So, you’ve been to the physician’s office and they’ve diagnosed you have possibly life-threatening elevated cholesterol levels. You had no idea it was that bad. For that thing you really didn’t know that much about cholesterol.
Your doctor told you a change of diet was needed, and had to include foods for lowering cholesterol. I will give you the heads up here including a little bit of background on cholesterol, and foods that will help combat high cholesterol levels – particularly the bad cholesterol.
But, What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance made from the liver. We intake cholesterol we consume, especially animal products. It’s found in the bloodstream and all cells in the body. Too much of the bad cholesterol in the blood may result in congestion of blood vessels and block blood flow to important organs and tissues. These blockages may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Despite the fact that we seem to hear about cholesterol in a poor light, cholesterol is needed by our bodies for building cell walls, cells, hormones, Vitamin D, and bile acid. Lipoproteins transport cholesterol and fats to and from the cells. The two major lipoproteins are low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL). The cholesterol is LDL. These are the foods that are high in saturated and trans fat like butter, lard, fatty beef, pork, cakes, fried foods, coconut oil and palm oil.
Essentially we have to lower the LDL in our diets and increase the HDL in our diets. There are particular foods for lowering cholesterol that better balance the LDL and HDL cholesterol. While there are lots of great foods out there, below are 8 best foods (groups) to look at.
- Whole Grains and Oats – As a soluble fiber, foods in this class might help transport cholesterol from the blood stream. Foods include barley, oatmeal, oatbran, and brown rice.
- Fruits – They also includes soluble fiber. Best options fresh fruits include grapes, apples, oranges, prunes, apricots, grapefruit, pears, blackberries and blueberries.
- Fish and Fish Oil – They feature omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which help the blood to be ‘slippery’ and less likely to clot. Your daily diet should include salmon, tuna, mackerel, shrimp, and cod. Get a fish oil supplement. I would advise taking before eating your primary fish entree.
- Plant Sterols or Stanols – These are foods which contain strong substances naturally found in plants that have the capability to block cholesterol absorption. These include margarine, yogurt, corn, wheatgerm, soybean oil, and orange juice.
- Garlic – While a gain in protecting your body from illness, more recently there has been a focus on how it can help lower the blood clotting properties of blood, thereby reducing cholesterol. You can eat it raw or cooked.
- Certain Nuts and Seeds – Like fish, certain seeds and nuts contain the omega-3 fatty acids. Walnuts, almonds, Macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, and pecans are good alternative foods in lowering cholesterol. Peanuts aren’t considered a ‘nut’, as they are a legume. Nuts and seeds have a higher caloric value, so monitor your consumption.
- Olive Oil, Olives and Avocados- These foods include monounsaturated fats and helps raise the good cholesterol (HDL) and lower the bad cholesterol (LDL). You may even steep the leaves in warm water for a healthy drink or use them in cooking.
- Vegetables – While some vegetables have already been included in different areas above, it’s vital to stress the importance of a diet that contains many fresh vegetables. The list is endless from the choices you have. Unlike your fats, the majority of the vegetables don’t have a limitation on how much you can consume.
- Cinnamon and Soy Products – You probably have heard that both cinnamon and soy products are also fantastic foods. There has been research done on how cinnamon and soy products help decrease the bad cholesterol levels and should be a part of your healthy dietplan. Lately however, reports have found that neither has much of a value in lowers LDL’s. On their own, they are valuable in a fantastic diet program, so have been included.
As you can see, taking care of ourselves by keeping a low cholesterol diet can greatly decrease our chances for cardiovascular disease and stroke. You will discover that there are more foods for lowering cholesterol than that which have been recorded here, but you now have someplace to start.
There are many drugs on the market that the healthcare fields recommend to reduce cholesterol, some quite costly. However, you can help decrease your cholesterol levels, and balance from the LDL and HDL cholesterol naturally. A fantastic place to begin as much as your health goes, a better way to live, is via clever decision making and a diet that contains foods for lowering cholesterol.