In Cholesterol/ Healthy Eating

8 Healthy Foods to Lower Cholesterol

cholesterol lowering foods

A healthy diet coupled with consistent physical activity, reducing your salt and sugar intake can work wonders for your cholesterol levels.

Eating foods high in saturated fat and trans fat can increase your LDL ‘Bad’ cholesterol and decrease your HDL ‘Good’ cholesterol.

Healthy foods that lower cholesterol

The following foods are a great addition to a healthy eating plan:

Eggplant

Eggplant, or alternatively okra, are excellent natural sources of soluble fiber. A good portion of soluble fibers in your diet can help lower your cholesterol levels in your blood by up to 15%.

Nuts

Nuts are a good source of fiber, unsaturated fatty acids and plant sterols, each of which 8 healthy foods to lower cholesterolhelp the body lower cholesterol and are good for the heart. Plant sterols, in particular, are a good substitute to cholesterol due to their similarity in chemical nature to cholesterol. Nuts can be added to your diet in the form of a salad, appetizer or a healthy snack.

Asparagus

Asparagus is rich in fructooligosacchrides (FOS), which is a form of carbohydrate that works to lower cholesterol levels in the blood. Asparagus is also a good source of glutathione, which is good for the arteries as it works to remove oxidized cholesterol from the blood stream. Asparagus can be added to your diet in mashed or whole form. It goes well with soups or a light vinaigrette.

Oats

Oats contain a good proportion of this beta-glucan. Beta-glucan helps to eliminate cholesterol and helps with digestion. Incorporate them in your diet by adding them to a dessert, salad or with milk to make a creamy bowl of oatmeal.

Apples

You’ve heard the saying ‘an apple a day, keeps the doctor away’. There are in fact many benefits that apples provide for our body. The antioxidants and flavonoids, coupled with pectin in the apple’s flesh, remove the bad cholesterol. Apples also contain phytonutrients which may help prevent cancer. Apples can be consumed raw or by extracting it juice. But, apples in raw form are the most beneficial.

Tomato

Cholesterol in the blood tends to oxidize, thereby causing the narrowing of arteries. Tomatoes contain lycopene, which are strong antioxidants. This help dissolve the free radicals that are produced by the cells. Lycopene also helps prevent prostate cancer, diabetes and osteoporosis. Other sources of lycopene include melons and papayas. Tomato sauce are a richer source of lycopene compared to raw tomatoes.

Bilberry

Another antioxidant, pterostilbene, works to metabolize the cholesterol in the body, resulting in a lowered risk of cardiovascular diseases by up to 40%. Good sources of pterostilbene are found in red grapes, vaccinium berries {Red huckleberries, cranberries, lingonberries and blueberries} and almonds.

Grapefruit

Like apples, grapefruits contain flavonoids. Pink grapefruit contains the bitter tasting naringenin that helps bring down levels of the bad cholesterol present in the blood. But, it is important to bear in mind that some components of grapefruit might react with certain drugs, causing side-effect or reducing the effectiveness of the drug.

These are just some of the foods that help to lower ‘bad’ cholesterol. Eating a healthy whole food diet along with moderate exercise is a great way to improve your overall health.

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