How To Dine Out When You Have High Cholesterol

How To Dine Out When You Have High Cholesterol

Dining out with high cholesterol can seem like an unenjoyable experience, but only if you don’t know how to tackle the menu. You can still enjoy family nights out, festive occasions, or even romantic dinners at your favorite restaurants. All you have to do is educate yourself about the best low-cholesterol choices. 

In order to understand how to manage high cholesterol, you have to know what you’re eating. Reading the menu carefully and identifying problematic ingredients is paramount. How do you know what to look for, though? While going to healthier restaurants and making your own food is the best plan of attack, it may not be sustainable for everyone. This article aims to educate you on how to dine out if you have high cholesterol. 

If Eating Chinese Cuisine, Go For Steamed Instead Of Fried

Chinese restaurants usually have a lot of fried food options, but there are many low-cholesterol options to choose from. Instead of enjoying deep fried egg rolls, opt for spring rolls that are steamed. Better yet, see if you can roll the ingredients in lettuce leaves! Steamed rice is a better choice than fried rice, but try to ask for brown rice if it is available. For your main course options, seafood can be a good choice, especially if the protein is steamed. Boiled or broiled seafood entrees are also good options. Just remember to eat shrimp in moderation and choose entrees with lots of vegetables. Resist dishes with a lot of oil if you want to care for your arteries!

Go For Vegetables And Skip Ghee At Indian Restaurants

There are many vegetarian dishes at Indian restaurants, which is great if you want to eat on the healthier side. Chickpeas are a common ingredient in Indian cuisine, and a heart-healthy legume to consider. Try to order dishes with plenty of vegetables, but stay away from heavy dishes with ghee, which is clarified butter made from buffalo’s or cow’s milk. Just as in the above explanation about Chinese cuisine, ask if the dishes can be made with minimal oil, provided the dishes are made to order and not in large pots. 

Skip The Sour Cream At Mexican Restaurants

Believe it or not, one of the healthier dishes (and perhaps most eye-catching) to order when eating at a Mexican restaurant is fajitas. They usually contain a lot of vegetables and don’t have fried components. Black beans tend to be a better choice, since they are rich in soluble fiber. That said, some restaurants over-salt the beans, no matter what type they are. Try to choose corn tortillas instead of white flour tortillas, because corn tortillas contain fewer calories and less sodium, sugar, and saturated fat than flour tortillas. If possible, choose grilled fish as your protein because it is a leaner protein with lower fat and sodium content. Lastly, resist ordering nachos as an appetizer and skip the sour cream and queso, opting for pico de gallo instead.

Avoid Saturated Fats And Limit Fatty Meals

There has been an interesting development in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans. It no longer includes a specific limit for dietary cholesterol, but that isn’t an excuse to eat carelessly. The USDA guidelines and other dietitians advise people to eat as little cholesterol as possible. One study followed 30,000 men and women who did not have cardiovascular disease at the beginning of the study. After a 17-year period, researchers noted that for every 300 milligrams of cholesterol that participants added to their daily diet, they increased their risk of cardiovascular disease by 17%. 

Health experts suggest that cholesterol you eat impacts your blood cholesterol levels, but that isn’t the only factor to consider. Maintaining a balanced diet is the best way to manage your cholesterol levels. Reducing your consumption of meat, especially processed meats like bacon, sausage, and deli meat, can go a long way in reducing cholesterol and your risk of heart disease. Many foods that are rich in cholesterol, including high-fat dairy, bakery items, and fatty meats, also have a higher content of saturated or trans fats, both of which elevate cholesterol. For this reason, do your best to avoid these foods when you dine out. Such foods include pizza, burgers, tacos, sandwiches, and casseroles. Additionally, watch out for cheesy foods, palm oil, cookies, snack foods, and cakes. 



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