High-stress jobs coupled with an unhealthy lifestyle is something most of us can relate to. As a result, high blood cholesterol is now a natural outcome, but this doesn’t necessarily have to be something you live with forever. Maintaining an active lifestyle and a healthy diet will help in keeping your cholesterol under control. A mild increase in your cholesterol levels can be treated with simple yet effective changes to your diet alone.
Here are a few foods that help reduce your cholesterol levels:
Nuts and Seeds
Eating a handful of nuts every day has a positive effect on cholesterol levels. Walnuts, almonds, chia seeds, flaxseeds and sunflower seeds are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and fibre which keep blood cholesterol levels under check. Make sure that you eat the nuts and seeds in their natural form and completely avoid the salted, sugar coated or chocolate-coated varieties.
Oatmeal, oat bran and oat flour are all equally good when it comes to their cholesterol-lowering properties. Oats is loaded with soluble fibre which has an impact on LDL cholesterol. Upon digestion, the fibre of oats sticks to the cholesterol molecules making it unavailable to be absorbed into the blood stream.
Pectin found in oranges form a gooey mass in the stomach that binds cholesterol and eliminates it from the body before it can enter the bloodstream . Make sure you eat the entire fruit to get its benefits which go missing if you have it in juice form.
This wonderful bulb, lovingly called ‘the stinking rose’ actually has many health benefits. Studies reveal that eating just half a bud of garlic can reduce cholesterol by 9 – 12 percent. Apart from its cholesterol-lowering effects, garlic also protects you against infections, blood pressure and improves the blood clotting time.
Avocados are a rich source of monounsaturated fats and oleic acid. These healthy fats along with the fibre of this fruit helps in lowering the LDL (bad) cholesterol level and increases the HDL (good) cholesterol level.
Lemon has many health benefits. Limonoids present in lemon is found to reduce apolipoprotein B (apoB), the substance associated with higher levels of cholesterol. Lemon also supplies a substance called flavonoids, whose antioxidant properties reduce the oxidation of LDL cholesterol thus lowering the risk of heart disease and stroke.
It is the storehouse of a powerful antioxidant called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) that helps to decrease the LDL and triglyceride levels without affecting the HDL profile. Drinking green tea regularly also suppresses the formation of blood clots, hypertension and uncontrolled cell division which in some cases may even lead to cancer.
Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and helps in lowering the triglyceride levels while improving the good cholesterol (HDL) profile. It is recommended to consume at least two servings of fatty fish every week. And remember that baking, steaming, grilling, broiling and roasting are the healthiest ways in which fish can be cooked.