Foods Good for Lowering Cholesterol
With so many of us now concerned with looking after our bodies and ensuring that we stay healthy, it is important that we take heed of all of the information out there about cholesterol and the foods good for lowering cholesterol.
Essentially there are two types of cholesterol: LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and HDL (high-density lipoprotein) – and it is the LDL cholesterol that we need to reduce in order to stay healthy.
If too much LDL cholesterol is allowed to form in the body then the chances of suffering from conditions such as Cardiovascular Disease can be significantly increased. The food that we choose to eat can help immensely in the battle against high cholesterol and there are many great choices when it comes to foods good for lowering cholesterol.
One of the best food groups that you can eat to help keep your cholesterol levels down as well as helping prevent blood clots and reducing and preventing high blood pressure is oily fish.
Oily fish, which are often referred to as fatty fish, have Omega 3 oils in them which have been linked to good health. The human body needs Omega 3 oils as well as Omegas 6 & 9; the problem with Omega 3 is that it cannot be produced by the human body itself and so relies on other sources.
One of the best sources is oily fish such as mackerel, sardines, salmon, herring and halibut.
Ideally you should be looking to consume two or three portions of oily fish per week.
Increasing the amount of fiber that you have in your diet is also a great way to lower your cholesterol.
In particular, soluble fiber is important in your diet as it helps to reduce the absorption of LDL cholesterol into your blood stream.
Great sources of soluble fiber include oatmeal, prunes, apples, barley, kidney beans and rice bran.
Foods good for lowering cholesterol also include wholegrains which are the grains that have not been refined.
This group includes the likes of rice, corn, oats, rye and wheat.
So, to help with your cholesterol levels you can switch your ordinary bread for a wholegrain variety instead.
Nuts are also a wonderful source of polyunsaturated fatty acids which are essential at helping to keep the body’s blood vessels in tip-top condition.
This is important due to the fact that high levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood vessels can block them and contribute to a number of cardiovascular diseases and even loss of limbs.
It doesn’t really matter what kind of nuts you like, almost all of them are a great aid at helping keep “bad” cholesterol at bay, so you can easily chomp on a handful of walnuts, pecans, almonds, pine nuts, pistachios and hazelnuts every day, safe in the knowledge that you are helping keep yourself healthy.
One thing to remember about nuts though is that they do have quite a high fat content and so a handful per day is more than sufficient.
For many, many centuries civilizations in the Mediterranean area of the world have known of the benefits of olive oil and it is a testament to the wonder of this commodity that each generation is living longer as the years wear on.
Olive oil contains a powerful mixture of antioxidants which have an effect on LDL cholesterol without affecting HDL cholesterol levels in the slightest. Its high monosaturated fat content helps reduce free radicals, preserve blood vessels and reduce the chances of getting cancer!
Olive oil is a very easy ingredient to add into your diet with the possibility of adding it into cooking or simply drizzling over food before you serve it. The Food & Drug Administration recommends that you consume at least two tablespoons (or 23 grams) of olive oil per day for maximum impact.
Plant Sterols and Stanols
Last but by no means least, in terms of foods good for lowering cholesterol, is plant sterols and stanols.
Sterols and stanols are found in many plant species and are effective in the human body at blocking the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream.
Like olive oil, it is also thought that these sterols and stanols have no negative effect on the HDL cholesterol either.
These wonderful natural substances are so powerful that you only need as little as 2 grams per day and can reduce LDL cholesterol by as much as 10%.
There are many foods that now contain added plant sterols and stanols including yogurts and juices.
Changing your diet to help maintain a healthy heart and to keep your cholesterol levels balanced is a lot easier nowadays and so there are no excuses for not trying to look after your body!