High cholesterol is one of the common causes that leads to heart diseases. Luckily, there are a few good natural food sources to help you lower cholesterol levels. When you start working on your eating habits along with other lifestyle modifications like no smoking, reducing alcohol, being physically active and exercising daily, you will not only see the improvement in your cholesterol levels but also your overall health.
Which Foods Can Lower Cholesterol Levels?
Eating more fruits, vegetables and wholegrains, including healthy fats and protein in our meals, may help lower cholesterol levels in your blood. Some of these foods include:
- Whole Grains: Including high-fiber, whole grain food in your diet can help lower cholesterol levels. Oats and barley contain a soluble fiber called beta-glucan which helps in lowering LDL levels. Starting your day with a bowl of oatmeal is the best choice. Quinoa is a great choice too with its antioxidant, Vitamin B and fiber content which helps in reducing cholesterol levels.
- Nuts: Fiber, protein and antioxidant rich nuts which are also high in monounsaturated fat like almond, pecan, walnuts and pistachios help in lowering cholesterol levels. Just make sure you limit the intake to a handful of nuts a day to limit the calorie intake.
- Fruits: are high in fiber, potassium and pectin – a type of soluble fiber which helps in lowering LDL. Some fruits good for lowering cholesterol level are apples, avocados, grapes, strawberries, oranges and other citrus fruits rich in Vitamin C.
- Fatty Fish: Salmon, tuna and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acid – which helps in lowering triglyceride levels. They help in reducing inflammation and increase the level of good cholesterol. So, eating fish 2-3 times a week is good for heart health.
- Vegetables: Being high in vitamins, minerals, fiber and low in calories, vegetables help in lowering cholesterol levels. Vegetables like carrot, okra and eggplant are good sources of soluble fiber, which can help you lower cholesterol levels.
- Beans: are high in soluble fiber and they take time to digest, keeping you full for longer. You can include any beans from kidney beans to chickpeas to black eyed peas and any other.
- Healthy Fats: Replace saturated fats with monounsaturated fats like olive oil, canola oil and polyunsaturated fats like flax seeds, soy, sunflower seed oil. These are said to help you lower your LDL level and boost your HDL level.
So, include at least 3-5 portions of fruits and vegetables each day along with a handful of nuts.
Prepare your food by grilling, poaching, roasting, boiling, baking instead of deep frying to reduce fat intake.
“The Foods We Choose, Make A Difference.” – Michael Greger
We hope this article helps you make better food choices to lower cholesterol levels! Do let us know your thoughts in the comments below! For more on nutrition, check out Healthy Reads or tune in to LIVE sessions by experts on GOQii Play.