8 Foods That Can Lower Your Cholesterol Levels
The idea of eating a diet that lowers cholesterol might conjure up mental images of flavorless, unappealing meals. Moreover, thoughts of giving up cholesterol-containing foods like cheese and eggs may induce depressing feelings of martyrdom. The truth is that eating nutritious foods conducive for good cholesterol levels and optimal health doesnt necessitate adopting a boring, bland and restricted diet; nor does it involve sacrificing cheese and eggs.
According to noted wellness physician Josh Axe, the top cause of high cholesterol is eating an inflammatory diet such as the typical American or the Western diet, which centers around meat, as well as refined, processed and sugary foods. Therefore, he advocates eating anti-inflammatory foods that include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, fatty fish and healthy fat like olive oil. These foods comprise the Mediterranean diet, an eating plan that research links to lower LDL, or bad cholesterol, and higher HDL, or good cholesterol. Furthermore, this diet isnt restrictive, so it can be sustained over the course of a lifetime.
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What about eggs and cheese? While eggs remain a topic of debate among experts, the preponderance of evidence shows they have little effect on cholesterol levels. In addition, research in recent years suggests cheese has been unjustly maligned; moderate consumption is actually associated with health benefits that involve better cholesterol and heart health.
Cholesterol is a naturally occurring substance in the body, essential for an array of functions. However, when inflammation rises, LDL cholesterol accumulates in the arteries, leading to a higher risk of blood clots that can cause heart attacks and strokes. Without further ado, here are some of the best foods for developing healthy cholesterol levels.
An easy way of improving your lipid profile is to have oatmeal for breakfast. Its very plentiful in fiber, one of the key elements of foods that lower cholesterol. A 2017 study published in the journal Lipids, Health and Disease found that two servings of oatmeal a day reduced cholesterol levels 8.1 percent after four weeks. Oatmeal contains beta-glucan, which absorbs cholesterol and then eliminates it.
2. Fatty Fish
Omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties, are linked to an array of wellness benefits, including healthy cholesterol. Salmon is one of the best sources. Harvard Medical School reports that eating fatty fish two to three times a week decreases LDL and triglyceride levels.
A good source of healthy fats and fiber, tree nuts like walnuts, pecans and almonds, along with peanuts offer several health advantages. Research, such as a 2010 investigation published in the journal Nutrients, consistently shows that nut intake reduces cholesterol. These nutrient-dense foods also lower inflammation.
Rich in antioxidants, both black and green tea are another dietary element with multiple positive effects. A 2003 study published in the Journal of Nutrition discovered that five servings of black tea per day appreciably reduced LDL and total cholesterol in people diagnosed with mildly high cholesterol.
Researchers at Arizona State University Polytechnic led a study that found adding a half-cup of beans to soup may lower cholesterol by up to 8 percent. Beans have an abundance of fiber, trace minerals and antioxidants.
6. Whole Grains
The American Heart Association recommends eating 100-percent whole grains because of their high fiber content. Research indicates they may improve cholesterol and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. The organization emphasizes avoiding refined grains and opting for varieties such as brown rice, barley, quinoa, amaranth, millet, rye and bulgur.
7. Olive Oil
Dr. Oz calls olive oil a nutritional superstar and for good reason. He explains that the oils antioxidants and monounsaturated fats help decrease LDL and raise HDL while reducing the likelihood of blood clots. Use extra virgin olive oil to make your own salad dressings and marinades.
8. Foods with Soluble Fiber
Although many plant foods, including some of those mentioned above, contain soluble fiber, some have more than others. Harvard makes special mention of okra and eggplant, as well as grapes, apples and citrus fruits, the latter of which are plentiful in pectin, a fiber that lowers LDL. Vegetables, especially green ones like spinach, can also help prevent cholesterol buildup.
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.