Concerned about cholesterol? Try out these foods that can lower cholesterol.
We have all heard about lower cholesterol content in advertisements, but what is cholesterol? Every food item is as good and as bad depending on their intake. Cholesterol is one such substance that is almost fat-like. Hearing the word fat may seem alarming but as proteins are essential to our body, so is cholesterol. They help the body digest food, synthesize vitamin D and hormones. Cholesterol is either synthesized in the body or they are provided by food via meats, dairy products, and poultry. Consumption of cholesterol lowering foods can really do the trick to keep your heart safe and healthy.
Yes! All these sounds about right but what makes it harmful?
You would have heard about trans fats and saturated fats. These fats are chemically stable and inert which simply means that they cannot be broken down in the body like how carbohydrates and proteins provide energy. Just like these fats, there is good cholesterol (HDL) and bad cholesterol (LDL). The liver is the organ where LDL is broken down and good cholesterol is synthesized.
LDL cholesterol gets accumulated in the arteries over time and this makes the passage of blood difficult by causing narrow pathways. It leads to heart problems and PAD (peripheral artery disease). Balanced levels of HDL cholesterol can prevent strokes and heart attacks. It is termed good cholesterol as they decrease the building up LDL cholesterol in the arteries and take them to the liver. But HDL cannot always do the job, about one-fourth of LDL can only be taken away.
How to lower cholesterol with diet?
Always begin your day by munching on nuts like almonds, walnuts, and pistachios. These are exceptionally healthy snacks to consider. They contain omega-3-fatty acids that can lower LDL cholesterol levels. Abundant with amino acid L-Arginine which helps lower blood pressure by synthesis of nitric acid. Nuts also contain plant sterol that can reduce the absorption of cholesterol in the intestines. Try about half a cup of mixed nuts every day.
Half a cup of legumes can contribute to your diet plus benefit you with decreasing cholesterol levels. These contain proteins, minerals, and fiber. Fibers can be of two types, soluble and insoluble which support lower LDL cholesterol gut absorption. While these food items can be hard to digest, they are perfect to keep the feeling of satiate. Lentil, common bean, chickpea, and green pea are some legumes to take into account.
3. Whole grains-
Seamless combinational breakfast food is whole grains. Starting the day with oatmeals, granola oats can be taken to target weight loss as well as cholesterol control. These contain soluble fibers that can lower LDL cholesterol and promote the formation of good cholesterol. Bran- the outermost covering of the whole grain provides the most fiber.
4. Versatile olive oil-
Rich in polyphenols like oleic acids which are monosaturated fatty acids, this olive oil can be a life savior. Using them in salads can be convenient as well as healthy. Olive oil can increase lipid profile by the production of HDL cholesterol. These are basically plant-based fat that is always a better choice than animal-based.
We’ve all heard of fish is a very important nutrient source. Consumption of fish oil capsules has become important for their omega-3-fatty acids content. Salmon, tuna, albacore and sardines. It is helpful by reducing triglyceride content in blood and approximately 8 ounces in a week is sufficient.
One of the most nutrient-dense food is avocado. They can be consumed as milkshakes or with salad, avocado oils, or just raw. These also contain oleic acids that are these workouts known for the reduction of LDL cholesterol. They are also a good source of vitamin C, K, and B-6.
7. Okra or lady’s finger–
Seeing all the above oils and dry stuff, it is a bit surprising but the lady’s finger also helps lower blood cholesterol. During digestion, they bind to cholesterol and break it down.
Black tea or green tea are filled with antioxidants that are known for lowering cholesterol. It was proven that green tea not only lowers LDL cholesterol but also overall. So just sit back and relax with a cup of green tea after the meals and you are doing justice to your body health.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away!. We have all sang this during our childhood, well it is most certainly true. Apple along with other fruits like pears, oranges, berries, papaya, and lemons lower cholesterol with the help of an ingredient named pectin fiber. They also are a source of antioxidants, and limonoid compounds (slows artery hardening).
10. Plant sterols-
Cholesterol is a type of sterol as the name suggests. Plant sterols have a structure similarity towards cholesterol and hence compete to get absorbed by the body first and leave out cholesterol. They can also reduce the formation of cholesterol in the body.
11. Dark chocolate-
Last by certainly not the least. Proven by clinical trials that dark chocolates lower LDL cholesterol and overall cholesterol. They contain flavonoids and antioxidants. After all the weight loss efforts and cholesterol control diets, reward yourself with dark chocolate and rejuvenate.
We’ve seen all the main foods that lower cholesterol but along with these, the workout is also important. Simple things like walking, cycling, or a sport that is your favorite. Monitoring the fat content in the body is especially important and hence being overweight can lead to cholesterol risks. Focus on quitting smoking for better HDL cholesterol and it is shown that within a month of doing so, your blood circulation is increased significantly. Also, drinking alcohol within limits can do more good than harm. Red wines have shown unusual characteristics of lowering cholesterol and helping with blood clots too. If you are having high cholesterol, a major change is the food items and you might even like to consider trying cholesterol diets.