Diet can play an important role in lowering your cholesterol. Here are five foods that can lower your cholesterol and protect your heart.
an a bowl of oatmeal help lower your cholesterol? How about a handful of walnuts or even a baked potato topped with some heart-healthy margarine? A few simple tweaks to your diet — like these, along with exercise and other heart-healthy habits — may be helpful in lowering your cholesterol. 1. Oatmeal, oat bran and high-fiber foods
Oatmeal contains soluble fiber, which reduces your low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the “bad,” cholesterol. Soluble fiber is also found in such foods as kidney beans, apples, pears, barley and prunes. 2. Fish and omega-3 fatty acids
Eating fatty fish can be heart healthy because of its high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce your blood pressure and risk of developing blood clots. In people who have already had heart attacks, fish oil — or omega-3 fatty acids — reduces the risk of sudden death. 3. Walnuts, almonds and other nuts
Walnuts, almonds and other nuts can reduce blood cholesterol. Rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, walnuts also help keep blood vessels healthy. All nuts are high in calories, so a handful will do. 4. Olive oil
Olive oil contains a potent mix of antioxidants that can lower your “bad” (LDL) cholesterol but leave your “good” (HDL) cholesterol untouched.
Try using about 2 tablespoons (23 grams) of olive oil a day in place of other fats in your diet to get its heart-healthy benefits
5. Foods with added plant sterols or stanols
Foods are now available that have been fortified with sterols or stanols — substances found in plants that help block the absorption of cholesterol. Margarines, orange juice and yogurt drinks with added plant sterols can help reduce LDL cholesterol by more than 10 percent. The amount of daily plant sterols needed for results is at least 2 grams — which equals about two 8-ounce (237-milliliter) servings of plant sterol-fortified orange juice a day.
Although coffee is often praised for its health benefits — it’s stocked with antioxidants, it can raise energy levels and it even protects against some cancers — coffee can also be a source of unwanted cholesterol that in turn can clog your arteries. The key is to drink the right type of coffee, which fortunately is not a cup of black decaf. How Coffee Raises Cholesterol Levels
It’s not just the heavy cream in your coffee that’s clogging your arteries. Cafestol, a fat-soluble compound that’s found in coffee, is the drink’s most effective cholesterol-raising ingredient — and one of the most potent cholesterol-raising agents around. Essentially, the compound works by activating gene FGF15; this activation makes three other genes in the liver less effective at regulating cholesterol levels. The good news is that using a paper filter removes most of the cafestol from coffee, so the risk of elevated cholesterol from drinking filtered coffee is much lower than from unfiltered varieties. Unfiltered Coffee If you’re concerned about your cholesterol, you might want to stay away from unfiltered coffee. That includes Turkish coffee, French press brews and Scandinavian boiled coffee. In a study published in the “American Journal of Epidemiology,” scientists found that consuming boiled, unfiltered coffee increased total cholesterol by 23 milligrams per deciliter of blood.
cholesterol levels at all. Good News About Espresso One exception to the no-filter rule is espresso. Even though espresso is prepared without a filter, the serving size is so small that you’ll consume only about 4 mg of cafestol per cup. Note also that decaffeinated coffee still contains cafestol and can still contribute to higher cholesterol levels.
Coconut oil is one of the richest sources of saturated fat you can find, with around 90% of calories as saturated fat. But is very different from most other cooking oils and contains a unique composition of fatty acids.
The fatty acids are about 90% saturated. This makes coconut oil highly resistant to oxidation at high heats. For this reason, it is the perfect oil for high-heat cooking methods like frying.
Additionally, coconut oil consists almost entirely of Medium Chain Triglycerides.
These fatty acids go straight from the digestive tract to the liver, where they are likely to be turned into ketone bodies and provide a quick source of energy.
Epileptic patients on ketogenic diets often use these fats to induce ketosis while allowing for a little bit of carbs in the diet.
Coconut oil is rich in saturated medium chain fatty acids. They are resistant to high heat and can easily turn into ketone bodies in the liver. The virgin coconut oil significantly reduced Total and LDL cholesterol, oxidized LDL, triglycerides and increased HDL (the good) cholesterol.
There are natural ways to unclog your arteries to prevent a heart attack or stroke… One of them is the use of olive oil in all your meals. Olive oil is on the list of “good” oils and a “monounsaturated” fat. Using a “cold-pressed” organic olive oil as your main source of oil may cut your risk of coronary heart disease almost in half.
Studies have show that particles of LDL (bad) cholesterol that contain monounsaturated fats (found in olive oil) are less likely to become oxidized. This is important because only oxidized cholesterol is able to stick to your artery walls and form plaques.
Also, avocados and nuts like almonds are other good sources monounsaturated fat that help to clean your arteries. But just remember, fat is still fattening – so, go easy to not eat too much. A good strategy is to avoid the bad fats like the cookies, ice-cream, red meats, salt-laden cheeses and butter and replace them with the healthier unsaturated fats.
You may have already heard that green tea is good for your heart, but did you know that it also lowers your cholesterol levels and decreases your risk of disability as you age?
