Diet can play a very important role in lowering your cholesterol level. Below are the top 10 foods to lower your cholesterol and protect your heart.
10 Foods to Lower Your Cholesterol:
Avocados are a rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) and nutrients. Recent studies have revealed that adding an avocado daily into your diet, can help improve LDL levels in people who are overweight.
Beans are especially rich in soluble fiber. It also takes a while for the body to digest, which makes you feel full for longer after a meal. You can choose to try black-eyed peas, lentils, garbanzos, etc.
Blueberries help keep your arteries clear by helping in the reduction of blood levels of artery-clogging LDL. Due to this, cholesterol gets swept out of your system much more easily . You can choose fresh, frozen or freeze-dried blueberries. These still have the same benefits.
Chocolate contains a powerful antioxidant that helps in building HDL or good cholesterol levels. A 2007 study published in AJCN, showed that participants who were given cocoa powder had about a 24% increase in HDL levels over 12 weeks. This is compared with a 5% increase in the control group.
Choose the dark or bittersweet kind. It has more than 3 times as many antioxidants, which prevent blood platelets from sticking together and may even help keep your arteries unclogged.
Garlic has been found to reduce blood pressure, prevent blood clots and protect against infections. Recent study finds that it helps stop artery-clogging plaque at its early stage, by keeping cholesterol particles from sticking to artery walls.
You can opt to try for 2 to 4 fresh cloves of garlic daily.
Eating soybeans and foods made using soybeans, such as tofu and soy milk, is a powerful way to lower cholesterol. Analyses show that consuming at least 25 grams of soy protein a day can lower LDL by at least 5%-6%.
Oats are the best source of soluble fiber. This fiber forms a gel to prevent cholesterol from being absorbed into your bloodstream. Remember to incorporate at least 5-10 grams of soluble fiber per day.
8. Fatty Fish
Fatty fishes contain Omega-3 fats, which are one of the natural health wonders and have been known to ward off dementia, heart disease and many other diseases. These fatty acids are also known to help in lowering your cholesterol.
A research from Loma Linda University revealed that replacing saturated fats with omega-3s, which are found in sardines, salmon and herring can raise good cholesterol by as much as 4%.
Various studies have shown that walnuts, almonds, peanut and other nuts are good for the heart. Eating at least 2 ounces of nuts daily can slightly lower LDL, on the order of 5%. Nuts have additional nutrients that protect the heart in other ways.
Recent study hav revealed that including lycopene-rich tomato products in your diet daily, for a few weeks may help reduce your bad LDL cholesterol levels down by almost 10%. The lycopene in tomatoes help inhibits LDL production and time helps break down artery-clogging fats.
You have to consume at least 25 milligrams of lycopene daily, for cholesterol benefits. That is about ½ cup of tomato sauce.