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The primary goal of this diet is to lower your levels of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol. This diet may also raise your levels of HDL, or “good” cholesterol. Having too much bad cholesterol—and/or not enough of the good kind—can cause plaque to build up in your arteries. Over time, this build-up narrows your arteries, increasing your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
Modifying your diet can be challenging, especially if you need to make big changes. In addition to consulting with your physician, consider working with a nutritionist, dietitian or health coach to help customize meal plans, find suitable and exciting recipes, and build new, healthy habits.
Modifying your diet to make it more healthful should have few, if any, side effects. If you have a serious health condition, consult with your physician or another trusted health provider before you make any drastic changes.
A low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet might actually increase triglycerides. If you have high triglycerides, you might do better on a low-carbohydrate diet. Talk to your doctor about the right kind of diet for you.