Heart disease is the world’s leading cause of death and having high cholesterol level especially “bad” LDL is linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Low “good” HDL cholesterol and high triglycerides are also linked to increased risk.
However, your diet has a powerful effect in your cholesterol and other risk factors. Therefore, a change in diet of food can reduce cholesterol and improve the armada flowing through the bloodstream.
Different foods lower cholesterol in various ways. Some deliver soluble fiber, which binds cholesterol and its precursors in the digestive system and drags them out of the body before they get into circulation. Some give you polyunsaturated fats, which directly lower LDL. And some contain plant sterols and stanols, which block the body from absorbing cholesterol.
Here are 7 foods that can lower cholesterol levels and improve other risk factors for heart disease.
Reducing saturated fat is one of the most important dietary change you can make to cut blood cholesterol. Soy is used as a replacement for meat and cheese and helps your heart by slashing the amount of saturated fat that you eat.
Analyses show that the effect is consuming 25 grams of soy protein a day (10 ounces of tofu or 2 1/2 cups of soy milk) can lower LDL by 5% to 6%.
Oats contain beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber that helps lower cholesterol. It may also lower total cholesterol by 5%and “bad” LDL cholesterol by 7%.
Oats give1 to 2 grams of soluble fiber. Add a banana or some strawberries for another half-gram. Current nutrition guidelines recommend getting 20 to 35 grams of fiber a day, with at least 5 to 10 grams coming from soluble fiber. (The average American gets about half that amount.)
Nuts are exceptionally nutrient-dense food. Studies have shown that eating almonds, walnuts, peanuts, and other nuts is good for the heart. Eating 2 ounces of nuts a day can slightly lower LDL, on the order of 5%. Nuts have additional nutrients that protect the heart in other ways.
Both black and green teas contain powerful antioxidants that may reduce cholesterol levels. Green tea typically contains more of these antioxidant powerhouses, as it is made from unfermented leaves and is less processed.
Beans are rich soluble fiber, which binds to cholesterol in the blood and moves it out of the body. Recent studies show eating 4.5 ounces of beans a day can reduce LDL levels by 5 percent.
Beans also take a while for the body to digest, meaning you feel full for longer after a meal. That’s one reason beans are a useful food for folks trying to lose weight.
Eggplant and Okra
Most vegetables are high in fiber and low in calories but Eggplant and okra contain high amounts of soluble fiber. Eggplants are also high in antioxidants. But any kind of vegetables will give you fiber and nutrients that are good for you.
Fatty fish, such as salmon and mackerel, are excellent sources of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s bolster heart health by increasing “good” HDL cholesterol and lowering inflammation and stroke risk.
Omega-3s reduce triglycerides in the bloodstream and also protect the heart by helping prevent the onset of abnormal heart rhythms.