10 Best Foods For Your Cholesterol Levels
You may be one of those people who are genetically predisposed to high cholesterol or maybe you need to modify your diet. Foods that lower cholesterol levels in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle are the most effective way of lowering cholesterol naturally.
If your cholesterol levels are high, you may have to take medicine to reduce cholesterol, but it is equally important to eat a diet that is healthy for your heart and to take exercise.
There are two types of cholesterol in your body. Low density lipoprotein (LDL), or bad cholesterol, deposits on arterial walls and forms plaques, which makes them hard and narrow. This restricts free flow of blood to your heart and increases the risk of heart attack. Good cholesterol or high density lipoprotein (HDL) carries excess LDL away from the blood to the liver for disposal. Cholesterol lowering foods work on exactly this principle, the more HDL you ingest, the less LDL you have in your blood.
1. Oatmeal and Whole Grains. Studies conducted have revealed that people eating a diet high in whole grains are less prone to develop atherosclerosis, a stage of thickened arteries involving fatty deposits inside the arterial walls. Whole grains and oatmeal are high in soluble fiber, which reduces the amount of cholesterol the body absorbs.
2. Fish. Fish, particularly salmon and tuna, provide enough omega-3 fatty acids and HDL to lower LDL cholesterol and blood pressure.
3. Olive Oil, Olives and Avocados. Unsaturated fats are good for your heart as they help in increasing HDL. Avocados, olive oil and olives are rich sources of unsaturated fats and decrease LDL cholesterol. As much as possible, use virgin olive oil for cooking.
4. Almonds, pistachios and walnuts. Almonds contain plant sterols that block absorption of cholesterol and walnuts are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids that keep blood vessels healthy and elastic. Pistachios are rich in selenium, an antioxidant that prevents cardiovascular diseases.
5. Apple. An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Apples provide both soluble and insoluble fiber and protect your arteries from getting hard.
6. Brown rice. Whole brown rice reduces your body’s cholesterol levels and is also rich in fiber and magnesium.
7. Cinnamon. Take a teaspoon of cinnamon every day or drink cinnamon tea to reduce bad cholesterol and triglycerides.
8. Grapes, blueberries and strawberries. These are loaded with flavonoids and antioxidants that prevent damage from free radicals and make LDL cholesterol less damaging.
9. Yogurt. Eat at least two portions of yoghurt with live cultures. Lactobacillus Acidophilus and Lactobacillus reuteri help in restricting re-absorption of cholesterol and also confer a high level of resistance to pathogens.
10. Garlic. Garlic contains an organic sulfur compound known as allicin. Apart from lowering cholesterol levels, it prevents blood clotting and kills fungi and bacteria.
High cholesterol levels normally do not show symptoms at early stages. Regardless of whether you are young or old, lean or overweight, male or female, everyone should have blood cholesterol levels checked regularly to avoid problems later on.