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How to Lower Cholesterol While Staying Gluten-Free

April 05, 2011


I am gluten-free, have a slight thyroid issue, and need to lower my cholesterol. As a celiac, I watch my intake carefully and do not cheat or ingest foods with high cholesterol. Help!




Hi JB. High blood cholesterol is due to genetics and/or ingesting too much dietary cholesterol and saturated fat. In fact, saturated fat from foods plays a greater role in raising blood cholesterol levels than dietary cholesterol. Cholesterol and saturated fat are found in animal products, particularly red meats, dark white meats and whole milk products. So, reducing these foods is optimal for you.

To lower blood cholesterol levels, it’s best to choose lean cuts of meat and poultry, fish and shellfish, low-fat dairy products, fruits, vegetables, beans and, for you, gluten-free whole grains.

The fiber and phytochemicals in whole grains can help reduce cholesterol levels, so when choosing gluten-free grains, make sure to choose whole grain varieties, such as quinoa, brown and wild rices, amaranth, and millet. It’s best to choose natural forms of these foods and not gluten-free grain products that are highly processed.


Rachel Begun, MS, RD

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