Knowing foods that lower cholesterol levels can help you keep bad cholesterol in check. Monitoring your cholesterol level becomes highly important as you age. While only some cholesterol is harmful, the body produces the good and bad types depending on the food you eat. High bad cholesterol levels can increase your risk of getting a heart attack, heart disease, or stroke by causing plaque buildup in your arteries.
This Article Highlights 10 Surprising Foods That Can Help You Achieve A Healthy Cholesterol Level
The Delicious Solutions
Oats are among the best cholesterol reducing foods. They contain soluble fibers called beta-glucans, which form a sticky layer in your small intestine. This layer blocks cholesterol by reducing the excess saturated fat that enters the bloodstream from the food you eat. Hence, eating oatmeal can help you keep bad cholesterol in check.
Increasing your intake of fiber-rich foods is among the best ways to keep bad cholesterol in check. Beans are some of the best foods to reduce cholesterol since they are rich in soluble fiber. Experts have linked this soluble fiber to better heart health. Besides their high levels of soluble fiber, some beans, like chickpeas, are rich in antioxidants.
Nuts supply the body with almost 80% of calories from their fat. However, it’s unsaturated fat, so it doesn’t clog the arteries. Also, nuts have a high level of sterols, which blocks cholesterol from entering the body. Hence, they are among the foods that lower LDL. Pecans, hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, and pistachios are some of the nuts that make a heart-healthy diet.
Avocado is a silky-green fruit that’s rich in oleic acid. This acid is a healthy monounsaturated fat that lowers bad cholesterol while increasing good cholesterol. Moreover, avocados are rich in beta-sitosterol and fiber, which help the body regulate cholesterol. Hence, avocado is an excellent LDL control food.
5. Fatty Fish
Fatty fish like sardines, albacore tuna, halibut, and salmon have high omega-3 fatty acids, which lower triglycerides in your blood. Consuming eight ounces of fish weekly, whether grilled or baked, can reduce cholesterol in your body.
Apples are crunchy crowd-pleasers with numerous benefits, including lowering the bad cholesterol that hardens the arteries. Research has shown that eating more apples reduces the risk of stroke. Besides lowering bad cholesterol, apple skins have phenolic, an antioxidant that promotes blood flow and healthy cellular function.
Berries like raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries are some of the best foods that lower cholesterol fast. Berries are rich in polyphenols, which regulate the cardiovascular system. Research has shown that regular consumption of berries can reduce blood pressure due to their circulation-boosting impact on blood vessels.
8. Dark Chocolate
Cocoa powder and dark chocolate have potent antioxidants called flavonoids, which help the body lower LDL cholesterol. Add small dark chocolate portions to your cholesterol control diet, preferably with 70% or more cocoa content.
9. Green Tea
You’ve heard that green tea is good for your body, but does green tea reduce cholesterol? Most people consume green tea to soothe their bodies after a stressful day. However, unfermented green tea reduce cholesterol due to its high level of catechins, the antioxidants with cholesterol-lowering effects.
Soy is also an excellent cholesterol control food. Soy milk, tofu, and edamame are rich in protein. Eating 25 grams of soy daily can lower cholesterol by 5-6%. You can eat edamame as a snack, top off a cereal bowl with soy milk, or substitute tofu for stir-fried meat.
This list can go up to 15 foods that lower cholesterol. However, looking for cholesterol-free foods is most important, especially when fighting LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein). High levels of LDL cause its accumulation in the blood vessels, forming the plaque that increases the risk of stroke and heart attack. Here are additional tips on how to reduce LDL cholesterol fast.
- Avoid saturated fat: Foods rich in saturated fat raise LDL cholesterol while promoting weight gain. Therefore, avoid these foods to enhance the health of your arteries.
- Exercise: Besides eating foods that lower cholesterol, increase your participation in physical activity. Moderate exercising can help the body increase high-density lipoprotein or good cholesterol. Exercising for at least 30 minutes five times a week can help.
- Lose weight: Extra pounds can increase your cholesterol level. Therefore, try to manage body weight by reducing your intake of sugary beverages and going for snacks that do not add calories.
- Stop smoking: Quitting smoking is also a vital tip on how to lower LDL cholesterol fast. It improves lung function, blood circulation, and heart health.
- Moderate alcohol consumption: Moderate alcohol consumption can increase HDL cholesterol. However, the benefits are weak to recommend alcohol consumption. If you must drink alcohol, consume it in moderation.
While these tips on how to reduce cholesterol fast can help, keeping LDL cholesterol in check requires significant lifestyle changes. Therefore, follow the above tips in addition to adding LDL-control foods to your diet.