If you struggle with keeping your cholesterol levels down, then you should check out this list of top 10 cholesterol lowering foods. Try to include these foods in your diet, and notice a significant improvement on your overall health – the natural way.
Make it a point to snack on healthy food items such as almonds, walnuts and other types of nuts to keep your cholesterol within normal levels. These tasty food items are naturally loaded with polyunsaturated fatty acids, and walnuts can keep your blood vessels in great condition. For a delightful snack, eat about a handful or 1.5 ounces of nuts daily such as hazelnuts, pecans, pistachio nuts, walnuts, and almonds. Keep in mind, though, that nuts are calorie-rich, so just a handful will be fine. Moreover, you should opt for roasted nuts instead of sugar-coated ones or salted varieties.
Oatmeal is rich in soluble fiber that helps bring down your LDL or bad cholesterol. What’s more, soluble fiber reduces the chances of cholesterol entering your bloodstream. So, make it a point to consume at least 5 to 10 grams of foods that are rich in soluble fiber such as oatmeal and bran to decrease your LDL cholesterol. For instance, you may eat one and a half cups of oatmeal and add some fruit on it such as bananas or sliced apples for an additional amount of fiber in your diet.
Eating fish that is high in omega-3 fatty acids can be a great way to keep your heart healthy while reducing your cholesterol levels. In addition, fish can help prevent risks of blood clot disorders and sudden death due to a heart attack.
According to the American Heart Association, eating at least 2 servings of omega-3 rich types of fish such as herring, lake trout, mackerel, sardines, halibut, and salmon are good for you. To cut down the fat content, you should grill or bake the fish, or use canola oil in frying them.
4. Margarines and Other Foods Rich in Stanols
Foods that are fortified with stanols or sterols (plant-based substances) work by blocking the absorptions of cholesterol. Among the best food items in this category are yogurt drinks, orange juice, and margarines. These foods do not affect the amount of HDL or good cholesterol in your body, as well as your triglycerides levels. So, consider consuming at least 2 grams of sterol-fortified foods a day for better health results.
5. Olive Oil
Olive oil offers a mixture of antioxidants that can effectively lower bad cholesterol while maintaining the right levels of good cholesterol in your body. Nutritionists recommend daily consumption of at least 23 grams of olive oil per day instead of other fats to obtain its outstanding benefits. For instance, you may use olive oil to saute your vegetables, or use it as a salad dressing with some vinegar. Olive oil is also a great substitute for butter when you need to baste your meats, or use it as a dip for bread. If you want to maximize its health benefits, opt for extra-virgin olive oil because this has additional heart-healthy components or antioxidants.
As with oatmeal and bran, beans are high in soluble fiber that lowers your cholesterol levels. Thus, it makes perfect sense to eat almost any type of beans daily such as pinto, chickpea, navy, black, and kidney beans to reduce your cholesterol by at least 10 percent in as little as 6 weeks. The secret to this is that soluble fiber forms a gel-like structure in water, and this binds cholesterol and acids in your intestinal tract, which prevent them from being reabsorbed by your body.
Reducing the amount of saturated fat in your diet is one of the most essential dietary changes that you can do to cut down blood cholesterol. Soy may be used to replace meat or cheese, and this can significantly slash the amount of saturated fat that you consume. If you are unfamiliar with soy food products, then you may consider the basics such as enriched soymilk, soy nuts, tofu, and soy flour. There are also delicious and protein-rich alternatives to meat that you can find in the market such as soy sausages, soy nuggets, and breaded cutlets. Crumbled soy is another outstanding alternative to ground pork, and this works perfectly in lasagna, casseroles, soups, and chili.
Avocados are not only tasty fruits when mixed with milk, but they are also heart-healthy sources of monounsaturated fat. In fact, this type of fat is effective in increasing HDL levels while minimizing LDL. As compared to other fruits, avocados contain beta-sitosterol or plant-based fat that reduces cholesterol obtained from food. With the perfect combination of monounsaturated fat and beta-sitosterol in avocado, this fruit is indeed a staple food item in every health-conscious individual’s diet because of its cholesterol-busting properties.
For centuries, garlic has been incorporated in almost every recipe because of its aromatic quality. It offers superb flavor and nutritional value to many dishes, as it brings out the taste in sautéed recipes, and a bunch of other dishes you can think of. People from Ancient Egypt used to eat garlic to increase their stamina, while at present times, garlic has been known to reduce blood pressure levels, reduce cholesterol, and protect the body from infections by strengthening the immune system. Additionally, garlic can stop nano plague, or artery-clogging issues by keeping cholesterol particles from adhering to artery walls.
You may have seen Popeye load up on spinach for added strength and bulky muscles, but this leafy green veggie does more than keeping your body strong. It also helps prevent risks of developing heart attacks by inhibiting the absorption of cholesterol in your artery walls. Furthermore, spinach is rich in lutein, which is common in egg yolks and other types of leafy dark green vegetables. This substance prevents age-related retinal issues such as macular degeneration, which is also a primary cause of blindness among older adults.
So, if you want to keep your heart healthy, then make sure you add these nutritious food items that can help ward off diseases while reducing your cholesterol levels significantly.