What we eat is what we become. The food we consume on a daily basis has a great influence on your health and well-being. However, eating certain foods as a part of a meal in moderation will not cause adverse effect on us. For example, people don;t become fat by eating food rich in fat. Fat, in fact, is essential for the body to absorb vitamins and signal the brain that you are full. It is the quantity of food consumed that makes all the difference. Eating food that is high is carbohydrates and low in protein and fat is what causes weight-related issues. With that being said, cholesterol is a type of fat that is obtained from animal sources.
LDL cholesterol is considered the bad cholesterol because it contributes to the fatty deposits in the arteries. HDL cholesterol which is the good cholesterol carries bad fat from the arteries back to the liver thus facilitating smooth functioning of the heart. Certain foods help lower LDL cholesterol and some of them are mentioned below:
Historically, oatmeal is considered as one of the healthy breakfasts for all ages. Besides its high fiber content, oat based food is easy to digest and gives you a long survival advantage. It is also one of the best sources of essential minerals that will help reduce LDL level by more than 10 percent. Aim for at least 3 servings of oats every day.
Blueberry, blackberry, raspberry…there are more than a dozen types of berries available for human consumption and these foods are rich in antioxidants which help increase the amount of HDL cholesterol thus protecting the heart from illnesses and stroke. Other fruits that have the same effect as that of berries include but are not limited to apples, oranges, melons and pomegranates. Eat 2-3 cups of fresh fruits on a daily basis. Make sure to avoid adding sugar and other unhealthy substitute to the fruits.
Beans and legumes are rich sources of fiber just like fruits and vegetables. They are also a great alternative to animal protein. People with heart disease benefit heavily from beans such as pinto beans, kidney beans, black-eyes peas and so on. If you are new to eating beans, start with half a cup and increase that amount to 1 cup each day.
Another food item that lowers bad cholesterol is nuts. Various nuts like walnuts as well as flax seeds have a high level of protein and high quality fatty acids to keep bad cholesterol and triglycerides at bay. Most nuts are also high in calories so you should limit the consumption to quarter cup a day. Additionally, make sure that the nuts are not salted, roasted or coated with sugar.
5. Olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil is a good source of monounsaturated fatty acid. It is therefore a healthy heart just like the labels on most products say. Other ingredients in this oil include Vitamin E and antioxidants. You can use olive oil for any dish from salads to bread and in the form of dressing, topping or base.