The information below is organized according to the various food groups as a handy reference guide. Use this guide to help you choose food in the correct proportions as you try to follow a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
The table lists the number of servings recommended for each day, and also gives examples of typical serving sizes.
What Counts as a Serving?
How Many Servings Per Day?
Meat and Beans Group (meat, poultry, fish, legumes, eggs, and nuts) - go for lean or low fat, and trim visible fat before cooking
§ 2 ounces of cooked lean meat, poultry, or oily fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring)
§ 5 ounces of cooked white fish
§ 1 small tin of canned fish
§ ½ cup cooked beans, peas, lentils
§ 4 ounces of soy or tofu
§ 1 ½ ounces nuts, nut butter, seeds
5 ounces maximum per day.
Limit organ meats, such as liver, and kidneys, which are high in cholesterol. Prawns are also moderately high in cholesterol.
Try to get plenty of legumes into your diet each week.
Omega-3 fatty acids can help to lower your LDL cholesterol levels. Aim for one to two portions of fish each week, one of which should be oily fish.
- 1 whole egg
- Egg whites or egg substitute are unlimited
Less than, or equal to, two yolks per week.
This includes yolks in baked goods and those in cooked or processed foods.
Milk and Dairy Group - go for reduced fat or fat free options
- 1 cup of milk
- 1 cup of yoghurt
- 1 ounce of reduced fat cheese (3 grams fat or less per serving)
Fruit and Vegetables Group - choose fruit canned in natural juices, and vegetables without added salt
- 1 medium piece of fruit
- 2 small fruits, such as plums
- 1 heaped tablespoon dried fruit
- ½ cup diced fruit - fresh, cooked, canned
- ¾ cup fruit or veggie juice
- 1 cup raw leafy vegetables
- ½ cup cooked vegetables
Fruit: 2-4 servings (depending on your calorie requirements).
Vegetables: 4-6 servings (depending on your calorie requirements).
Grains and Potato Group - choose wholgrain breads, cereals, pasta, and rice. Potatoes are also included in this group.
- 1 slice bread
- ½ bun, bagel, muffin
- 1 cup ready to eat cereal
- ½ cup cooked cereal, pasta, rice, other grains, or potato
6 or more servings (depending on your calorie requirements).
Try to make at least half your grains wholegrain.
Include the following foods regularly:
- Apples, bananas, prunes, broccoli, dry beans, peas
Aim for 10 - 25 grams of soluble fiber per day to help lower your cholesterol levels.
Fats and Oils Group
- 1 teaspoon soft margarine or vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon salad dressing
- 1 ounce nuts
Less than or equal to 6-8 servings (depending on your calorie requirements).
Steer clear of foods containing hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil.
Go for products that contain 1 gram of saturated fat, or less, per serving.
Limit your intake of butter, lard, and solid shortenings.
Sweets and Snacks
Healthier snacks include:
- Fresh or frozen fruits
- Fresh vegetables
- Air popped popcorn
- Wholegrain crackers
- Natural yogurt
Stanols/sterols - contained in special margarines, milk products, and juice products.
Some of the commercial brands available include:
- Benecol products
- Healthy Heart yoghurt
- Promise Activ Super Shots
- Take Control spreads
Aim for 2 grams of phytosterols per day.
One serve of phytosterol enriched food is approximately:
- 2 teaspoons of phytosterol margarine spread
- 1 cup of phytosterol milk
- 1 small tub phytosterol yoghurt
Published On: March 09, 2009