6 Types of Food to Help Lower Cholesterol
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Most of the time, you will find up to 4 times more bad cholesterol than good cholesterol in your blood. If the amount of bad cholesterol is higher than this, the chance of getting arteriosclerosis may become an issue because of the increased levels of fat deposits in the blood vessels. However, if there is more good cholesterol, then the risk of getting cardiovascular diseases decreases.
Cholesterol levels are mainly influenced by the food we eat. There are extremely rare cases in which people are born with problems that will result in an unnaturally unbalanced cholesterol rate, and in these cases, cholesterol levels will increase regardless of how healthy the eating habits of a certain person are. But since is an exception, most people will have to change their eating habits if they wish to influence their cholesterol levels.
The important issue here is the relationship between bad and good cholesterol, and not the individual levels. You could find somebody with a large total amount of cholesterol in their blood, but they might not be at any risk because the good/bad rapport is within the limit. If you want to decrease the level of bad cholesterol, you will have to adjust your diet in such a way that it contains the recommended nutrients and totally excludes the ones that are rich in bad fats. The most common choices of food are:
o Whole meal cereals, which have been scientifically proven to reduce bad cholesterol. People who often consume a large quantity of cereal are less at risk to cardiovascular and arterial diseases and diabetes. Even if you don’t have cereal very often, the best choices are products containing oat and bran. They are rich in soluble fibre and they reduce bad cholesterol without reducing the good cholesterol. It takes about 5 to 10 grams of soluble fibre per day to reduce cholesterol by about 5 percent. A bowl of oats contains about 4.5 grams. You can also find soluble fibers in apples, beans, pears, prunes, cabbage and broccoli.
o Blueberries help reduce the total cholesterol level just as efficiently as medication and they will not present all the nasty side effects.
o Nuts, peanuts, pistachios and almonds are also rich in fibre and anti-oxidants like vitamin E and selenium. They are also rich in mono-saturated fats that will decrease the bad cholesterol levels. Because nuts of all types are loaded with calories, you will have to eat no more of 50 grams per day. The best way to take advantage of their properties is to eat them instead of foods that are rich in saturated fats, like meat products. You could even try to replace the cheese and meat bits from salads with various types of nuts.
o Avocado is called the ‘vegetal butter’ and it is rich in unsaturated fats, good for your heart, and it will increase the level of good cholesterol.
o Olives and olive oil, because they contain lots of healthy fats that protect you against various diseases and will increase good cholesterol levels.
o Fish and fish oils, since they are a great source of proteins and have beneficial omega 3 fat acids, of which there have been numerous medical studies showing that they have a good impact on cholesterol levels – decreasing the bad one and increasing the good one.
By Glen James