Your body naturally creates cholesterol. You need it to build cells, digest food, produce hormones and generate Vitamin D.
The problem is that too much of the Low Density Lipoproteins (LDLs) or “bad” cholesterol may cause coronary heart disease and heart attacks. You can get too much LDL from eating the wrong food but also from diabetes, liver and kidney disease, an underactive thyroid gland and other nasty diseases.
You can take drugs to help lower your LDLs or you can try a regime of eating right, exercising, and losing weight. Some foods can help you lower your level cholesterol (and may help you lose weight).
Check out these seven foods… and we’ll give you a special one at the very end (you will most definitely LOVE it!).
One avocado a day can lower LDL levels. They are rich in mono-unsaturated fats and high in fiber. Both lower LDL and raise HDL or good cholesterol. Using avocado oil can help lower LDL and triglycerides (blood fats) as well.
Use avocados in place of mayonnaise, on top of sandwiches, or on a leafy green salad. Turn them into smoothies or make avocado bread. Like zucchini, avocado can hide in everything and lower your cholesterol at the same time.
Eating beans, peas, and lentils may help lower cholesterol. Use legumes in place of refined grains (white flour and white rice) and meats. The fiber, minerals and plant-based protein in legumes can help lower LDL.
Eat at least ½ a cup a day. Obviously, you don’t want to cook them in fat or mix the lard into refried beans. Don’t over-salt them, either since salt is hard on the heart. There are several dozen varieties of legumes out there, so try them all!
3. Fatty Fish
Fish like tuna, salmon and sardines have omega-3 fatty acids. Healthy fats increase your “good” cholesterol and lower chronic inflammation.
Studies show that eating fatty fish regularly may prevent the development of high blood pressure and low “good” cholesterol levels. It also lowers the risk of stroke by 27%.
Don’t fry fatty fish. It destroys the good and adds bad fats. If you can’t stand fish, eat nuts (within moderation), flaxseeds and cook with flaxseed oil and soybean oil.
4. Oats and Barley
Refined grains are bad for your cholesterol levels and waistline. Instead of eating white flour products, go for whole grains in bread, pasta and for breakfast. The research is extensive and conclusive. Three servings a day of whole grains lead to a 20% reduced risk of heart disease. The more whole grain servings you eat a day, the better.
A bowl of oatmeal, without the butter and maple syrup, may lower LDL cholesterol by 7%. Barley has much the same properties.
Garlic has a long history of being healthy (and keeping away vampires!). Garlic lowers blood pressure and may lower LDL and triglycerides. Researchers suggest using aged garlic supplements. The recommended dose is one or two cloves of raw garlic (crush and swallow in water) or 300 mg of garlic tablets.
If you are taking blood thinner, talk to your doctor first. Garlic alone won’t lower your cholesterol as much as other foods but using it generously in your cooking will definitely help.
6. Fruits and Berries
Fruits and berries contain nutrients that help you stay healthy. In addition, soluble fiber helps lower cholesterol levels and slows down production of natural cholesterol by your liver.
Bananas probably won’t help as much, so stick to apples, oranges and citrus fruits, berries or all description, and grapes.
You can throw berries and fruit on your oatmeal for an extra healthy breakfast or afternoon energizing snack. Fruit juice lacks the soluble fiber, so make sure you eat the real thing.
Like fruits, many veggies are high in soluble fiber plus they offer a great array of nutrients. Since most are low in calories, they’ll help you lose weight as well. Eat them raw, roasted, or streamed. Avoid frying them and don’t ruin the health benefits with cheese, butter, and tons of salt.
Carrots, peas, green beans, potatoes, and eggplants are excellent choices. Since green beans and peas are also legumes, you are getting twice the benefit!
7. Our Favourite ????
Research shows that just adding many of these foods to your diet can help you lower your cholesterol. As a side benefit, most of these will help you fill up on low cal options and possibly even lose weight, an important part of lowering cholesterol.
Here’s a final food – dark chocolate. The real dark stuff with at least 75% cocoa. It will help you lower LDL and blood pressure, give you a great dessert (sprinkle shavings on fruit), and sooth a sweet tooth.
Lowering cholesterol is super important and the statins are hard on your body. Try food before using medications for better health.