Cholesterol is an important fat component used to make hormones (such as vitamin D), to build healthy cells, and to digest your foods. Your body’s cholesterol can come from two different sources: your own body or the food you eat. Dietary cholesterol, which means cholesterol from food, is found only in animal-based products (such as meat, dairy milk, eggs, etc.). Dietary cholesterol is not vital to your health because your liver makes all the cholesterol it needs. So, no need to worry if you are a vegetarian!
Ditionally, LDL cholesterol is referred to as “bad” cholesterol and HDL cholesterol is referred to as “good” cholesterol. Cholesterol levels less than or equal to 200 mg / dL and LDL levels below or equal to 100 mg / dL are considered optimal. If you eat animal based foods, it is a good idea not to get more than 300 mg of cholesterol per day
Sometimes cholesterol levels become so high that they become problematic for your health. Total cholesterol levels above 240 mg / dL are generally considered high. High cholesterol can lead to the development of heart disease. If you have high cholesterol or just want to prevent it from becoming too high, include the following foods in your menu.
- Apple: Apple pectin is a soluble fiber that helps remove cholesterol from your body! Apples contain flavonoids that act as powerful antioxidants that seem to prevent the accumulation of “bad” cholesterol in your bloodstream.
- Avocado: Avocados are a great source of monounsaturated fats, a type of fat that can help raise “good” cholesterol while reducing “bad”. Also, avocados contain more beta-cytosterol (a plant-based fat) than any other fruit. The American Heart Association recommends that you get 15% of your daily calories from saturated fat.
- Beans: Beans and vegetables are sources of soluble fiber. Eating one cup of beans a day – especially kidney, navy, pinto, black, gram, or butter beans – can lower your cholesterol by 10% in 6 weeks. According to the FDA and the National Cancer Institute, adults should get 20 to 35 grams of fiber per day. This can be done easily by adding beans to your daily diet.
4) Cinnamon: A study published in the Journal of Cinnamon and Complementary Medicine found that ½ – one teaspoon a day can significantly reduce the amount of fasting insulin and blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. It also lowers LDL (“bad” cholesterol) and total cholesterol levels.
- Garlic: Garlic has been shown to reduce blood clots, lower blood pressure, and protect against infections. Garlic has recently received attention for its potential to lower cholesterol levels.
6. Grapes: Grapes contain flavonoids that protect “bad” cholesterol from further damage and reduce blood clumping. The LDL-lowering effect of grapes comes from a compound, Reveratrol that grapes produce naturally that usually resists mold. The more grapes, the better!
7. Oats: Oatmeal contains soluble fiber which lowers your LDL cholesterol. Five to 10 grams of soluble fiber a day lowers LDL cholesterol. Eating 1 s cup of cooked oatmeal provides 4.5 grams of fiber.
8 Salmon: The main health ingredients of salmon are omega-3 fatty acids and protein. These ingredients give positive benefits to the cardiovascular system. The American Heart Association recommends that you eat at least two servings of fish per week, especially fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, and herring).
- Soy: The top health-promoting ingredients in soybeans are isoflavones and soluble fiber. 25-50 grams of soy per day is recommended to reduce cholesterol by 4 to 8%.
- Walnuts: Walnuts can significantly lower blood cholesterol because they are rich in a large number of (omega-3) fatty acids. Walnuts keep blood vessels healthy and resilient. Almonds seem to have the same effect, resulting in improvement within four weeks. Cholesterol-lowering diets less than 1/3 of a cup of walnuts per day can significantly reduce LDL cholesterol.
In addition to eating these foods, you can make some other lifestyle changes to manage your cholesterol levels. Getting regular exercise, not smoking, limiting animal fats, managing stress and reducing your alcohol intake are some of the ideas that are not something to lower cholesterol, but something to keep in mind.