Here we will talk about the top 7 cholesterol reducing foods. And these foods will definitely help you to reduce your cholesterol level without taking any medicine.
By following a heart-healthy diet can improve your blood cholesterol and keep your heart healthy. So let’s find out which foods are the best to help lower your cholesterol level.
But before that let’s talk about what is cholesterol. Cholesterol is a kind of fat available in your bloodstream that is produced naturally by your body. It is also found in certain foods such as eggs, offal (such as kidney and liver), and shellfish. Your body needs some cholesterol to function properly.
When you have high cholesterol levels in your blood ( called hyperlipidemia) it accelerates the process of atherosclerosis. This is when plaque builds up in the wall of your arteries, making them narrow. This makes it harder for blood to flow through them and over time it can cause a heart attack or stroke.
Types of cholesterol: High cholesterol shows no symptoms. You need to have your blood tested to see if you have any. A blood test will tell you the levels of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ cholesterol in your blood.
Cholesterol is carried by various ‘carriers’ (also called lipoprotein) around the body. The two most common lipoproteins are:
- Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol: Cholesterol LDL means bad cholesterol. Cholesterol LDL means bad because if you have too much LDL cholesterol it gets stuck to the walls of your arteries.
- High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol: Cholesterol HDL means good cholesterol. Cholesterol HDL means good because it helps to get rid of bad cholesterol (LDL) from your blood vessels.
Now let’s talk about the cholesterol normal values:
LDL Less than 100mg/dL
HDL 40mg/dL or higher
So these are the cholesterol normal values, so make sure when you get your cholesterol blood test report then remind these values in your mind.
Now let’s talk about the top 7 cholesterol reducing foods:
1. Oats and barley: Eating whole grains lowers your risk of heart disease. Oats and barley are extra special because they contain a type of soluble fiber called ‘beta-glucan. Beta-glucan helps reduce the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol in your blood. Oats and barley could be the best cholesterol reducing foods.
2. Vegetables and fruits: There are a lot of colorful vegetables and fruits, eating them every day can help protect you from heart disease, stroke, and some cancers. Many vegetables and fruits are high in soluble fiber which helps reduce the absorption of cholesterol in your blood and lower ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol. Vegetables and fruits are the cheapest cholesterol reducing foods.
3. Foods containing healthy fats: Eating plenty of heart-healthy mono and poly-unsaturated fats raise the level of ‘good’ HDL cholesterol in your blood.
Following foods contains healthy fats:
- Oily fish like mackerel, sardines, and salmon
- Nuts and seeds
- Vegetables oils and spreads
Eating these foods instead of eating more saturated fat (butter, cream, meat fat) improves your cholesterol. It will also reduce your risk of heart disease. Healthy fats foods are really the best cholesterol reducing foods.
4. Legumes and beans: Legumes like lentils and chickpeas are the best source of soluble fiber and plant-based protein. Eating lentils and beans instead of meat can help lower your ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol. Legumes and beans are easy to make cholesterol reducing foods.
5. Nuts: Nuts contain heart-healthy fats and fiber that can help control your cholesterol. Regular nut eating is associated with lower levels of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
6. Soy products: Soy products like tofu, soy milk, soybeans, and soy chunks are very good cholesterol reducing foods. Some evidence shows that regular consumption of soy products can help reduce ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
7. Plant sterols: Low levels of plant sterols are found in nuts, cereals, fruits, and vegetables. However, some foods (such as margarine) contain plant sterols. Eating plant sterols as part of a balanced diet can lower ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol. This is because they reduce your cholesterol absorption.
These are the top 7 cholesterol reducing foods. There is no single food that can help you to lower your cholesterol level. And it is very important to focus on the quantity of your overall diet. So include most of these foods in your daily diet to reduce your cholesterol level.
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