Foods That Lower Cholesterol
Synopsis: A list of foods you can eat that can help lower your cholesterol level if you are serious about a healthy diet and living an active lifestyle.1
Published: 2011-06-20 Updated: 2012-09-21
Main DigestIt is an established fact that healthy foods belong to the upper list of forbidden foods to eat.
True enough, people just cannot help but be tempted to take a bite of them, more so in devouring every last bit. Your mind may tell you that it is perfectly alright to try these foods every once in a while, but your occasional cravings turn into an almost daily consumption of very unhealthy foods.
Deep within yourself, you know well enough to stay away from these foods because they are simply not good for your health. If you are serious about adhering to a healthy diet and living an active lifestyle, then you should start seeking ways to control yourself from eating these forbidden foods.
Listed below are ten foods that can help lower your cholesterol:
Oatmeal and oat bran both contain soluble fiber, a type of fiber which lowers the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, commonly known as the bad cholesterol, without depleting the High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, otherwise known as the good cholesterol. According to scientific research, people who stick with diets containing the most whole grains have the thinnest arterial walls in the heart, and are less likely to exhibit thickening of the blood vessel walls.
Studies have proved that people who eat two apples a day can lower their cholesterol by as much as 16 percent. The pectin in apples is a soluble fiber that helps draw the cholesterol out of the system. Moreover, the flavonoids in this fruit act as potent antioxidants that appear to short-circuit the process leading to the build-up of bad cholesterol in the bloodstream. Other than that, apples are also known to prevent the hardening and thickening of the arteries. As the famous adage goes, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away".
Another excellent source of soluble fiber are beans. Whether eaten whole or in spreads, beans help reduce cholesterol. You can make a complete power protein meal by properly combining beans with brown rice, seeds and corn.
4. Brown Rice
The oil found in brown rice, not the fiber, reduces the body's cholesterol levels. When combined with beans, brown rice forms an inexpensive protein which is low in saturated fat. Furthermore, brown rice provides a good dose of heart-healthy fiber, magnesium and Vitamin Bs.
Studies show that half a teaspoon of cinnamon a day reduces blood sugar levels in people who suffer from Type 2 Diabetes. Moreover, it reduces triglycerides, LDL cholesterol and the total cholesterol level.
The medicinal uses of garlic have been around since time immemorial. Now, it is used to lower the body's cholesterol levels. Alternatively, the chemical Allicin, which is found in garlic, is shown to kill bacteria and fungi, lessen certain digestive disorders, and prevent clotting diseases.
The flavonoids found in grapes help protect LDL cholesterol from free radical damage and help reduce clumping of platelets. The cholesterol-lowering effect of grapes is from a compound which is normally produced by the fruit to resist mold. Hence, the darker the grapes, the better they will be for your health.
8. Fish (Salmon)
Fish is a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol and to raise HDL cholesterol. In 2002, the American Heart Association recommended eating at least two servings of fish per week, particularly fatty fish like sardines, salmon, and mackerel.
9. Soy Products
The isoflavones found in soybeans act like human hormones, lowering the LDL cholesterol and raising the HDL cholesterol. Additionally, soybeans contain a soluble fiber, which is known to reduce the bad cholesterol levels, too.
According to research, eating walnuts after a high-fat meal can protect your heart. Omega-3 fats and antioxidants found in walnuts reverse the arterial damage caused by saturated fats. Walnuts also help keep your blood vessels healthy and elastic. The polyunsaturated fatty acids found in walnuts are shown to effectively reduce blood cholesterol.
Despite the wide assortment of delicious foods that are very harmful to your health, picking the right healthy food choices will make a lot of difference. You may not yet feel it now, but as you grow old, you will be significantly healthier because of the healthy foods you ate when you were younger.
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