In this article, we will suggest you some of the top cholesterol lowering foods. A high LDL or bad cholesterol level is medically termed as Hypercholesterolemia. More than one-third of American adults are suffering from high levels of LDL. High LDL level increases the chances of cardiovascular diseases. It includes heart attacks and several other heart diseases. People of any age, genders and ethnicities can suffer this condition. High cholesterol does not have any symptoms to identify it. You should get your cholesterol levels checked timely. If this problem is not treated timely, high cholesterol levels can result in health complications such as heart attacks, chest pain, and strokes.
Cholesterol comes under three different categories. These are:
- Low-density lipoprotein (LDL).
- Very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL): this may require some medications.
- High-density lipoprotein (HDL).
Both LDL and VLDL are very bad for your health. However, HDL is good for your health.
Causes of High Levels of Cholesterol:
- Poor diet
- Excessive smoking
- Lack of exercise
- Large waist circumference
How to Measure Cholesterol Levels?
A lipid panel test is used to measure your total, LDL and HDL cholesterol, along with triglycerides. Following blood cholesterol levels are considered as healthy.
- Total cholesterol: It should be less than 200 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter of blood).
- LDL cholesterol: It should be less than 100 mg/dL.
- HDL cholesterol: It should be 40 mg/dL or higher.
- Triglycerides: It should be less than 150 mg/dL.
By making several changes in your diet and lifestyle, you can easily reduce your cholesterol levels. Below is the list of cholesterol lowering foods that can help keep your cholesterol at healthy levels.
List of Cholesterol Lowering Foods:
1.) Orange Juice to Lower Bad Cholesterol
Orange juice helps improve your blood lipid profiles if you have Hypercholesterolemia. Oranges is effective in this condition as it has an excellent amount of Vitamin C, Folate and flavonoids like hesperidin. All these components helps in lowering bad cholesterol levels. Here are the directions.
- Drink 2-3 cups of orange juice regularly.
- Prefer drinking freshly extracted juice.
- You can also have plant sterol-fortified orange juice.
- Phytosterols is also very helpful in lowering total cholesterol to some extent.
- Alternatively, you can eat a few oranges daily.
2.) Green Tea to Fight Bad Cholesterol Levels
Drinking several cups of green tea every day is one of the most effective ways to reduce total and LDL cholesterol levels. There are some compounds present in green tea, which prevent the absorption of cholesterol in the digestive tract. They helps in its excretion as well. Plus, this healthy drink discourages plaque buildup in your arteries. It reduces the risk a heart attack or stroke. Here are the directions
- Drink about 3-4 cups of green tea every day.
- You can even take green tea supplements. But consulting your doctor is recommended.
3.) Oatmeal to Reduce High Cholesterol Levels
Eating a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast is another easy way to reduce your high cholesterol levels. The high soluble fiber present in oatmeal helps lower LDL naturally. It helps lower the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream. Plus, fiber fills you up fast and prevent you from munching unnecessarily. In addition, oats are considered to reduce risk of Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Here are the directions.
- Eat a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast daily.
- You can also add oatmeal to smoothies or use it in baked goods.
4.) Avocados to Reduce Cholesterol Levels
Avocados are an excellent source of monounsaturated fats. These can help lower LDL levels in people who are obese or overweight. Monounsaturated fats are also helpful in raising HDL levels. Plus, avocados contain plant sterols which have cholesterol-lowering qualities. In addition, avocados are high in fiber, protein, Vitamins K, B-complex and a few minerals. All these are good for your complete health. Here are the directions.
- Eat an avocado every day.
- You can also add avocado slices to sandwiches and salads.
- You can have them as a side dish as well.
5.) Dark Chocolate to Lower Cholesterol Levels
Dark chocolate can also be quite effective in reducing the levels of bad cholesterol. It helps improve the level of good cholesterol in your blood. There is a component present in dark chocolate known as theobromine. This component is mainly responsible for HDL cholesterol-raising effect. Here are the suggestions.
- Consume 1-2 small pieces of dark chocolate ever day.
- Chose dark chocolate which have 60% cocoa in it.
6.) Olive Oil to Reduce Bad Cholesterol Level
Olive oil is very rich in monounsaturated fat. It is quite helpful in lowering bad LDL cholesterol levels. This helps lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. Plus, olive oil is high in Vitamin E. It is an antioxidant which is beneficial for your heart and complete health. Here are the suggestions.
- Use 2 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil in place of less healthy oils.
- You can also use olive oil to saute vegetables. Use it for salad dressing or as a dip for bread.
- Remember that olive oil is very high in calories. So, avoid excessive use of it.
7.) Garlic as Cholesterol Lowering Foods
Garlic is another one of the best cholesterol lowering foods. Garlic can help lower high cholesterol levels. It helps prevent blood clots. It also lowers blood pressure and defends you against heart disease.
- Regularly consume 2-3 cloves of raw garlic. Consume it on an empty stomach.
- You can use garlic in your salad dressings. You can also use in cooking.
- You can even take garlic supplements. But ask your doctor for the right dosage.
8.) Salmon as Cholesterol Lowering Foods
Salmon is known to have omega-3 fatty acids called EPA and DHA. This fatty acids helps protect you against high cholesterol levels. It also helps reduce triglycerides. It encourages good HDL cholesterol. Thus, preventing the risk of any heart disease. Here are the directions.
- Consume at least 2 servings of salmon every week.
- Go for the baked and grilled salmon. One serving of salmon is around 2 to 3 ounces.
- You can also take fish oil supplements. But, consult your doctor first.
9.) Almonds to Lower Bad Cholesterol Levels
Almonds are known for having a heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats, monounsaturated fats, and fibers. All these nutrients help increase the level of good HDL cholesterol and as wells as reduce the bad LDL levels. Here are the suggestions.
- Almonds are an excellent snack. You can them as topping for cereal, yogurt and salads.
- Have a handful of almonds daily.
- You can also have flax seeds and walnuts for reducing bad cholesterol.
10.) Soybeans and Soy Products to Maintain Cholesterol Levels
Soybeans and other soy products provide a whole plant-based protein. It is excellent for a person who suffers from high cholesterol level. Though, soy may not reduce total cholesterol to a great extent like others, but, still it can lower bad LDL cholesterol. This food has high levels of fibers, polyunsaturated fats, Minerals and Vitamins and a low-level of saturated fat as well. Here are the suggestions.
- Include a sufficient amount of tofu, soybeans, soy flour, edamame and soy milk in your daily diet.