What Is The Best Diet For Lowering Cholesterol?
This article is for you if you are unsure which food will fight extra cholesterol and reduce heart disease.
Table of Contents
We provide a list of foods that help lower cholesterol levels. Eat healthy food and enjoy a healthy life.
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What is cholesterol?
- Cholesterol is a particular type of fat continuously produced in our bodies. There is a natural mechanism that makes cholesterol in the body.
Some foods like eggs and shellfish and some meat like liver and kidneys also contain cholesterol.
- An optimum amount of cholesterol is necessary for normal body functioning. When a person overeats animal-based food, the body gets a higher amount of cholesterol than required.
This increased amount fastens the atherosclerosis process, which builds plaque in artery walls and blood vessels.
Many medicines are available to control the increasing cholesterol content in the body. However, a new and best approach is to optimize or modify daily diet.
Some foods are the best source of nutrients and healthy fats that can reduce the cholesterol level in the body.
These foods are ideal for kids, adults, and those suffering from heart disease. Let’s have a look.
Foods that fight cholesterol
1. Chia seeds
- Chia seeds are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids essential for the body.
It is reported that one gram per day of healthy fats like omega 3 fatty acids can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases by up to 16%.
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These fatty acids lower triglycerides by raising HDL levels to help boost cardiac health.
2. Fruits and vegetables
- Green foods are great helpers against heart disease and cancer. Fruits and vegetables contain healthy minerals, fibers, vitamins, and other essential nutrients.
These foods have no or minor fat, so they help you stay fit and fresh. These plant foods block cholesterol from being absorbed in blood from the intestine.
It is the fiber content of these foods that fight against cholesterol.
- A person having a constant and large proportion of fruits and vegetables in his daily diet will eat less of other energy-rich foods like fried foods.
If he adds a 20-minute walk to his daily routine, he will enjoy a healthy life for years. Okra, broccoli, pulses, apples, strawberries, etc., are good options.
3. Sterol and stanols fortified foods
- Sterols and stanols originate from plants and fight against cholesterol. They are like cholesterol but stop their absorption from the intestine to the blood.
These cholesterol fighters are present in fruits, vegetable oils, whole grains, nuts, and other plant foods.
- To help offer these foods frequently, some food companies have added sterols or stanols in different drinks, yogurt, and milk products.
People with high cholesterol should take these foods to better their cardiovascular system.
4. Soya foods
- Foods containing soya beans are a perfect addition to cholesterol-lowering foods. These foods are rich in proteins and vitamins with low content of saturated fats.
These foods help boost the immune system and strengthen the heart muscles.
- The soya beans containing yogurt are better for heart patients than full-creamed yogurt.
- Nuts-one of the oldest and ignored healthy diets, are full of unsaturated fats. They are low in saturated fat, full of healthy fat, and check the body’s cholesterol level.
Nuts are rich in other vitamins, and minerals like proteins, potassium, magnesium, sterols, etc. these nutrients strengthen the digestive and immune systems against many diseases.
The fiber in nuts can easily block some cholesterol from getting mixed in the blood.
- Eating a handful of (28-30g) nuts, including almonds, pistachios, walnuts, peanuts, cashew, etc., as a part of your daily diet will reduce your intake of fat-rich foods and thus increases good cholesterol.
6. Beans and legumes
- Another cholesterol fighter is legumes.
Chickpeas and lentils are ideal diets, especially for heart patients, as they contain soluble fiber and proteins.
- These foods do not have animal fat or protein that quickly lowers the bad cholesterol level (LDL).
7. Barley and Oats
- Plant-based foods, nuts, and whole-grain foods are the best option for a healthy lifestyle.
Oats and barley have a unique soluble fiber known as ‘beta glucan’ that helps lower bad LDL cholesterol levels.
8. Olive oil
- Olive oil and extra virgin olive oil are rich sources of monounsaturated fatty acids.
These foods have low saturated fat, which is perfect for heart health. Extra virgin olive oil increases HDL levels in the body.
- Fish is an excellent source of healthy fatty acids. Nutritionists advise you to have fatty fish in your diet instead of using fat-rich meat cuts like beef, lamb, and veal.
Some types of fish like salmon, tuna, and herring have omega-3 fatty acids, a polyunsaturated fat. It boosts the anti-inflammatory mechanism of the body against many diseases.
- Burger lovers should take salmon rather than a beef burger or replace traditional steak with tuna steak.
Other changes in your diet
To get the full benefits of these foods, you need to change your diet and lifestyle.
According to American Heart Association, one of the most beneficial changes is to limit the saturated and trans fats you eat.
- Saturated fats – like those found in meat, butter, cheese, and other full-fat dairy products – raise your total cholesterol.
Reducing your consumption of saturated fats to less than 7 percent of your total daily calorie intake can lower your LDL cholesterol by 8 to 10 percent.
Trans fats, sometimes listed on food labels as “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil,” are often used in margarine and store-bought cookies, crackers, and cakes.
- Trans fats raise total cholesterol levels. The Food and Drug Administration has banned the use of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils effective January 1, 2021.
Foods to avoid if you’ve high cholesterol
- Red meat
- Fried foods
- Processed meats
- Baked foods
- Tropical oils such as palm oil and coconut oil, etc
Can whey protein fight cholesterol?
Milk and other milk-based products have a particular type of protein named whey protein.
Some studies have reported its use in lowering the cholesterol and LDL content of the body.
However, other foods have a remarkable effect on cholesterol than whey protein.
How can diet control the cholesterol amount in the body?
A small change to the daily diet and lifestyle can provide many health benefits. By limiting saturated and trans fats amounts, one can control bad cholesterol levels easily.
It does not mean that eating fast and cholesterol-fighting food will work together.
It needs a cut from fatty foods with a healthy shift towards nuts, legumes, and other foods.
Can lemon water lower cholesterol?
The fiber and phytochemicals in lemons, such as flavonoids and vitamin C, may help lower some cholesterol risk factors.
Daily consumption of citrus fiber extract may also regulate total blood cholesterol levels.
Depending on your preferences, you can drink unsweetened lemon water in the morning or at any other time of day.
However, store-bought lemon juice often contains added sugar and artificial flavorings. Therefore, prepare fresh lemon water at home without sugar to get its full benefits.
Are eggs good for cholesterol?
Eggs naturally contain a lot of cholesterol. However, if you eat eggs in moderation, cholesterol levels won’t rise as much as foods high in saturated fat.
Besides, it also depends on how you prepare your eggs and how many eggs you eat.
Eating 1-2 eggs per day may be safe for a healthy adult with normal cholesterol levels. However, if your diet is already high in cholesterol, it’s best to limit your egg consumption.
- This article covers the best foods that help fight against the increasing content of cholesterol in the body.
However, it is not 100% workable. A single food only aids in a process. It is essential to change your overall diet style for a remarkable effect.
About 80% of total daily cholesterol production occurs in the liver and the intestines and only 20% comes from the food we eat.
- A 20-minute walk, along with plant-based foods, legumes, nuts, or other modifications like avoiding unhealthy fats is necessary.
Dark chocolate, avocados, red wine, green tea, and nuts are some easy solutions to add to your diet and these are also good to prevent heart disease.
- Definitely, changing the daily diet plan to a cholesterol-lowering diet needs some more attention. The first requirement is building a taste for new foods.
- The main advantage is that eating a healthy diet is a natural way to fight against cholesterol that will reduce heart disease risks in return.