
    How to reduce cholesterol with dietary therapy? - A low-fat, low-cholesterol diet is desired to keep your total fat consumption--saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated--to fewer than 30 percent of your daily intake of calories.
    What about when I go out to eat? - Avoid fried foods. Entrees covered with sauces, as well as creamy dressing, thick soups and casseroles should be avoided because they are usually rich in fat. Look for items labeled "heart-healthy" on the menu.
    What cholesterol medications are available to lower cholesterol? - Cholesterol-reducing drugs include cholestyramine (Questran), colestipol (Colestid), gemfibrozil (Lopid), lovastatin (Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol) and simvastatin (Zocor).
    What nutritional supplements are available to reduce cholesterol? - Artichoke is particularly helpful in relieving gastrointestinal problems that result from an inability to adequately process fats. Garlic assists the heart for centuries and has been used in herbal medicines for all manner of conditions.
    What cholesterol lowering food are there? - Eating more fiber-rich foods may help to lower your blood cholesterol level. Soy products are also linked to reduced cholesterol because of their isoflavone content.
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