Top Foods to Include in Your Diet to Reduce Your Blood Cholesterol
If you have high blood cholesterol levels, chances are your doctor has already given you a list of foods you should avoid. In addition to any medication that has been prescribed to you, it’s important that you stay away from these foods that can cause harm to you. But there are also some foods that you can include in your diet to reduce blood cholesterol.
Cholesterol- Busting Foods
Take a look at what these are. Not only will they bring down LDLs (bad cholesterol) levels and maintain HDL levels (good cholesterol), but will help reduce your cravings for foods you shouldn’t be consuming:
- Soy- This is a smart and delicious alternative to a number of foods. One of the key changes you should be making to cut cholesterol is to reduce consumption of saturated fat. Soy protein is a great alternative to any ground meat and can be added to vegetables, soups, wraps etc. It’s not difficult to find soy products in Indian supermarkets
- Beans- These have a very high content of cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber. You should add at least a cup of beans to your daily diet- these can include navy, kidney, chickpea and butter beans. These can lower the levels of cholesterol by upto 10% in 6 weeks
- Avocado- These are an excellent source of monosaturated fat that is very good for your health. The fat it contains is very effective in reducing LDL cholesterol levels. They also contain a lot of beta-sitosterol (a cholesterol buster) compared to any other fruit than any other fruit. You may not find this fruit very easily in all Indian markets, but if you do, you should make it a part of your regular diet
- Garlic- Since time immemorial almost every culture in the world has used garlic for its flavor and medicinal properties and almost all Indian households use it in their daily cooking. It helps lower cholesterol, reduces blood pressure and prevents blood clots. It also helps protect against many infections. Now, there is some new research that indicates garlic helps in stopping plaque at the earliest stages as it prevents individual cholesterol particles from attaching themselves to artery walls
- Spinach- It contains a large amount of lutein, the pigment found in most dark green leafy vegetables & egg yolks. It has an established reputation for effectively guarding against macular degeneration, which is one of the leading causes of blindness. Current day research suggests that even ½ cup of spinach helps the walls of arteries shrug-off cholesterol particles that result in clogging
- Tea- Regardless of whether you have it hot/cold, tea has antioxidants that help in keeping blood vessels relaxed & prevent blood clots. One of the major antioxidants that tea has- Flavonoids, is known to prevent oxidation of LDLs that leads to the formation of plaque on artery walls. Have black and green teas- they both are equally beneficial in ridding your body of antioxidants
- Walnuts, Cashews & Almonds: A moderate diet that has a certain amount of monounsaturated fats is found in various nuts. They also have magnesium, vitamin E, phytochemicals and copper, all of which have been linked to heart health. Walnuts also have a high content of Omega-3s. Those who eat almonds, cashews and walnuts regularly, fall ill less and are at less of a risk of heart disease, compared to people who don’t. They also contain monosaturated fats that are good for the heart and joints compared to those that safflower and corn oil have
- Chocolate- High blood cholesterol shouldn’t keep you from an indulgence as compelling as chocolate. Choose the bittersweet or dark variety- it has 2 times the number of antioxidants that milk chocolate has. It has flavonoids that help in preventing and blood platelets from sticking to each other
As you can see, there are a number of foods you can and should include in your diet to help reduce cholesterol levels in your blood. It has to be understood that the effects of these foods are cumulative in nature and only when you have them on a regular basis, will you reap the benefits.