It is not a hidden fact that what we eat determines our health and lifestyle. We can easily eat our way to obesity, high cholesterol and many other health conditions. The opposite is also true- we can improve and maintain our cholesterol by making changes to our diet, adding foods that decrease levels of LDL (low density lipoprotein), or in other words ‘bad cholesterol’, and cutting back on foods that facilitate the growth of LDL in the body. These two steps are essential if you are suffering from high cholesterol and want to control it the natural way.
In this article you will find out about top Superfoods that lower cholesterol fast and tips on how to include them in your diet. If you are already consuming these foods, you are very likely to have low cholesterol and good overall health, but if you aren’t, then you shouldn’t delay it more because high cholesterol could result in serious cardiovascular diseases.
8 Foods that Lower Cholesterol
We all love avocados because of they are creamy and delicious. But not many people know that avocados are also high in good fats that fights against high cholesterol. In fact, a research study was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association which revealed that eating one avocado every day significantly lowers the LDL cholesterol.
How avocados help in lowering cholesterol? Because they are a good source of monounsaturated fat, which contain essential fatty acids that reduce cholesterol level and promotes heart health.
The most popular way to consume avocados is making guacamole, which combines the goodness of avocado with fiber. But if you are looking for a less-calorie alternative, then using mashed avocado instead of mayo and other sandwich spreads or putting chopped avocados in your regular salad could be the best options.
If you want to naturally treat high cholesterol without making drastic changes to your regular diet than just by switching to a bowl of oats or oatmeal for your breakfast can lower bad cholesterol by more than 5% in just a couple of months.
The reason why oats are highly recommended for lowering cholesterol is the presence of a substance known as beta-glucan which absorbs LDL from bloodstream which is then excreted by your body. It is also rich in fiber and is excellent for preventing diabeters, heart diseases and obesity.
You can make have oats with milk and honey or they can also be used to make smoothies with fruits of your choice.
Like Oats, barley and other whole grains are also very rich in soluble fiber, which helps reduce weight, cholesterol and cardiovascular diseases. Barley provides double protection against cholesterol; the beta-glucan in barley fights against the absorption of cholesterol while it promotes the production of bile acid in the liver which also lowers LDL cholesterol. Barley can be cooked with milk, which is a healthy option for breakfast or used to make soups and drinks.
4. Apples and Berries
Latest researches in food sciences have proved that an apple a day can really keep a doctor away. According to studies, apples can lower LDL cholesterol by 10%. They are not only high in soluble fiber, but are also a source of pectin, a substance which transforms into a gel when mixed with water. This gel clings to bad cholesterol and prevents it from absorbing into the bloodstream.
Berries, particularly strawberries are also a good source of pectin. In addition to this, they have bioactive compounds that have anti inflammatory and anti oxidant properties and this makes them highly beneficial in lowering cholesterol and preventing heart and various other chronic diseases.
5. Oily Fish
Fishes that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as mackerel and salmon improve the heart heart, increase good cholesterol (HDL) and reduce the risk of stroke.
A study was conducted in which the health of adults were observed for 25 years and it was revealed that those individuals who consumed non-fried fish minimum once a week had 27% less risk of stroke and cardiovascular diseases.
Just like apples and berries, many vegetables are also an excellent source of pectin which lowers cholesterol. These include eggplant, potatoes (with skin), okra, carrots and spinach. These vegetables are low in calories and high in fiber and should be a part of your daily diet if you want a healthy heart.
Are you a hummus or baked bean lover? Then consider yourself lucky because beans, lentils and other types of legumes are rich in soluble and insoluble fiber which, as we know by now, reduce bad cholesterol in our bodies. Beans could be a little hard on some peoples’ digestive system but if you aren’t one of them, increasing your beans and legumes intake can significantly improve your cholesterol level.
Numerous studies have confirmed the health benefits of walnuts. It is strongly recommended to include nuts, especially walnuts in your daily diet as they are rich in heart-health friendly monounsaturated fats and soluble fiber and can lessen risks of heart diseases and stroke by 10%.
Apart from lowering LDL cholesterol, studies show that walnuts are good for memory and are effective in slowing down the growth of colon and breast cancer cells.