FODMAP Friendly Foods for Managing Cholesterol

High Cholesterol is Risky- Take Dietary Control Without GI Discomfort.

When someone mentions high cholesterol, the term “high fiber diet” is usually quick to follow. 

If you are someone who suffers from IBS or follows a low-FODMAP diet, the term “high fiber” might just induce some panic. But, if you have high cholesterol, what can you do but follow a high fiber diet?

Before we get there, let’s review what exactly cholesterol is and why it is necessary for our bodies to function properly. Cholesterol is a waxy substance made by the liver that we need in order to make hormones and digest fatty foods.

LDL (low-density lipoprotein) is the “bad” one and HDL (high-density lipoprotein) is good. 

When too much LDL cholesterol builds up in the arteries, it can eventually cause chest pain and/or heart attack. 

Increasing your HDL cholesterol can help to lower risk of heart disease

High cholesterol is very common. Slightly more than half the adults in the United States are taking cholesterol lowering medications and elevated levels of LDL in children is rising. High cholesterol usually doesn’t have any symptoms, so knowing your risks is an important tool for prevention. 

Our bodies make cholesterol, so it is not necessary to get it from the diet, but we do! 

We used to think that consuming dietary cholesterol (found in foods like eggs and shrimp) would raise our blood cholesterol, but we now know better.  

Foods high in saturated fats (think processed meats, fried foods, baked goods and sweets that contain hydrogenated oil) are a culprit for raising cholesterol. So, what can we do?

Much of the advice on lowering cholesterol focuses on the foods to avoid. But, there is plenty of research to support adding certain foods to help lower LDL levels.

Adding foods to your diet is usually more appealing than taking more away, so here is a list of FODMAP-friendly foods you could try:

  • Oats (1/2 cup) 
  • Avocado (1/4 at a time)
  • Almonds, walnuts or pecans
  • Tofu (2/3 cup)
  • Flax seed (2-3 tsp)
  • Olive oil (1 Tbsp)
  • Salmon 

Some additional advice on managing your cholesterol:

  • Eat whole grains in moderation
  • Avoid refined carbs and hydrogenated oil
  • Do NOT follow a low-fat diet
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Add 1-2 servings of tolerated fruits and vegetables daily 
These foods are a good snack to help keep your LDL cholesterol levels in check:

Pecan Halves (16 oz)

Walnut Halves & Pieces (16 oz)

 

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