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11100 Euclid Avenue • Cleveland, Ohio 44106-5000

Primary Affiliate of Case Western Reserve University Produced by the Department of Nursing Resources

Lower Fat, Cholesterol, and Sodium Diet

Y our doctor has told you that you should change the foods you eat to help lower your
cholesterol level and blood pressure. You may find that the changes you must make
take some getting used to at first. But the diet isn’t hard to follow and offers you lots of
choices. You’ll soon find that there’s a great deal to enjoy in your new, healthier diet.
Major changes you should make: • If you weigh more than you should, lose
weight. You can do this by getting more
• Limit your intake of cholesterol to less exercise and/or eating foods with less
than 200 mg per day. calories.
• Lower the amount of total fat in your diet To help you make wise food choices, look
to less than 30% of total calories. at the chart below. “Green light” foods are
• Lower the amount of saturated fat (fat the foods you can eat, and “red light” foods
from animals, such as eggs, cheese, meat are the ones you should stay away from.
and whole milk) to less than 7% of total
calories. Saturated fat raises cholesterol
levels. All animal products, as well as (
coconut and coconut oil, palm oil and
hydrogenated oils, contain saturated fat. For more information on how this diet
applies to you, call the
• Limit sodium intake to 2 to 3 grams (2,000
to 3,000 mg) per day. Ambulatory Nutrition Practice

GREEN LIGHT (okay to eat) RED LIGHT (avoid eating)

Starches • All breads, most cereals. • Salted crackers (such as saltines or

• Crackers with unsalted tops and 1 gram party crackers) or those with more than
of fat or less per serving. 1 gram of fat per serving.
• Macaroni, noodles, rice, spaghetti, and • Dressing or stuffing mixes.
potatoes. • Cereals or granola made with coconut.
• Homemade dressing or stuffing.
Vegetables • Any fresh or frozen vegetables, except • Sauerkraut, regular tomato juice,
those listed under “red light.” canned vegetable juices.
• Low-sodium tomato juices and vege- • Vegetables prepared with butter or rich
table juices. cream and cheese sauces.

Fruits All None

File Under Diet

Diet: Low
PI-013 (06/98; Fat, 06/03)
Revised Cholesterol, Salt 06/03 Page 1 of 2 (Continued)
University Hospitals of Cleveland © SMOG 9 / 2 pgs.
GREEN LIGHT (okay to eat) RED LIGHT (avoid eating)

Milk/dairy • 1% or skim milk. • Whole milk, eggnog, chocolate milk

products • Cheese containing 6 grams of fat or less made with cocoa butter flavoring.
per ounce, low-fat cottage cheese. • Regular cheeses (such as Swiss, Ameri-
• Low-fat yogurt, ice milk, and non-fat can, cheddar, brick, etc.) or those con-
frozen dairy desserts and frozen low- taining more than 6 grams of fat per
fat yogurt. ounce, cheese spreads, cheese dips.
• Cream, whipped cream, sour cream.
• Non-dairy cream and toppings contain-
ing palm, palm kernel, or coconut oils.
• Ice cream, yogurt made with whole

Eggs • 1 egg yolk per week, egg white, egg • More than 1 egg yolk per week.
Meat, fish, • Lean beef, pork, lamb, veal, skinless • Bacon, ham, Canadian bacon, dried or
poultry chicken, turkey, fish. chipped meats, salt pork, sausage,
• Canned tuna or salmon that is canned corned beef, wieners, luncheon meats
without salt and is packed in water. (such as bologna, salami, etc.), pickled
or canned meat or fish.
• Liver, organ meats, prime grade meats,
well-marbled meats.

Fats • Generally, limit these to 1-2 servings • Butter, lard, salt pork, and solid
per meal. shortenings.
• Vegetable oils: safflower, corn, sun- • Chocolate, coconut, coconut oil, palm
flower, soybean, cottonseed, olive, kernel oil, palm oil, and other foods
peanut, canola. containing these fats.
• Margarine with liquid oil listed as the
first ingredient. Diet margarine.
• Chopped nuts, except coconut.
• Seeds, any variety.
• Olives, peanut butter, and avocados.

Soups • Homemade soups using “green light” • Regular canned soups, frozen soups,
foods. dry soup mixes, regular bouillon and
• Low-sodium canned soups, low- broth.
sodium bouillon and broth. • Soups made with cream or whole milk.
Beverages All None.

Desserts • Homemade desserts with “green light” • Commercial desserts with more than 2
ingredients. grams of fat per serving or those made
• Frozen products listed under “milk/ with “red light” foods.
dairy products” above.

Condiments • Fat-free gravies and sauces, Tabasco • Packaged and canned gravy mixes and
sauce, liquid smoke, mayonnaise, and sauces, pickles, pickle relish, olives,
mayonnaise-type salad dressings, vege- chili sauce, barbecue sauce, soy sauce.
table oil and vinegar, low-sodium • Regular salad dressings, catsup or mus-
catsup, low-sodium salad dressings, tard in excess of 1 tablespoon per day.
jelly, jam, honey, syrup, and sugar.
• 1 tablespoon of regular catsup, mustard
or regular salad dressing per day.
Snack • Unsalted pretzels, popcorn or nuts. • Salted potato chips, pretzels, popcorn
foods • Regular peanut butter, low-fat frozen or nuts.
treats, hard candy, gum drops, candy • Corn chips, chocolate candy.
corn and mints.

PI-013 Diet: Low Fat, Cholesterol, Salt 06/03 Page 2 of 2