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Blood Lipid Lowering Diet


This diet is intended for those who have concern about elevated blood cholesterol or triglyceride problems related to increased risk to coronary heart disease.

The Standard American Diet contains 20% saturated fat and more than 400 mg cholesterol and has been implicated in elevations of blood cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) and an attendant increased risk for heart disease. The blood lipid lowering diet is restricted in saturated fats and cholesterol.

This diet is enriched in omega-3 EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), a fatty acid in cold water oily fish which has been demonstrated to lower blood triglycerides and cholesterol while increasing the favorable HDL cholesterol. This diet is low in saturated animal fats, but higher in the polyunsaturated oils such as EPA. In some cases people who wish to increase their EPA intake have done so by supplementation with a capsule form of EPA rather than consuming mackerel, salmon, herring or sardines (see Health Problems section: Heart Disease). If this supplementation is done in capsule form make sure to choose an EPA supplement that contains no liver oil, but has as the source of oil the heads and skins of cold water fish. This should give you an increase in HDLs while the liver source of fish oil is rich in LDLs as well as the Omega-3, and may prove counter-productive.

This diet is rich in natural complex unrefined carbohydrate, omega-3 EPA and fiber while low in total cholesterol and saturated fat. This lipid lowering approach represents an alternative to the Pritikin Diet, and avoids any potential problems associated with fatty acid deficiency (see Fatty Acids in the Other Nutrients section of this book). This diet will provide adequate levels of the vitamins and minerals if unprocessed natural carbohydrate sources are used.



  • 1/2 grapefruit
  • 3 ounces salmon steak
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1 cup skim milk


  • 1 sardine sandwich (using whole grain bread
  • 1 cup fat-free soup
  • 1 apple
  • 1/3 cup cooked lentil beans


  • 3 ounces broiled mackerel
  • 1/2 cup steamed broccoli
  • 2 teaspoons oil and vinegar dressing
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 cup salad
  • 1 peach
  • 1/2 cup tomato juice

Nutrient Content:

  • Calories: 1950
  • Protein: 16%
  • Carbohydrates: 60%
  • Fat: 24%
  • Cholesterol: 240 mg
  • Fiber 16 g

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Bread and Cereal Exchange List:

4 or more servings per day

Recommended: The following are recommended as long as they are not made with whole milk, egg yolk, cream, butter or coconut:

  • Whole wheat bread
  • Grains (unrefined)
  • Quick-breads (whole grain)
  • Pancakes (whole grain)
  • Pancakes (whole grain)
  • Gelatin
  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Cereals (whole grain)
  • Pastas
  • Waffles (whole grain)
  • Crackers (whole grain)
  • Potatoes (with skin)
  • Green peas

Avoid: all breads not noted above

Fat Exchange List:

1 tablespoon serving per day

Recommended: Polyunsaturated vegetable oils such as:

  • Safflower oil
  • Corn oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Flaxseed oil

Avoid: All fats which are not recommended such as:

  • Lard
  • Butter
  • Cream
  • Bacon fat
  • Ordinary margarine

Fruit Exchange List:

2 or more servings per day

Recommended: All fresh fruits

Avoid: Canned or frozen fruits

Meat and Meat Substitute Exchange List:

4 to 5 servings per day


Fish such as:

  • Cod
  • Haddock
  • Trout
  • Swordfish
  • Flounder
  • Perch
  • Tuna
  • Sole

Fatty fish such as:

  • Salmon
  • Herring
  • Mackerel
  • Sardines

Cheese made from skim milk, such as:

  • Cottage cheese (2% fat)
  • Ricotta
  • Monterey jack
  • Mozzarella


  • Consumption of red meats
  • Fatty meats such as:
  • Luncheon meats
  • Organ meats
  • Fatty cheeses such as cream cheese

Milk Exchange List:

2 or more servings per day


  • Skim milk
  • Yogurt made from skim milk
  • Buttermilk made from skim milk


  • All whole milk products
  • All milk products except fermented ones like yogurt if you have a lactose intolerance

Vegetable Exchange List:

2 or more servings per day


  • All except canned


  • All canned vegetables
  • Butter
  • Milk products

Miscellaneous Exchange List


  • Fat free soups made with recommended ingredients


  • Soups made with whole milk or cream
  • Commercially prepared popcorn with oils


Include six to eight cups of fluids, such as water, per day.


Erasmus, U., "Fats and Oils: The Complete Guide To Fats and Oils in Nutrition". Alive Books, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, 1986.

Mead, J.F., Fulco, A.J., "The Unsaturated and Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Health and Disease". Charles C. Thomas, Springfield, IL, 1976.

Perkins, E.G., Visek, W.J., "Dietary Facts and Health". American Oil Chemist Society, Champagne, IL, 1983.

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