Top 8 cholesterol-lowering foods

Top 8 cholesterol-lowering foods

An elevated cholesterol level is a huge risk factor for developing heart disease in the long run. One of the best ways of lowering your cholesterol levels is by following a heart-healthy diet. The key is to include foods in your diet that mainly lowers low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol content in your blood. So, here are some foods that can help lower cholesterol levels and eliminate some risk factors for possible heart disease.

Whole grains

Including whole grains like oats, barley, and others in your daily diet is an easy way of lowering cholesterol levels. Whole grains, especially oats and barley, are loaded with vitamins and minerals, plant compounds, and fiber that can help manage cholesterol. So, don’t forget to have a bowl of oatmeal or oat-based cereals for breakfast every day. You can top it with banana slices and strawberries to make it flavorful.

Fatty fish

Fish always find their way into the list of almost any kind of healthy food. Digging in on fatty fishes, such as salmon or mackerel, twice or thrice a week can lower LDL, or bad cholesterol. These fish are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which makes your heart stronger by increasing high-density lipoprotein (HDL), “good” cholesterol.

Beans

Beans are packed with soluble fiber, an important nutrient that helps lower cholesterol. They are extremely versatile and available in different varieties such as navy beans, kidney beans, black-eyed peas, and more. Also, consuming beans makes you full for longer as your body takes a while to digest them.

Nuts

Rich in monounsaturated fats, nuts are a great for on-the-go snacking. Many studies have claimed that consuming almonds, walnuts, peanuts, and other nuts boost your heart health. Eating two ounces of nuts each day can help lower bad cholesterol and also protect your heart in other ways.

Avocados

Don’t forget to include some nutrient-rich fruits like avocados in your daily diet. Avocados are exceptionally high in monounsaturated fats and fiber, two heart-healthy nutrients that help lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol.

Vegetable oils

The next time you’re shopping for vegetable cooking oil, remember to look for the one that helps decrease your bad cholesterol levels. Using vegetable oils such as sunflower, canola, safflower, and some other cooking oil can be a great way to keep your body and heart in check.

Soy

Consuming soybeans and foods based on soy like tofu or soy milk, was considered a very effective way to lower your cholesterol level in the past. However, recent research has shown that they are only moderately effective. Eating 25 grams of soy in a day can lower bad cholesterol by 5% to 6% in your blood.

Dark chocolate and cocoa

Let’s end this list with something that many people might love. Research has revealed that dark chocolate and cocoa can lower bad cholesterol content in your blood. However, you must choose dark chocolate with a cocoa content of 75–85% or higher, or cocoa alone to enjoy the benefits. Milk chocolate and white chocolate are high in sugar content, which can negatively affect your heart health.

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