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Heart Health: Food Guidelines to Reduce LDL Cholesterol and Triglycerides (519)

Heart Health: Food Guidelines to Reduce LDL Cholesterol and Triglycerides (519) - Clinical Hub, Patient Education, Health and Nutrition Facts For You, Nutrition


Food Guidelines to Reduce LDL Cholesterol and Triglycerides

To reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol in your blood:
ξ Limit saturated fat (fatty meats, whole milk, cheese, cream), trans fat (shortening, stick
margarine, donuts, foods fried in restaurants), and cholesterol (eggs, liver, other organ meats) in
the foods you eat.
ξ Eat foods high in fiber (whole grains, vegetables, beans, fruits, nuts).
ξ Lose weight if you are overweight.
ξ Get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week.

To reduce triglycerides in your blood:
ξ Lose weight if you are overweight.
ξ Get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week.
ξ Avoid sweet drinks like soda, fruit juice, fruit drinks, Kool-Aid, and energy drinks.
ξ Limit the amount of starchy food (bread, pasta, rice, potato, corn, crackers) and sweets (cake,
cookies, pie, candy) that you eat.
ξ Limit alcohol to no more than 1-2 drinks per day.

Recommended Foods Not Recommended Foods
Proteins –
Dried beans
Protein foods should be limited to ¼ of the space on your plate, so use small
Your serving of protein should be about the size of a deck of cards.
Prepare meats by baking, broiling, grilling or roasting.
ξ Fish, all types –fresh, frozen, canned
ξ Shellfish - limit shrimp to once per
ξ Chicken, turkey – skinless
ξ Lean beef and pork – sirloin,
tenderloin, round, extra lean ground
beef, ham
ξ Dried beans (navy, kidney, black,
pinto), split peas, and lentils
ξ Fat-free refried beans
ξ Fish – breaded and deep-fried
ξ Poultry – with skin or deep-fried
ξ Fatty beef and pork – T-bone, prime
rib, rib eye, regular ground beef, ribs,
ξ Sausage, bacon, bratwurst, hot dogs,
ξ Refried beans, unless fat-free
ξ Baked beans with fatty meat added

Eggs ξ Egg whites, egg substitutes ξ Egg yolks – limit to 4 per week
ξ Skim or 1% milk
ξ Low fat or fat-free yogurt, sour
cream, cottage cheese, cream cheese
ξ Part-skim cheese – 5 gm fat/ounce or
less (mozzarella, farmers, string
ξ 2% or whole milk
ξ Full-fat yogurt, sour cream, cream
ξ Full-fat cheese (most cheddar, colby,
muenster, brick)

Fats and
Fats and oils add flavor, but they are high in calories.
Use moderate amounts of any type of fat to keep calories low.
ξ Soft tub margarine
ξ Liquid vegetable oil (olive, canola,
corn, soybean)
ξ Salad dressings without cheese or
ξ Mayonnaise
ξ Gravy made from broth with fat
skimmed off
ξ Stick margarine, shortening (trans fats)
ξ Butter, lard
ξ Coconut or palm oil
ξ Regular gravy

Nuts or
ξ Any type, but limit to a handful per
ξ Peanut butter, almond butter

Starchy foods should be limited to ¼ of the space on your plate, so use small
Some vegetables are included in this group because they are high in starch and
ξ Whole grain bread, rolls, English
ξ Whole grain crackers, low in fat
ξ Whole grain pasta or noodles, brown
ξ Muffins made with vegetable oils
ξ Oatmeal, regular or unsweetened
ξ Whole grain unsweetened cereals
ξ Potato, sweet potato, corn, peas
ξ Any starchy food made with butter,
lard, cheese, or shortening
ξ Ramen noodles, chow mein noodles
ξ Sweetened cereals and oatmeal
ξ Croissants, sweet rolls, donuts
ξ Noodle or rice mixes with cheese or
ξ French fries

Fruit Aim for 1-2 cups of fruit each day. Fruit is a healthy food, but too much fruit
could raise triglycerides. Use whole fruit instead of juice to get more fiber in
your diet.
ξ Fresh/frozen fruit, no sugar added
ξ Fruit canned in light syrup or canned
in fruit juice
ξ Dried fruit – limit serving size
because sugar content is high.
ξ More than 2 cups of fruit per day

Vegetables Vegetables should fill ½ of the space on your plate at meals. Vegetables also
make good snacks. “Eat the rainbow” by including a wide variety of different
colored vegetables – green, yellow, red, purple – to provide the best variety of
vitamins and minerals. Prepare vegetables by steaming, roasting, grilling, or
stir-frying (with olive or canola oil). Remember that potato, corn, sweet potato
and peas are starches and need to be limited.
ξ Fresh, frozen, and canned vegetables
without added salt
ξ Avocados - they contain healthy fats
ξ Olives – limit use, high in salt
ξ Frozen vegetables with cheese or butter
ξ Canned vegetables with added salt

Desserts or
All desserts and snacks should be used in small portions because they are high
in sugar and calories and can raise your triglycerides. Use no more than 1
small dessert per day.
ξ Reduced fat ice cream or frozen
ξ Cakes or cookies made with egg
whites and oil
ξ Trans fat free chips, pretzels
ξ Popcorn made with oil, no butter
ξ Ice cream or frozen custard
ξ Cakes, pies or cookies made with
butter, lard, shortening and /or egg
ξ Chips made with trans fat

Beverages Sweet drinks contain large amounts of sugar. Twelve ounces of regular soda
and many unsweetened fruit juices contain 10 teaspoons of sugar. The sugar in
these drinks raises your triglyceride level and makes it harder to lose weight.
ξ Water
ξ Coffee, tea, herbal tea without added
cream or sugar
ξ Fruit juice – limit to 4 ounces per day
ξ Zero calorie soft drinks, drink mixes,
flavored water
ξ Coffee or tea drinks with cream or
sugar added
ξ Soda, fruit drinks, Kool-Aid, flavored
water, and energy drinks that contain
Alcohol Alcohol increases the amount of triglycerides that your body produces. Men
should have no more than 2 drinks per day and women should have no more
than 1 drink per day. One drink equals one 12 oz. beer (light or regular), 4 oz.
of wine, 1.5 oz. of 80-proof spirits, or 1 oz. of 100-proof spirits.

Teach Back:

What is the most important thing you learned from this handout?

What changes will you make in your diet/lifestyle, based on what you learned today?

If you are a UW Health patient and have more questions please contact UW Health at one of the phone
numbers listed below. You can also visit our website at www.uwhealth.org/nutrition.

Nutrition clinics for UW Hospital and Clinics (UWHC) and American Family Children’s Hospital
(AFCH) can be reached at: (608) 890-5500

Nutrition clinics for UW Medical Foundation (UWMF) can be reached at: (608) 287-2770

Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you have any
questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This is not medical
advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each person’s health needs are
different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using this information. If you have an
emergency, please call 911. Copyright 2/2015 University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved.
Produced by the Clinical Nutrition Services Department and the Department of Nursing HF#519