ask our dietitian your question todayGrains - Happy Face lower your cholesterol

question-answer-color-v-2 I was recently diagnosed with high cholesterol; could you tell me how many grams of carbohydrates I should consume per day to lower my cholesterol?  Also, should I take into consideration the amount of cholesterol listed on a product? – Christine H.


I think it’s great that you’re looking into a dietary management of your high cholesterol!

1. The carbohydrate grams that directly relate to blood cholesterol levels are those from FIBER. Aiming for 25 or more grams of fiber per day is effective. Soluble fiber (from oats, beans, nuts, fruits) should comprise over half of fiber intake with the rest coming from insoluble fiber (from grains, vegetables, bran). Carbohydrates should contribute 50-60% of your calories for the day; mostly from whole grains, vegetables, fruits and low-fat or fat-free milk products. Also of benefit, is another plant compound called stanols or sterols—2g/day is a therapeutic amount to lower LDL cholesterol.

2. Yes. Your dietary cholesterol intake should be kept under 200 mg/day. More importantly, take into consideration the amount of saturated fat and trans fat listed on the Nutrition Facts panel. These are the types of fat your liver uses to produce cholesterol. Limiting saturated fat intake to less than 7% of your daily calorie total and avoiding trans fat are recommended. To achieve this, cut back on animal fats (including dairy fat), reduce solid vegetable fats (coconut, palm kernel), hydrogenated vegetable oils and omit processed foods with any trans fat listed.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

Do you have a question about your diet or nutrition?

Ask our dietitian by submitting your question to or simply ask it in the COMMENTS section below. To learn how to follow the “Ask Our Dietitian” Q&A CLICK HERE!

Debbie James is a registered dietitian. Any views or opinions presented in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or recommendations of Fitness International, LLC.



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