Do you know you can lower your cholesterol and improve the fats floating through your bloodstream by changing your diet? Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is a tiny particle carrying harmful cholesterol that can cause atherosclerosis by the clogging of arteries. Taking a healthy diet that can lower LDL is one of the best ways to attain a lower cholesterol level.
What are the foods that lower your cholesterol?
There are a wide variety of foods that can help you in lowering the LDL level. Moreover, each of them functions differently to lower down the cholesterol level. For instance, some foods work by delivering soluble fiber. These fibers trap cholesterol and its precursors and bind to the digestive system. And from where they discharged them out of the body before absorbing them into the blood. Many of these foods produce polyunsaturated fats that can directly lower the LDL level in the bloodstream.
Taking oat every day is an easy way to lower down the cholesterol in the body. In your breakfast, a bowl of cold oat-based cereal or any other oatmeal (like Cheerios) can remarkably reduce the cholesterol level in your blood because it provides nearly one to two grams of soluble fiber to your body. Adding some strawberries or a banana in another half-gram would be further helpful in maintaining a healthy cholesterol level. At this time, experts recommend taking 20 to 35 grams of fiber per day, in which at least five to ten grams should be soluble fiber. Unfortunately, according to a survey, an average number of people take about half of this recommended amount of fiber in the US.
Barley and other whole grains
Whole grains, such as barley, also help lower the cholesterol level and decrease the risk for various heart diseases. They primarily work by delivering the soluble fiber to the body and functions similar to oats and oat bran.
Beans are another best source of LDL lowering foods. They are specifically rich in soluble fiber and function in a similar way to that of oats. Just like barley and oats, beans also take very little time for your body to digest. As a result, you feel full for a long time after taking a meal. That is one of the reasons why most of the dieters who try to lose weight prefer beans in their diet.
In addition to its comprehensive benefits in maintaining a healthy weight, it has a wide variety with so many choices for dieters. The most commonly used types are lentils, navy beans, black-eyed peas, kidney beans, and garbanzos. As beans are a versatile food, there are hundreds of recipes available to cook them.
Eggplant and okra
Eggplant and okra is also a good way for obtaining soluble fiber. These are the low-calorie vegetables. They function to lower your cholesterol in a similar way as those of oats and barley.
Several past studies have shown that eating nuts help to protect you from many heart diseases. Some widely used nuts suitable for your heart are walnuts, almonds, peanuts, pistachio, and others. A study suggested that eating nearly two ounces of nuts daily can lower the LDL to some extent by approximately 5%. In addition, some other additional nutrients are also present in nuts that can contribute to protecting your heart from a heart attack or other heart diseases.
The use of liquid vegetable oils instead of using fats or saturated oil obtained from animal sources can help to lower LDL. These may be canola oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, and others. Additionally, avoid using butter, shortening, or lard at the table or while cooking meals.
Several fruits, such as strawberries, citrus fruits, apples, grapes, and many more, also help lower LDL levels through the bloodstream. This is because these fruits have a rich amount of a suitable type of soluble fiber known as pectin. It functions similarly to those of other foods containing soluble fiber.
Sterols and stanols fortified foods
Stanols and sterols obtained from the plants make the body unable to absorb cholesterol into the blood from foods. There are several varieties of foods fortified with stanols and sterols. These foods are granola bars, margarine, chocolate, and orange juice. Additionally, stanols and sterols are also available as supplements. It has been reported that taking about two grams of plant-based stanols or sterols per day can reduce LDL-related cholesterol by 10%.
Soybeans are another best food that can help the body to lower your cholesterol naturally. Regular eating of soybeans and soy-containing meals, such as soy milk, and tofu, can remarkably reduce LDL. However, studies showed that they have a more modest effect. Taking about 25 grams of protein obtained from soy per day can lower five to six percent LDL levels. It is approximately 2.5 cups of soy milk or 10 ounces of tofu.
Eating fatty fish is another powerful way to lower your cholesterol level in the body. Consuming fatty fish nearly two to three times per week can lower LDL. It functions in two different ways. Firstly, it replaces the meat having saturated fats, which take part in boosting the LDL level. Secondly, it delivers omega-3 fats, which help to lower LDL.
Omega-3s is a type of fatty acid. It works by reducing triglycerides in the bloodstream. In addition to lowering LDL, it also protects the heart from abnormal heart rhythms. Dietary supplements are also available that can achieve your body’s requirements, such as fish oil.
You can achieve your required daily fiber intake through fiber supplements. However, it is the least appealing option to obtain soluble fiber. Psyllium is one of the options to take supplemented fiber. It is rich in bulk-forming laxatives, such as Metamucil. It is reported that two teaspoons of Psyllium intake per day can deliver nearly four grams of soluble fiber.
What is the best dietary portfolio to lower your cholesterol?
Experts recommend creating a portfolio of varied investments instead of putting all eggs in one basket as far as money investment concerns. The same principle applies here, try to eat a healthy and natural diet to lower your cholesterol. Add a variety of foods to your diet plan in different ways because it can work better to reduce your cholesterol level than focusing only on one or two foods.
Eating a wide variety of vegetables is the best dietary portfolio of foods that significantly lower your cholesterol. Additionally, it is also very economical and can also lower triglycerides and LDL levels in the blood. It also helps to recover from many health conditions, such as high blood pressure.
The fundamental dietary components to lower your cholesterol are consuming whole grains instead of refined ones, eating plenty of vegetables and fruits, and taking plant-based protein instead of animal proteins. Use only those rich in soluble fiber foods, including plant sterols enriched in margarine, barley, fatty fishes, oats, okra, and eggplant. Take psyllium if you cannot achieve the daily requirement. Also, eat other foods that can protect you from heart diseases, such as nuts and soy proteins.
Benefits of lowering cholesterol naturally
Undoubtedly, moving toward a healthy diet, which can lower your cholesterol, needs more attention than taking a daily statin or other supplements. Because it is a natural way to lower your cholesterol, you can eat healthy foods by expanding your shopping cart to add more nutrition. Try some new flavors and textures of foods while shopping. Foods that can lower your cholesterol naturally also protect you from any side effects, such as the risk for muscle problems that some people encounter who take statins.
In addition to lowering the cholesterol level, these foods also keep your blood pressure balanced. They are also suitable for your arteries’ health, and your arteries stay responsive and flexible. The other benefits of using these lower-cholesterol foods are a healthy digestive tract and bone, good eye vision, and mental health.
In conclusion, hundreds of past studies evidence that following a healthy diet plan improving your heart health can also lower the cholesterol in your blood. These foods are oats, barley, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, sterols and stanols fortified foods, okra and eggplants, beans, seeds, soy, nuts, and fatty fishes. They also help to reduce cholesterol-carrying LDL particles. In addition, these foods are often rich in soluble fibers, which are best in lowering cholesterol levels.
Naturally lowering cholesterol is a better option than taking supplements. The natural method is also eco-friendly. It includes eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, using only whole grains, avoiding refined ones, and consuming plant-based proteins instead of animal proteins. The natural way helps your body lower cholesterol and protects you from many heart diseases and side effects. Hopefully, this article will help in finding cholesterol-lowering foods.