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    Worried about your cholesterol level? Try incorporating these foods in your diet to help lower it

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    Concerned about the health of your heart? Try adding more of these ingredients to your diet.

    Not only can they help bring your blood pressure down, but they are also some of the best foods to lower cholesterol.

    So, what exactly is cholesterol? Cholesterol is in every cell in your body, it’s made by the liver, and travels in your blood.

    Cholesterol is a good thing – it has many important roles like fat absorption, making vitamin D from the sun, and making hormones. But too much cholesterol can cause problems for some people.

    High levels of cholesterol in the blood have been linked to heart disease. A good starting place to lower cholesterol is avoiding added sugar, processed carbohydrates, and saturated fat.

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    Eating more whole foods that are high in fibre can help to lower cholesterol. There are some specific foods that can also help cholesterol levels.

    Fish

    Fish is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Health experts recommend eating at least two servings of fish per week, particularly fatty fish like sardines, salmon and mackerel.

    Oats. Picture: Pexels/Ovidiu Creanga

    Oats

    The best-known source of soluble fibre, oats, is a great way to start your day, either in oatmeal or in any other cereal that lists rolled oats or oat bran on the label. The type of fibre in oats, called beta-glucan, soaks up cholesterol in your intestines, then takes it out. Top your cereal with raspberries, diced pear, or blueberries to up the fibre content.

    Dark chocolate. Picture: Pexels / Lisa Fotios

    Dark chocolate

    Chocoholics can celebrate with a healthy dose of dark chocolate as it is full of antioxidants and cholesterol-reducing properties.

    According to a study published in the Journal of Hepatology, “the antioxidants in dark chocolate reduce the damage that can occur to blood vessels, which can further threaten the health of people with cirrhosis. The dark chocolate can help prevent the blood vessels in the liver from rupturing”.

    Experts suggest that munching on 100 grams of chocolate every day helps in reducing the occurrence of cardiovascular mishaps by 21 percent.

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