Preparing a meal plan for a low cholesterol diet is a good way to ensure that you stay on track and make dietary changes to address any health issues. It is best to begin by doing your research, and understanding which foods are high in cholesterol as well as saturated fats, which also contribute to high cholesterol. Some foods actively help to remove cholesterol from the blood, so it is helpful to learn about these as well. Then figure out how many meals you need to prepare each week or month, and when you will shop for them to ensure you follow your plan.
In some cases, your doctor, a registered dietitian or nutritionist may be able to provide you with a complete meal plan for a low cholesterol diet, or at the very least some general guidelines. This can be a good place to begin, but chances are you will want to customize your meal plan to your own taste preferences and abilities to cook. This is why it is best to start with your own research on healthy and unhealthy foods, and hidden sources of cholesterol and saturated fat that you can cut from your diet. Once you learn the basic principles, preparing a meal plan for a low cholesterol diet will become much easier.
For example, doctors generally recommend cutting out fried foods, red meat, and other full-fat items as much as possible from the diet, and replacing them with lean meats such as fish and chicken, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables. Certain whole grains, such as oatmeal, can even help to remove cholesterol from the blood. You might just begin by searching online for recipes that use these ingredients, and determining the amounts that each recipe will make. You might be able to freeze portions or eat leftovers sometimes to cut down on the amount of meals you need to prepare each week.
When making your meal plan for a low cholesterol diet, it is generally best to plan for a number of smaller meals rather than three big meals. This will make a big difference in helping with your portion control. If the idea of creating your own meal plan for a low cholesterol diet is too overwhelming, there are a number of books or websites that offer suggestions and predesigned meal plans to help you get started. Ideally, you will be eating a wide variety of healthy foods, and avoiding prepackaged foods as much as possible. If your dietary needs are complicated by other medical conditions, such as diabetes, then it might be advantageous to visit a nutritionist for help in designing your plan.