Add 14 cholesterol-lowering foods to your diet

Add 14 cholesterol-lowering foods to your diet

Add 14 cholesterol-lowering foods to your diet 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost one in three Americans has high cholesterol, a risk factor that greatly affects your chances of developing long-term heart disease.


A diet high in cholesterol can also affect your risk of stroke, but you won't have any signs or symptoms beforehand which is why strokes can appear so sudden and unexplained.


How are you progressing The point is to add more foods that are high in good sources of cholesterol and find foods that can lower the amount of cholesterol you are eating.

 

First, a quick explanation: Cholesterol is a waxy substance that circulates in the bloodstream, but not all is bad. HDL cholesterol (also known as the "good" cholesterol) actually eliminates LDL cholesterol, or what is commonly referred to as the "bad" type.


High levels of LDL put you at risk of heart attack and stroke as it can clog your arteries with plaque, a condition known as atherosclerosis.


A blood test can determine if you have high cholesterol, and your doctor may recommend exercise or medication in addition to a healthier diet.

 

Lowering cholesterol through diet is easy. The point is to double up on some heart-healthy ingredients where possible.


Adding more vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, fish, and whole grains to your diet can help lower your cholesterol levels.


Try these heart-healthy foods for the best nutritional benefits.


1. Fruits and berries


Fruits are a great addition to a heart-healthy diet for several reasons.

 

Many fruits are high in soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol levels (1).

 

It does this by encouraging your body to get rid of cholesterol and by preventing your liver from making that connection.

 

A type of soluble fiber called pectin lowers cholesterol levels by up to 10%. It's found in fruits like apples, grapes, citrus, and strawberries (2).

 

The fruit also contains bioactive compounds that, due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, help prevent heart disease and other chronic diseases.

 

Eating berries and grapes, which are particularly rich in these botanicals, can help increase "good" HDL and lower "bad" LDL cholesterol (3).

 

Outline

The fruit can help lower cholesterol and improve heart health. This is mainly caused by its fiber and antioxidants.

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2. Oilyfish


Oily fish like salmon and mackerel are excellent sources of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids.

 

Omega-3 support heart health by increasing the “good” HDL cholesterol and reducing the risk of inflammation and stroke.

 

In a large 25-year adult study, those who ate the most non-fried fish were the least likely to develop metabolic syndrome, a group of symptoms that include high blood pressure and "good" low HDL (4).

 

In another large study of older adults, those who ate boiled or grilled tuna or other fish at least once a week had a 27% lower risk of stroke (5).

 

Remember that the healthiest way to cook fish is by steaming or braising it. In fact, fried fish can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke (6).

 

Fish is an important part of the Mediterranean diet, which has been extensively researched for its heart health benefits (7, 8).

 

Some of the heart-protective benefits of fish may also come from certain peptides found in fish proteins (9).

 

Outline

Oily fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids and are associated with a lower risk of heart disease and stroke.


3. Nuts, especially almonds and walnuts

 

Nuts are another exceptionally nutritious food.

 

They are high in monounsaturated fats. Nuts are also rich in the plant-based variety of omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat linked to heart health (10).

 

Almonds and other nuts are particularly high in L-arginine, an amino acid that helps your body make nitric oxide. This in turn helps in regulating blood pressure (11, 12).

 

In addition, nuts provide phytosterols. These plant compounds are structurally similar to cholesterol and help lower cholesterol by blocking its absorption in the intestines.

 

Calcium, magnesium, and potassium, which are also found in nuts, can lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.

 

In an analysis of 25 studies, the consumption of 2 to 3 servings of nuts per day reduced the “bad” LDL cholesterol by an average of 10.2 mg / dl (13).

 

Eating a daily serving of nuts is linked to a 28% lower risk of fatal and non-fatal heart disease (14).

 

Outline

Nuts are high in cholesterol-lowering fats and fibers, as well as minerals, which are responsible for better heart health.

Shop for  Nuts,  almonds, and walnuts online.

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4. Legumes

Legumes, also called pulses, are a group of plant-based foods that include beans, peas, and lentils.


Legumes are high in fiber, minerals, and protein. Replacing certain refined grains and processed meats in your diet with legumes can lower your risk of heart disease.

 

A review of 26 randomized controlled trials found that eating (130 grams) of legumes per day was effective at lowering "bad" LDL cholesterol (15).


Other studies link legumes to weight loss, even on diets that don't limit calories (16).


Outline

Legumes like beans, peas, and lentils can help lower "bad" LDL levels and are a good source of plant-based protein.

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5. Avocados

Avocados are exceptionally rich in nutrients.

 

They're high in monounsaturated fat and fiber, two nutrients that help lower “bad” LDL, and increase “good” HDL cholesterol (17).

 

Clinical studies support the cholesterol-lowering effects of avocados.

 

In one study, overweight and obese adults with high LDL cholesterol who ate one avocado a day lowered their LDL levels more than those who did not eat avocado (18).

 

An analysis of 10 studies found that replacing avocados with other fats was linked to reductions in total cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides (19).

 

Outline

Avocados provide monounsaturated fat and fiber, two heart-healthy, cholesterol-lowering nutrients.

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6.  Sesame Oil

Sesame oil contains sesamol and sesamol, two antioxidants that can have powerful effects on your health (20).


Sesame oil contains 82% of unsaturated fatty acids (21).


In particular, it is rich in omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat that is essential to your diet and plays an important role in preventing heart disease (22).


A month-long study of 48 adults found that those who consumed 4 tablespoons (59 ml) of sesame oil per day had greater reductions in LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides than those who consumed l. Olive oil (23).


Outline

Sesame oil is a healthy oil high in monounsaturated fatty acids that can reduce heart disease risk factors.

