Low-fat, low-cholesterol and low-sodium diet tips fall within the heart-healthy eating category set forth by the American Heart Association. Eating healthy while losing weight does not mean eating bland and tasteless food. Diet tips include knowing what to eat, how to prepare it and what foods to avoid or limit. Implementing these tips into your daily regime will help you live a healthier lifestyle.
Choose Healthy Snacking
Healthy snacking is important for all ages, including children. Eating low-fat, low-cholesterol and low-sodium foods throughout the day can be easier than you originally thought. Eating snacks containing raw fruits and vegetables will provide no cholesterol, negligible amounts of fat and low sodium. Enjoy snacks of fresh vegetables mixed with protein to keep your energy level up and help curb the appetite. Eat a snack of baby carrots with fat-free ranch dressing. Make popcorn by air popping it and sprinkle on your favorite spice such as chili powder or garlic powder. Celery sticks or banana slices with low-fat peanut butter, apple wedges with fresh low-fat, low-sodium cheddar cheese and/or fresh fruit salad can fit the healthier snack bill, according to the Mayo Clinic. Snack on fresh fruit instead of choosing higher fat, processed foods from the vending machine.
Implement Healthy Cooking Methods
Use a variety of healthy cooking methods to give your diet flavor without adding fatty or high-sodium foods or oils. You can eat the healthiest foods around, but if the foods are prepared in an unhealthy method, it defeats the purpose. Healthy cooking methods provide a low-calorie, low-fat and low-cholesterol way to prepare foods. Methods include steaming, poaching, baking without excess additional oils, grilling, boiling and broiling. Replace salt with spices to reduce your sodium content. Spices contain no cholesterol or fat and are low in sodium, according to the American Heart Association. Instead of high-fat, high-cholesterol butter, use plant-based, unsaturated heart-healthy oils such as soy, cottonseed, olive and/or sunflower.
Monitor Processed Foods and Beverage Consumption
Avoiding, or limiting, consumption of processed foods and beverages can help your diet. Processed foods can typically be high in calories, fat, sodium and cholesterol. Monitor consumption of luncheon meats and cold cuts, condiments such as ketchup and mustard, deep-fried foods, whole-fat cheeses, cured and/or smoked meats, carry out and/or fast foods and deli foods. Stop drinking so many carbonated and/or processed beverages, which can be high in sodium. Watch your fast food consumption. Choose low-fat foods such as low-fat yogurt parfaits, grilled sandwiches and/or salads when eating at fast food establishments. When buying canned vegetables, rinse prior to consuming to remove added sodium.
Use Healthy Substitutions
Replacing healthy choices for traditional choices can help your diet. Use salsa instead of whole-fat sour cream as a topping on baked potatoes. Use two egg whites instead of one egg yolk in your cooking or use commercially-prepared egg substitutes. Egg yolks contain high amounts of cholesterol, according to the American Heart Association. Replace heavy cream with evaporated skim milk or regular skim milk. Replace refined flours with whole-grain flours. Substitute ice cream with sherbet. Eat a bagel instead of a donut. Choose low-fat and low-sodium pretzels instead of deep-fried potato chips.