Your health advisors and dietician might have warned you to keep a check on the food you eat during alarming cholesterol level. But, did someone tell you that the reverse is true, too. Adding a few eatables to your diet can lower your cholesterol and help you stay healthy.
Here are 7 food items you must add into your diet for a healthy heart.
Start cracking if you’re looking for a snack that lowers cholesterol levels! According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, folks who ate 1.5 oz of whole walnuts 6 days every week for 1 month reduced their cholesterol by 5.4%. Cashews and almonds are other good options in the same category. Nuts are not only healthy for the heart, but also rich in calories. So, munch and keep cholesterol and heart risks at bay.
Another step to improving your cholesterol is adding a bowl of oats or oat-based cereal such as Cheerios to your breakfast. A bowl of oatmeal can offer 1 to 2 grams of soluble fiber. To add another half-gram and taste, integrate one banana or some strawberries to your bowl. Current nutrition guidelines recommend getting 20 to 35 grams of fiber a day, with at least 5 to 10 grams coming from soluble fiber.
3. Vegetable Oils
Cooking your food in liquid vegetable oils like sunflower, canola, and others in place of lard, and butter helps lower LDL.
Avocados are a well known fruit for keeping up with the health. According to a Pennsylvania State University study where the researchers placed obese adults on a low-moderate-fat diet, with or without avocado. The low-fat diet decreased LDL by 7 mg/dL, but the moderate-fat diets delivered even better results. Those who didn’t eat avocado had an 8 mg/dL reduction in LDL, while the avocado-eaters had a 14 mg/dL reduction.
You can add avocado in nearly anyway you want. Whip it into a smoothie, spread it on whole grain toast, or add it to an omelet, or salad. You can also scoop up with raw veggies as a snack, or garnish soups, fish, beans, chicken, whole grains with it. Replace butter with avocado in baking, and even whip it into sauces and creamy puddings.
It has been proved that tea has positive effects as cancer-fighting antioxidant. However, it also offers great defense against high LDL cholesterol levels. In the research conducted with USDA, the blood lipid reducing effects were seen with black tea – it can lower blood lipids by up to 10% in just 3 weeks. Further, this finding also concluded how tea may also help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
The powerful antioxidant present in chocolates helps build HDL cholesterol levels – the good one. According to a 2007 study published in AJCN, people who were given cocoa powder had a 24% rise in their HDL levels over 12 weeks as compared to a 5% increase in the control group. Make sure to choose the dark or bittersweet chocolate as these have 3 times as many antioxidants as compared to milk chocolate. This prevents blood platelets from sticking together and can even keep arteries unclogged.
7. Red Wine
Smile and say cheers! Red Wine has high-fiber Tempranillo red grapes that may actually significantly lower cholesterol levels. Studies have found that when people consumed the grape supplement found in this drink, their LDL levels decreased by 9%. Further, those who had high cholesterol saw a 12% drop in LDL. Hence, drink a glass of red wine for the cholesterol-lowering benefit.