How Should I Start Making Cholesterol Lowering Diet Changes?

A good first step in planning a diet that's healthier for your heart is to assess your current diet. This means looking at your eating habits and your likes and dislikes. A dietary assessment can show you the ways in which you're already eating healthfully and those that you can improve. A dietitian can help you complete an assessment. Working with a dietitian may be especially helpful if you're having trouble getting started. However, many people successfully change their eating patterns without the help of a dietitian.

How to Assess What You Eat Now

If you see a dietitian, at your first visit, you will be asked about the foods you typically eat. By preparing for your visit ahead of time, you will be able to use the time to focus on the specific questions you want to ask. And you can leave your visit feeling comfortable with the meal plan you and your dietitian have prepared. Here's how you can prepare to assess your diet.

  • Use a food diary to keep track of what and how much you eat for a few weeks.
  • To find out what the food groups are and how many servings are recommended per day, see How Can I Make Sure My Diet Is Balanced?
  • Take your food diary pages with you when you see your doctor or dietician to talk about planning a heart-healthy diet.