Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that occurs naturally in all parts of the body. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or the bad cholesterol, when increased, sticks to the walls of the arteries and clogs them. This clogging disrupts the blood flow to heart, brain and other organs, which can lead to strokes, heart attack or even heart failure.
A healthy Cholesterol level can be maintained by making healthy choices in your diet and lifestyle. You need to consume foods that increase the healthy cholesterol HDL (High-density lipoprotein) and avoid foods that increase the LDL Cholesterol.
Foods that help you lower the Cholesterol are-
- Avocado– Avocados are the best source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. They help you in lowering bad cholesterol. It also contributes in improving lipid profiles. One avocado per day can decrease LDL cholesterol by 22 per cent.
- Beans– Beans are rich in soluble fiber which naturally reduces cholesterol. It reduces the rate of cholesterol absorption in the blood. From black beans to kidney beans, all types of beans are essential for a healthy heart.
- Fish– Omega-3 fatty acids present in fish are extremely effective in lowering cholesterol. Wild salmon, sardines, and bluefin tuna are very rich in omega 3 fats. Fish can also be taken as a substitute for meat which contains a lot of saturated fats.
- Garlic– Garlic has sulphur components which prevents the cholesterol from sticking to the walls of the arteries. It also cleanses the arteries. Hence, garlic must be added to your daily diet for lowering cholesterol.
- Nuts– Nuts are very rich in nutrients like plant sterols and fiber, which help in lowering cholesterol. Mostly all the nuts including walnuts, almonds, cashews are healthy for heart. But be careful as nuts have high calorie content. Therefore, do not take them in excess.
- Oats– Oats contain a soluble fiber called beta glucan that restrain cholesterol absorption, thus lowering bad cholesterol levels in the blood. So, switching to oats as a breakfast option is a strong step towards a healthy heart.
- Olive oil– We’re sure you already know that olive oil is good for heart. Apart from it’s numerous advantages, it helps in lowering LDL cholesterol and increasing HDL cholesterol. It contains heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) which, as mentioned, reduces the level of bad cholesterol in our blood.
Making these foods a part of your daily diet may at first seem difficult and demand a lot conscious effort. So, one easy way of going about it would be to find interesting recipes and making use of these food items as ingredients.