Healthy Foods To Lower Cholesterol

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Worried about risking the rise in your cholesterol levels with what you eat? Here are some expert pointers on foods to lower cholesterol.

When it comes to cholesterol, there are many food myths doing the rounds. Can you eat eggs with yolk or should you only stick to oats for breakfast?
Is raw garlic really that good and what are the vegetables that work to keep your arteries in order?

Well here’s some news. Fat is not the devil here. in fact, you must keep a check on the number of carbs (particularly fructose) that you eat, especially in one meal.

Any excess carbohydrates you eat gets converted into lipids (fats), which remain in our blood in the form of cholesterol and triglycerides. Replace foods high in saturated fats (red meats etc) with foods rich in omega-3, such as fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, cod, tuna), flaxseed and its oil and walnuts.

Focus on fibre. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains (dals with husk and whole cereals), beans, nuts and seeds are rich in fibre. The fibre of barley has been particularly shown to decrease LDL cholesterol levels.

Stock up on Flaxseed

Vitamin E rich foods help. Vitamin E helps prevent arteries from clogging by blocking the conversion of cholesterol into the waxy fat deposits called plaque that stick to blood vessel walls. Include sunflower seeds, apples, apricots, peaches, dark green leafy vegetables like spinach and broccoli, other veggies like beet, turnip sweet potatoes and yams and sprout, almonds, and walnuts in your diet.

Raw garlic and onions contain alliums – compounds that help lower cholesterol levels.  Swallow a lightly crushed garlic clove with a glass of water every day first thing in the morning to keep ‘bad cholesterol’ digits down. And go back to the traditional habit of eating raw onions with every meal.

Pterostilbene, a type of antioxidant also helps prevent oxidation of cholesterol and increases levels of HDL-cholesterol.

It is found in grapes, blueberries and cranberries, so make these delicious fruits part of your regular diet.

And here are two non-food but easy and effective ways to cut cholesterol:

Climb Stairs
We all know about the metabolism-boosting, muscle toning, fitness boosting and waist thinning benefits of opting for the stairs instead of the elevator. But now research has found another benefit of stair climbing; it helps improve our cholesterol numbers, enough to cut the risk of cardiovascular disease extensively. Now that’s worth the trouble for sure!

Cut Stress

Stress not only increases inflammation in the body and rise up the Ldl cholesterol levels but also causes poor eating habits and poor food choices – all of which affect cholesterol levels. In fact stress itself isn’t really the only culprit but how an individual reacts to and manages stress is equally important. Those who try to put a lid on stress through hostility, social isolation, or self-blame tend to have lower levels of HDL (good) cholesterol, and that is bad news.
So good thoughts go a long way in keeping that mind happy and stress-free.

To read other articles by Kavita Devgan, click here.

 

About Author

Kavita Devgan

Kavita Devgan is a Delhi based writer, nutritionist, weight management consultant, speaker and the author of Don't Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People & Ultimate Grandmother Hacks: 50 kickass traditional habits for a fitter you.