Cholesterol is a complex molecule, a product of human and animal metabolism. It is an integral part of the cell membrane and steroid hormones, but high levels of cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease.
With high cholesterol, you can develop fatty deposits in your blood vessels. Eventually, these deposits grow, making it difficult for enough blood to flow through your arteries. Sometimes, those deposits can break suddenly and form a clot that causes a heart attack or stroke.
High cholesterol can be inherited, but it’s often the result of unhealthy lifestyle choices, which make it preventable and treatable. A healthy diet, regular exercise and sometimes medication can help reduce high cholesterol.
Here are 8 foods that can lower blood cholesterol:
Also read: Everything you should know about cholesterol
Add tomato sauce to your pasta if you want to keep your cholesterol under control. Tomato is a significant source of herbal compound lycopene, which lowers LDL cholesterol levels.
Green and black tea
Green tea is made from unfermented leaves, and black tea is made from fully fermented leaves of the same plant.
This drink contains antioxidants, but also less caffeine than coffee. It helps protect the bone because it is rich in phytochemicals. In addition, tea protects the body against harmful LDL cholesterol.
Researchers believe that catechins, a type of antioxidant found in tea, are responsible for lowering cholesterol.
Almonds and nuts
Almonds, Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, pistachios, hazelnuts and nuts are extremely diverse and have beneficial effects on cholesterol. Both nuts and seeds are rich in fiber and unsaturated fats and are a source of vitamin E and folic acid.
You should eat 30 grams daily, which is about a good handful of nuts a day. It’s also 20 almonds or 10 Brazil nuts.
Daily consumption of almonds have a positive effect on heart health. Almonds lower total cholesterol levels by three to 25 percent. They lower their LDL levels by 4 to 35 percent.
Oats are known as the superfoods. In a Thai study, people with high cholesterol were given foods such as rice and oats for four weeks. People who ate oats had a five percent reduction in total cholesterol and a 10 percent reduction in LDL.
Eat muesli, oatmeal cookies or mix oatmeal in frappe. Oats contain a soluble fiber called betaglucan which has the effect of reducing cholesterol.
Just three grams of beta-glucan per day is enough to reduce blood cholesterol by five to 10 percent. A slice of oatmeal (usually a mixture of wheat and oats) contains 0.5 grams, and a bowl of oatmeal contains 1.5 grams.
It turned out to be the correct saying that one apple a day keeps a person away from the doctor. This useful fruit helps counteract the risk factors that are usually associated with heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels. A typical apple has about four grams of fiber, which can help lower total cholesterol. Apples are rich in soluble fiber, which is good for removing extra fat from the body. Consuming only one apple a day can lower LDL levels by up to 40 percent.
An average sized apple contains about four grams of LDL-reducing fiber, or in other words, about 17 percent of desirable daily intake. One apple a day can save you cardiologist visits!
Sweet and savory, raspberries lower LDL levels and raise HDL levels. Researchers speculate that these beneficial effects come from high levels of natural antioxidants called polyphenols, compounds that give berries a bright color.
Raspberries also contain elagic acid. This acid reduces the chance of a heart attack because it lowers cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Lentil and beans
One of the reasons to love the lentils is fiber. The soluble fiber in the lentils forms a sticky substance that “catches” cholesterol and helps it release from the body.
Since they are a great source of soluble fiber they create a feeling of satiety and can reduce cholesterol. A recent Arizona State University study found that people who eat half a cup of beans a day for 24 weeks reduced their cholesterol by eight percent. If you eat 2000 to 2500 calories a day, try to eat a cup and a half to two cups of beans a week.
To get your daily dose of lentils you should try out this green lentils potato soup recipe.
Fats are a vital part of a balanced diet. Generally speaking, there are two types of fats: saturated and unsaturated. We are most interested in the unsaturated fats, most of which are in olive and rapeseed oil.
The unsaturated (good) fats found in olive oil (and canola and walnut oil) have the added benefit of lowering LDL levels without affecting HDL.
Also read: 7 foods that help lower blood pressure