Just as certain foods are known to increase your cholesterol levels, did you know that there are others that can help lower it?
A bad diet is the number one reason for heart disease, so choosing the right combination of healthy foods can reduce your chances of having a heart attack.
Below are my top 6 picks of foods that can help reduce your cholesterol.
This is the umbrella term for beans, peas, and lentils. Studies have shown that pulses will help you lower your LDL cholesterol by 10% in 6 weeks if eaten every day.
Pulses are high in soluble fiber, which helps bind cholesterol and acids in the intestinal tract. This process lowers cholesterol levels and eliminates the risk of heart disease.
2. Oily fish
Greasy fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and can protect you from high cholesterol.
Oily fish helps reduce your low-density lipoprotein (bad), which subsequently increases your high-density lipoprotein (good).
Although many health enthusiasts find the thought if oily fish unappealing, they are actually the healthiest foods from the sea.
They are packed with lean proteins that provide important nutrients like minerals to your body. Health professionals recommend that people who already have coronary heart disease consume 1 gram of EPA and DHA every day; preferably from oily fish.
3. Monosaturated fats
As mentioned above LDL is bad and HDL is good. You want to consume foods rich in monosaturated fats like avocados to raise HDL and lower LDL.
Avocados are known as one of the best cholesterol busters because they contain plant-based fats called Beta-sitosterol which is a fat that decreases the amount of cholesterol your body absorbs. The good news is that avocado goes with just about anything.
4. Grains and oats
The best way to watch your cholesterol level is to start your day off with the best meal. A bowl of oats for breakfast will supply your body width soluble fiber that will reduce your LDL by 5.5% in just 6 weeks.
Oats are a very popular cholesterol-lowering food that you can eat in a variety of ways. You can whip it into a smoothie, toast it or sprinkle it over yogurt.
You can also use oats as a replacement for bread crumbs or filler in meatballs. It is a really delicious way of lowering your cholesterol.
In addition to snacking on nuts, you can also use them as cholesterol reducing superfoods. Nuts like almonds can significantly increase HDL in a matter of weeks.
Use it as a base for a sauce or to stir fry veggies. You can also use it as flour for baking. They are versatile and rich in magnesium, Vitamin E, and phytochemicals.
Remember to eat nuts in moderation because they are high-density calorie foods that can increase your total calorie intake and cause weight gain.
6. Fruits and veggies
Packing your diet with fruits and vegetables is a good way to provide your body with overall vitamins and minerals needed for energy throughout the day.
Always ensure to stock up on fruits like apples, pears, oranges, and berries which are rich in soluble fiber.
Blackberries are also a great choice and are ideal in lowering LDL. Aside from the cholesterol-lowering benefits of fruits and vegetables, they are great for overall good health.