Lose weight, lower cholesterol: Which diet is best?

A diet that is high in fiber, plant foods, unsaturated fats, and low in saturated and trans fats may help lower cholesterol.

Diet can play an important role in managing cholesterol and may help lower high cholesterol levels.

Certain foods may help lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. People sometimes call LDL cholesterol “bad” cholesterol, as higher levels of it can build up in the walls of the arteries.

On the other hand, people may refer to HDL cholesterol as “good” cholesterol, as it can reduce the amount of LDL cholesterol in the body.

This article looks at diet plans that can lower cholesterol and help a person lose weight.

The following diets may help lower cholesterol, as well as support heart health.

Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet has many health benefits and may help lower cholesterol. The Mediterranean diet focuses on the following foods:

The Mediterranean diet limits dairy, red meat, and processed meat.

The diet includes a high level of plant sterols from vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds, which help lower cholesterol levels.

A higher intake of nuts may help improve total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels.

Legumes and whole grains, such as oats, contain soluble fiber and appear to have beneficial effects on LDL cholesterol levels.

A higher intake of fish may increase HDL cholesterol levels and reduce triglycerides.

Learn more about the Mediterranean diet with a 7-day meal plan.

Dietary approaches to stop hypertension (DASH) diet

The DASH diet is a dietary plan from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to help lower blood pressure. This diet may also be highly effective in lowering cholesterol levels.

The DASH diet consists of:

vegetablesfruitswhole grainsfat-free or low fat dairyfishpoultrybeansnutsvegetable oilslimiting saturated and trans fats, added sugars, and sodium

A 2021 study looked at the effects of the DASH diet with restricted calories on cardiometabolic health in 28 older Caucasian adults with obesity.

The research found that over 12 weeks, the DASH diet significantly reduced the participants’ total cholesterol levels by 4.9%, with a 4%…

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