Diet is an important part of a plan to lower cholesterol, a fatty substance that can build up in your arteries and can lead to heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. By sticking with a healthy diet you can significantly lower your cholesterol. In order to lower high cholesterol, you need to reduce your intake of bad fats, curb your use of salt and high sodium foods, and stop or cut way back on drinking sugar sweetened beverages. Once you reduce your intake of these foods, you can start focusing on the following five cholesterol-lowering foods to help reduce your risk of heart disease.
Fruits and Vegetables
Packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, vegetables help fight LDL, or “bad” cholesterol that can lead to the buildup of plaque in your arteries, a major risk factor for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Eat a variety of vegetables every week to get the full amount of health benefits they have to offer. Fruits are excellent sources of healthy antioxidants and fiber also.
Not all fats are bad doe you. You need the good ones, which include olive, flax, walnut, canola, peanut, and sesame oils. These oils help fight internal inflammation, improve cholesterol levels, boost the immune system, and keep your brain and central nervous system healthy.
Fiber Rich Foods
Eat foods high in fiber, such like barley, oatmeal Bran cereals and apples, which contain soluble fiber that helps bind cholesterol in the gastrointestinal tract and carry it out of the body. Make these foods a regular part of your diet.
Go Nuts for Nuts
Eaten in moderation (high in calories), certain nuts, such as walnuts, almonds, and peanuts, can help to lower bad cholesterol. Nuts contain healthy fats and antioxidants that can keep your cardiovascular system healthy.Try to include three to five servings of nuts a week. One serving of nuts is usually about one-third of a cup. Choose unsalted nuts as often as possible.
Beans – They’re Good for Your Heart
All beans, such as kidney, chick peas/garbanzos, lentils, split peas, blackeyed peas, and white beans, are high in antioxidants and fiber, and can help improve your cholesterol level.
Green tea is loaded with flavonoids and may help lower cholesterol – try to drink at least 2 cups a day.
Meat and Cholesterol
Animal fat is a big cause of elevated cholesterol levels, but not all meat is bad for you. Here are some tips to keep in mind when choosing the meat you eat.
Choose lean cuts of meat with little visible fat. Broil rather than fry.
When it comes to poultry, eat chicken or turkey and remove the skin before cooking.
Limit processed meats like as bologna, hot dogs and sausage because their high in fat and sodium.
Organ meats of all kinds should only be eaten once in awhile because they’re extremely high in cholesterol.
Eat two servings of fish a week, preferably an oily kind, such as salmon or trout.
Combined with exercise, adding these wonder foods and following healthy habits as often as possible, you can do wonders for your cholesterol levels!