Cholesterol Advice

Heart Friendly Foods That Help To Lower Cholesterol

Can a daily intake of olive oil help prevent clogged arteries? What about a handful of almonds or a dish full of your favorite fruits? The answer to both these questions is, yes! These are a few simple changes that you can make to your diet that may be enough to save you from high bad cholesterol levels.

Studies show that some foods when included in your diet can help in reducing cholesterol levels in the blood. The idea is simple. The foods that help lower cholesterol are the ones which do not contain high amount of saturated fats. The ideal ones in this category are green salads and green leafy vegetables. Other foods actually help to increase the HDL or good cholesterol and thus help to reduce LDL or bad cholesterol, indirectly.

Both of these food groups should be included in your diet. Let us take a quick look at some low cholesterol foods.

1. Oats and Barley: Barley and oats are super foods and have a very profound effect on cholesterol levels. Both of them have Beta Glucan which is a soluble fiber that reduces your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or the bad cholesterol. It is advised to take two to four servings of oats or barley or any other high fiber cereal each day in order to bring this effect.

2. Fruits and vegetables: There are a number of fruits and vegetables that help to lower cholesterol.  Apples, berries, citrus fruits such as oranges guava, carrots, sweet potatoes, apricots, cabbage, spinach and avocado are high in both soluble fiber and pectin. It is advised to have a minimum of 3 to 4 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Over a period of time, this dietary modification will help to reduce cholesterol.

3. Flaxseed: Flaxseed provides us with a poly-unsaturated fat, alpha-linolenic acid that helps to maintain the proper cholesterol ratio in our body and at the same time provides soluble fiber.

4. Olive Oil: Olive oil contains  mono-saturated fats which help to lower blood cholesterol levels. Extra virgin olive oil is more effective than refined olive oil in reducing cholesterol.

5. Fish: Fish has omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids or PUFAs. PUFAs decrease the viscosity of the blood and reduce the possibility of blood clots. Omega-3 fatty acids also help to reduce the LDL or bad cholesterol in the blood.

6. Walnuts and Almonds: These nuts significantly reduce the blood cholesterol level as they are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids. These foods also help to keep the blood vessels healthy and elastic.

Adding a combination of these cholesterol lowering foods in your diet will provide you with a number of health benefits. Besides dietary changes, it is important to invest 4 to five hours per week in regular exercise. If your cholesterol levels remain high, then it is time that you meet and consult your physician who can guide you further.