Finding the right foods to lower your cholesterol is easy and with just a few servings per day needed, these foods can easily be incorporated into your diet.
When you’re looking to lower your cholesterol it’s important to first identify the “good” and the “bad” types of cholesterol. HDL-Cholesterol is the “good” kind. It helps sweep up the bad cholesterol and promptly transport it to the liver, where it is disposed of. LDL-cholesterol is the “bad” kind. If you have high levels of LDL your chances of developing fatal plaque is significantly higher.
Here are 5 foods that will help you lower your cholesterol:
Fish: fatty fish and omega-3 fatty acids
Fatty fish with omega-3 fatty acids are a great source for lowering cholesterol. Omega-3 fats help to lower your LDL-cholesterol, which can in turn lower your blood pressure, help prevent abnormal heart rhythms and developing blood clots, and lower the amount of triglycerides in your blood stream. Two servings of fish per week is all you need.
Oats: oatmeal and other foods high in fiber
The big deal with oats is they’re high in soluble fiber. Soluble fiber helps lower the amount of LDL that gets absorbed into your bloodstream. Your body requires 5-10 grams of fiber per day and at least 5-10 grams of that should be soluble fiber. Other foods that are high in soluble fiber are apples, bananas, strawberries, citrus fruits, eggplant, and okra.
Nuts: walnuts, almonds and other nuts
Just about any nut you pick is a good choice for lowering your cholesterol. Walnuts, almonds, pecans, pistachios, hazelnuts, peanuts, they all contain a powerful punch of LDL-lowering nutrients. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that nuts are high in calories so a small amount will do – about 2 ounces per day can reduce your LDL by 5%. Also, make sure they are not salted or coated with sugar.
Foods enriched with plant sterols and stanols
It is becoming popular to enrich foods with sterols and stanols extracted from plants these days, which is a great thing. These foods include: orange juice, chocolate, margarine and yogurt drinks. Sterols and stanols make it difficult for your body to fully absorb LDL from foods while producing no negative effect on HDL-cholesterol or your triglycerides. Just 2 grams per day has been shown to reduce cholesterol by up to 10%.
Beans: kidney beans, garbanzos and other beans
Like with nuts, almost all beans are a good source of cholesterol-lowering food. And like with oats, beans are high in soluble fiber, so they help lower the intake of LDL into your bloodstream. Beans also make you feel like you are full longer since they take longer to digest. The real great thing about beans, though, is that you can incorporate them into almost any meal. They are such a flexible food when you’re cooking. Try lentils, black-eyed peas, kidney beans or whatever kind of bean you like.
Isaac Sanger is a staff writer for Cascade Healthcare Solutions, an online seller of healthcare supplies.