Keeping the cholesterol level healthy is the best way to keep heart disease or stroke at bay. If you have been diagnosed with high cholesterol, diet can play a crucial role in lowering your cholesterol. To keep the cholesterol level healthy, you need to follow a healthy diet which is low in saturated fat. Adding these 10 superfoods in your diet will help you lower your cholesterol level.
Walnuts, almonds and few other nuts are excellent for lowering cholesterol. These nuts, especially almond and walnuts, are high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamin E, magnesium, potassium and many other beneficial plant nutrients which help to prevent the LDL cholesterol from getting oxidized and protect the blood vessel lining from getting damaged. By keeping the blood vessels healthy, almonds and walnuts reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Peanuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts and pistachio nuts are also good for heart health. Avoid eating too many nuts as they are high in calories; only a handful will do.
Avocados are rich in heart healthy monounsaturated fats that have been found to raise HDL cholesterol while reducing the level of LDL (bad) cholesterol. Avocados also contain a plant based fat beta-sitosterol which is helpful in reducing the amount of cholesterol absorbed from food. Eat avocados in moderation as they are also high in calories.
Being rich in soluble fiber, oatmeal is helpful in reducing LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol. Beta-glucan(soluble fiber) contained in oatmeal forms a gel which helps bind cholesterol in the intestine and prevents it from getting absorbed. Consider eating a bowl of oat bran cereal in your breakfast to lower your cholesterol count.
Fish and omega-3 fatty acids
Eating fatty fish can help to lower your cholesterol level as it contains high amount of omega-3 fatty acids. Besides lowering the level of LDL cholesterol, they will raise the level of HDL (good) cholesterol. Highest level of omega-3 is found in fish like salmon, Mackerel, sardine, herring and tuna. They are heart healthy, lower blood pressure and minimize the risk of developing blood clots.
The abundance of fiber in beans makes it an excellent cholesterol lowering and heart healthy food. Being high in fiber it slows the amount and rate of absorption of cholesterol in some foods. Adding it in your diet will help to lower total cholesterol, along with LDL cholesterol.
The powerful antioxidants contained in blueberries are great for keeping the cholesterol levels in check. Eating them as snack or adding them to cereals, yogurt will not only enhance the taste of your breakfast but will help to lower LDL cholesterol and keep your heart healthy.
Garlic is another natural ingredient you must add to your daily diet to keep your cholesterol at a safe level. Consuming 2-3 cloves of garlic every day will help to lower your cholesterol level, prevent blood clotting, lower blood pressure and also prevent infection. Studies claim that it can prevent cholesterol particles from sticking to artery walls and reduces the chances of clogging the arteries. You can add garlic cloves in your soups and other dishes to enjoy its benefits.
Black tea can be great for lowering LDL cholesterol level. A recent research has shown that it can reduce blood lipids up to 10% in just 3 weeks. It also contains cancer fighting antioxidant and also lowers the risk of coronary heart diseases. Drinking 1-2 cup of black tea is highly beneficial for heart health.
Soya foods are low in saturated fats and hence help to lower cholesterol level. Research has shown that including just 15 grams of soya protein in your diet will help you lower your cholesterol level nearly 6%.
Olive oil is the healthiest oil in the earth. It is rich is heart healthy monounsaturated fatty acids which also help to lower LDL cholesterol. Use this oil in salad dressings, cook vegetables etc. for keeping your heart healthy.Along with consuming these cholesterol lowering foods, also focus on healthy life-style to control your numbers.