Shop for Sesame Oil online.


7. Extra virgin olive oil

Extra virgin olive oil is one of the most important foods in the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet.

 

A five-year study fed seniors at risk for heart disease with 4 tablespoons (60 ml) of extra virgin olive oil per day on the Mediterranean diet.

 

The olive oil group had a 30% lower risk of serious cardiac events such as stroke and heart attack than people on a low-fat diet (24).

 

Olive oil is a rich source of monounsaturated fat, which can help increase "good" HDL and lower "bad" LDL cholesterol.

 

It's also a source of polyphenols, some of which reduce inflammation that can lead to heart disease (25).

 

Outline

The main ingredient in the Mediterranean diet, olive oil contains monounsaturated fats and antioxidants that stimulate your heart.

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8. Dark leafy vegetables

While all vegetables are good for the heart, leafy greens are especially beneficial.

 

Dark green leafy vegetables like kale and spinach contain lutein and other carotenoids, which are linked to a lower risk of heart disease (26).

 

Carotenoids act as antioxidants to remove harmful free radicals that can harden the arteries (27).

 

Dark green leafy vegetables can also help lower cholesterol by binding to bile acids and causing your body to excrete more cholesterol (28).

 

One study suggested that lutein lowers levels of oxidized "bad" LDL cholesterol and may help prevent cholesterol from binding to arterial walls (29).

 

Outline

Dark green leafy vegetables are high in carotenoids, including lutein, which has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease and stroke.

Shop for vegetables online.


9. Vegetables

Vegetables are an essential part of a heart-healthy diet.

 

They are high in fiber and antioxidants and low in calories, which is necessary for maintaining a healthy weight.

 

Some vegetables are particularly high in pectin, the same soluble cholesterol-lowering fiber found in apples and oranges (30).

 

Vegetables rich in pectin also include okra, eggplant, carrots, and potatoes.

 

Vegetables also offer a wide variety of botanicals that offer numerous health benefits, including protection against heart disease.

 

Outline

Vegetables are high in fiber and antioxidants, and low in calories, making them a heart-healthy option.

Shop for vegetables online.

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10. Tea

Tea contains many herbal compounds that will improve your heart health.

 

While green tea gets a lot of attention, black tea and white tea share similar properties and health effects.

 

Two of the most important beneficial compounds in tea are:

 

Catechins: activate nitric oxide, which is important for healthy blood pressure. They also inhibit the synthesis and absorption of cholesterol and help prevent blood clots (31, 32).


Quercetin: May improve blood vessel function and reduce inflammation (33).


Although most studies associate tea with lower total LDL cholesterol and "bad" LDL cholesterol, the effects on "good" HDL cholesterol and blood pressure are mixed (34).

 

Outline

Drinking tea can help lower cholesterol and lower your risk of heart disease.

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11. Soyfoods

Soy is a type of legume that may be beneficial for heart health.

 

Although the study's results were inconsistent, the latest research is positive.

 

An analysis of 35 studies linked soy foods to reductions in "bad" LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol, as well as increases in "good" HDL cholesterol (35).

 

The effect seems to be stronger in people with high cholesterol.

 

Outline

There is some evidence that soy foods may lower risk factors for heart disease, especially in people with high cholesterol.


12. Bitter chocolate and cocoa

Cocoa is the main ingredient in dark chocolate.


It may sound too good to be true, but research confirms that dark chocolate and cocoa can lower the "bad" LDL cholesterol (36).

 

In one study, healthy adults drank a cocoa drink twice a day for a month.

 

They saw a 0.17 mmol / L (6.5 mg / dL) decrease in "bad" LDL cholesterol. Her blood pressure also fell and her "good" HDL cholesterol rose (37).

 

Cocoa and dark chocolate also appear to protect the "bad" LDL cholesterol in the blood from oxidation, which is a major cause of heart disease (38).

 

However, chocolate is often high in sugar, which is detrimental to heart health.

 

So use only cocoa or choose dark chocolate with a cocoa content of 75-85% or more.

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Outline

The flavonoids in dark chocolate and cocoa can help lower blood pressure and "bad" LDL cholesterol while increasing "good" HDL cholesterol.

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13. Whole grains, especially oats and barley

Extensive research links whole grains to a lower risk of heart disease.

 

In a review of 45 studies, consuming three servings of whole grains daily was linked to a 20% lower risk of heart disease and stroke. The benefits were even greater when people consumed more servings (up to seven) of whole grains per day (39).

 

Whole grains keep all parts of the grain intact and provide more vitamins, minerals, plant compounds, and fiber than refined grains.

 

While all whole grains can support heart health, two grains are particularly noteworthy:

 

Oatmeal: Contains beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber that helps lower cholesterol levels. Eating oatmeal can lower total cholesterol by 5% and “bad” LDL cholesterol by 7% (40 ).

Barley: It's also high in beta-glucans and may help lower the "bad" LDL cholesterol (41).

Outline

Whole grains are associated with a lower risk of heart disease. Oats and barley provide beta-glucan, a soluble fiber that is very effective in lowering the "bad" LDL cholesterol.

Shop for oats and barley online.


14. Garlic

Garlic has been used as an ingredient in cooking and as a medicine for centuries (42).

 

It contains several powerful botanicals, including allicin, its main active ingredient (43).

 

Studies suggest that garlic lowers blood pressure in people with high levels and may help lower total LDL cholesterol and “bad” cholesterol, although the latter effect is less potent (44, 45).

 

Because relatively large amounts of garlic are needed to achieve this protective effect on the heart, many studies use aged supplements, which are believed to be more effective than other garlic supplements (46).

 

Outline

Allicin and other herbal compounds found in garlic can help lower LDL cholesterol and lower other risk factors for heart disease.

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