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Best Cardio Diet for Cholesterol and Weight Loss

author image Jill Corleone, RDN, LD
Jill Corleone is a registered dietitian and health coach who has been writing and lecturing on diet and health for more than 15 years. Her work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Diabetes Self-Management and in the book "Noninvasive Mechanical Ventilation," edited by John R. Bach, M.D. Corleone holds a Bachelor of Science in nutrition.
Best Cardio Diet for Cholesterol and Weight Loss
Replace your usual meats with high-fiber beans for protein. Photo Credit: Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

If you're trying to improve heart health by lowering your cholesterol and losing weight, the best diet is one that ups your fiber and decreases unhealthy saturated and trans fat. Fiber in food helps drag cholesterol out of your body and aids in weight control, while decreasing your intake of unhealthy fats helps prevent cholesterol from rising and saves calories if you replace them with healthy, lower-calorie options. Consult a dietitian to help you design a meal plan that fits your exact health goals.

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Limit Unhealthy Fats

Foods high in saturated and trans fat not only raise cholesterol levels but also tend to be high in calories. That includes bacon, butter, high-fat meat, whole milk, cheese, fried foods, pastries and cookies. For better cholesterol, the American Heart Association recommends reducing your caloric intake of trans fat foods to as little as possible and saturated fat to less than 7 percent of calories.

Focus on Fiber

Fiber already has a reputation for helping lower cholesterol, but a 2015 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine also found that focusing on increasing your fiber intake is an easy dietary change that can help promote weight loss. To get the weight-loss and cholesterol-lowering benefits, include foods high in soluble fiber such as Brussels sprouts, okra, eggplant, apples, pears, oranges, strawberries, oats, barley and beans.

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