Low Cholesterol Diets and Foods

The intake of low cholesterol diets is the most certain way of improving your heart health. In fact, research studies show that you can cut 10 to 20 percent of bad cholesterol by eating low cholesterol foods. Here is the secret- consume diets that are rich in healthy fats such as fish and vegetable oil.

Which foods can keep your cholesterol levels low? Here are several of these;

Low cholesterol diets

Fish and Omega 3 Fatty Acids

You can promote your heart health by eating fatty fish regularly. These fish contain high levels of omega 3 fatty acids. These fatty acids reduce blood pressure and the risk of blood clotting.

Fish and omega 3 fatty acids can reduce the chances of sudden death to people who has a heart attack.

The American Heart Association recommends that you eat 2 servings of fish every week.

High levels of omega 3 are present in the following fish: salmon, mackerel, sardine, herring, lake trout, albacore tuna and halibut.

When preparing your fish, bake or grill it to avoid adding unhealthy fats. People who don’t like fish can get omega 3s from ground flaxseed and canola oil. However, these plants sources contain small amounts unlike fatty fish.

You can also get some benefits from omega 3 and fish oil supplements, but not other nutrients from fish such as selenium. When you decide to take supplements, ensure that you eat vegetables or fish in the place of fish.

Oatmeal, High fiber Foods, and Oat Bran

Oatmeal is rich in soluble fiber which reduces your bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein-LDL). Soluble fiber reduces the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream. This soluble fiber is also present in foods such as apples, kidney beans, prunes and barley.

You can decrease your total and LDL cholesterol by taking 5 to 10 grams of soluble fiber daily. One and a half cups of cooked oatmeal gives you six grams of fiber. Adding fruits like bananas can give you 4 more grams.

Low Cholesterol Diets and Foods

Nuts: Walnuts and Almonds

These nuts will reduce your blood cholesterol. Walnuts are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids which promotes healthy blood vessels.

Eating 42.5 grams (1.5 ounces) of nuts every day can significantly reduce the risk of a heart disease. The only exceptions are salted and sugar coated nuts.

Just a handful of nuts are enough because they are rich in calories. If you decide to eat more nuts, reduce your intake of foods with lots of saturated fats. Otherwise you will add weight.

Other examples of nuts include hazelnuts, pecans, pistachio nuts, peanuts and pine nuts.

Olive oil

This contains a strong mix of antioxidants that can reduce bad cholesterol (LDL), while leaving the good cholesterol intact.

To reap its heart-health benefits, use 23 grams (or 2 teaspoons) of olive oil daily instead of other fats. Do not use more than the recommended amount because olive oil is high in calories.

Olive oil can be added to the diet by sautéing vegetables in it, adding it to a marinade, or mixing with vinegar to act as a salad dressing. You can also substitute butter with this oil.

Extra-virgin olive oil is less processed and has more heart-healthy antioxidants. Thus it is more effective in lowering cholesterol levels. Thus be cautious of ‘light’ olive oils (lighter in color) because they are more processed than virgin olive oils hence less benefits.

Foods with Added Plant Sterols

You can now get foods that have been fortified with sterols or stanols- substances present in plants that helps to block cholesterol absorption.

You can reduce over 10 percent of LDL cholesterol by taking orange juice, margarines or yogurt drinks that have added plant sterols.

At least 2 grams of added plant sterols are needed for results. This is equivalent to 237 milliliters (8 ounce) daily servings of orange juice that is sterol fortified.

Low Cholesterol Diets and Foods

Other Diet Lifestyle Changes

If you want to realize the effects of these low cholesterol foods, you need to make these diet and lifestyle changes;

  • Reduce your total fat and cholesterol intake. This means you need to reduce your intake of meat, dairy products and some oils- these increases your total cholesterol.

So get up and move! If your diet increased your cholesterol, then diet has the power to lower it as well.  Change what you eat- cut back on foods that increase LDL and substitute these with low cholesterol diets and foods. I believe I haven’t mentioned all of them above; go an extra mile and add more to this list.

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