The cholesterol finding comes from an analysis of 14 randomized controlled trials involving a total of 1,136 participants and was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2011. The review was conducted by researchers from the Key Laboratory for Clinical Cardiovascular Genetics, the Sino-German Laboratory for Molecular Medicine, the Cardiovascular Institute, FuWai Hospital and Peking Union Medical College.
In all 14 studies, participants were divided into a placebo group and a group that drank either green tea or a green tea extract for between three weeks and three months. Overall, the researchers found that higher levels of green tea (or extract) consumption were associated with significantly lower levels of total cholesterol and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. No change was seen in the levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol. Green tea is high in antioxidants, which protect cells from the damage and inflammation that lead to many chronic diseases, including heart disease. One of the antioxidant families found in green tea, known as the catechins, appears to decrease the gut’s absorption of cholesterol.
Aloe vera It’s one of the best medicinal plants in the planet. Not just limited to herbal medicines, aloe vera is widely used in beauty and cosmetic products as well. This unattractive but highly beneficial plant has been used by different cultures since ancient times for its various benefits. Here are some… -Lowers cholesterol levels
Aloe is great for maintaining cholesterol levels by reducing triglycerides. Also, by aiding the stabilization of metabolic rate, reducing lipid levels and helping burn fat, it is useful for weight loss. -Reduces inflammation
It is said that having aloe vera juice for two weeks can help reduce symptoms of inflammation in the body like rheumatism, inflammation of the ears and eyes and arthritis. Applying the gel externally can ease muscle and joint pain. -Cures digestive problems
Having digestive problems? Drink aloe vera juice, as it reduces symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, acid and heart reflux and stabilizes alkaline levels in the body. Because of its laxative properties, it is also good for constipation. -Good for diabetes
Aloe vera is good for diabetes patients, because it helps regulate blood sugar levels and the ability to reverse blood stickiness, thus ensuring smooth circulation of blood.
In the largest study of its kind, Harvard scientists found that people who ate a handful of nuts every day were 20% less likely to die from any cause over a 30-year period than those who didn’t consume nuts. The study also found that regular nut-eaters were leaner than those who didn’t eat nuts, a finding that should calm any fears that eating nuts will make you gain weight.
The report also looked at the protective effect on specific causes of death. “The most obvious benefit was a reduction of 29% in deaths from heart disease—the major killer of people in America,” according to Charles S. Fuchs, director of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Treatment Center at Dana-Farber, the senior author of the report and a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. “But we also saw a significant reduction—11% —in the risk of dying from cancer,” added Fuchs.
The study couldn’t determine whether any specific type or types of nuts were crucial to the protective effect. The reduction in mortality was similar both for peanuts (a legume) and for tree nuts—walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, macadamias, pecans, pistachios, and pine nuts.
Still, as long as they are not covered in salt, chocolate or honey, research shows a small portion of nuts five times a week is good for us.
Over the years, soy has garnered a lot of attention for its potential role in reducing blood cholesterol. In 1995, a review of 38 clinical trials found that, on average, soy protein reduced total cholesterol by over 9 percent and LDL cholesterol by nearly 13 percent. However, the response to soy protein depended on how high the blood-cholesterol level was at the start. People with total cholesterol levels greater than 335 mg/dL benefited the most, while those with cholesterol levels less than 260 mg/dL showed only a modest decrease in their cholesterol levels.
In 1999, based on the research to date, the Food and Drug Administration approved products containing at least 6.25 g of soy protein per serving to claim that diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol that include 25 g of soy protein a day may reduce the risk of heart disease. The beneficial effects of soy may come from replacing animal products that are high in saturated fat and cholesterol with soy products, such as tofu, soy nuts, and soy burgers, which are low in saturated fat and higher in polyunsaturated fat, fiber, and nutrients.
Figs, one of the oldest fruits known, are native to the Mediterranean and parts of Asia. This delicate and highly perishable fruit does not withstand shipping well and is most commonly available dried in areas where it isn’t grown. A relative of the mulberry, figs are among the sweetest fruits and provide a wide assortment of nutritional and health benefits that do your body good. Figs are particularly heart-healthy and a great food to lower bad cholesterol. High potassium levels combined with low sodium levels help lower blood pressure, and high levels of polyphenol antioxidants help prevent atherosclerosis. A 3.5-ounce serving of dried figs contains up to 50 times the polyphenol content of most other fruits. Figs also contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and phytosterol compounds, which help lower cholesterol levels and preserve the flexibility of your arteries. Their fiber binds to cholesterol, helping to eliminate it from your body.
Eggs are nutritionally dense and a very good addition to any diet. They contain selenium, choline, vitamin B12, riboflavin and iron, as well as many other nutrients. Eggs also contain antioxidants that can help to fight cancer as well as the signs of aging. Chickens that are raised in a natural environment and fed a diet that is less concerned with the shelf life of eggs and more concerned with the health of the chicken, tend to provide eggs with a higher nutritional value. Try to buy eggs that are verified cage free, or free range. The protein in egg whites is very easily utilized by the body, and is considered one of the best forms of natural protein available. It is often used by body builders or athletes as a source of protein, as it provides a high ratio of protein to calories with very little to no fat. While eggs are not free of cholesterol, eating them does not raise cholesterol levels or increase the chances of heart disease. Eggs are a good addition to a healthy diet and can provide many benefits to those who eat them.