Some foods punch well above their weight in helping to reduce cholesterol levels – we call them the “Cholesterol busters”. Choosing a healthy diet, low in saturated fat is important in helping to keep your cholesterol low but you can reduce your cholesterol levels further by including these super six foods in your every day diet .
Tips to Lower Cholesterol
Super Food Oats BarleyBoth oats and barley are rich in a form of soluble fibre called beta glucan. Once eaten beta glucan forms a gel which helps bind cholesterol in the intestines and prevent it from being absorbed. It is recommended that we eat about 3g of beta glucan per day. Foods which contain 1g or more of beta glucan can carry a cholesterol lowering claim.
2. Red wine
Scientists are giving us yet another reason to drink to our health. It turns out that high-fiber Tempranillo red grapes, used to make red wine like Rioja, may actually have a significant effect on cholesterol levels. A study conducted by the department of metabolism and nutrition at Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain found that when individuals consumed the same grape supplement found in red wine, their LDL levels decreased by 9%. In addition, those who had high cholesterol going into the study saw a 12% drop in LDL.
3. Salmon & fatty fish
Omega-3 fats are one of the natural health wonders of the world and have been shown to ward off heart disease, dementia, and many other diseases. Now these fatty acids can add yet another health benefit to their repertoire: lowering cholesterol. According to research from Loma Linda University, replacing saturated fats with omega-3s like those found in salmon, sardines, and herring can raise good cholesterol as much as 4%.
4. Soya Foods
Soya Foods and DrinksBeing naturally low in saturated fat, soya foods help lower cholesterol. The special proteins in soya also appear to influence how the body regulates cholesterol too.
All nuts are rich in vegetable protein, fibre, heart healthy unsaturated fats, vitamin E, magnesium, potassium, natural plant sterols and a host of beneficial plant nutrients.
6. Fruits and vegetables
Super Foods Fruit & VegtablesAll fruits and vegetables are low in saturated fat so eating more helps to keep saturated fat intake low. Fruit and vegetables are also a valuable source of cholesterol lowering soluble fibres. Try to include at least one pulse (beans, peas, lentils) everyday. Other rich sources of soluble fibre include sweet potato, aubergine, okra (ladies finger), broccoli, apples, strawberry and prunes.
While tea has become well known for its cancer-fighting antioxidants, it is also a great defense against LDL cholesterol levels. According to research conducted with the USDA, black tea has been shown to reduce blood lipids by up to 10% in only 3 weeks. These findings were concluded in a larger study of how tea may also help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
Beans, beans—they really are good for your heart. Researchers at Arizona State University Polytechnic found that adding ½ cup of beans to soup lowers total cholesterol, including LDL, by up to 8%. The key to this heart-healthy food is its abundance of fiber, which has been shown to slow the rate and amount of absorption of cholesterol in certain foods. Try black, kidney, or pinto beans; each supplies about one-third of your daily fiber needs.
Ah, the sweet side of a heart-healthy diet: This powerful antioxidant helps build HDL cholesterol levels. In a 2007 study published in AJCN, participants who were given cocoa powder had a 24% increase in HDL levels over 12 weeks, compared with a 5% increase in the control group. Remember to choose the dark or bittersweet kind (you can find it in these melt-in-your-mouth Organic Cacao Wafers). Compared to milk chocolate, it has more than 3 times as many antioxidants, which prevent blood platelets from sticking together and may even keep arteries unclogged.
Aside from adding zing to almost any dish, garlic has been found to lower cholesterol, prevent blood clots, reduce blood pressure, and protect against infections. Now research finds that it helps stop artery-clogging plaque at its earliest stage by keeping cholesterol particles from sticking to artery walls. Try for two to four fresh cloves a day.
This popular green contains lots of lutein, the sunshine-yellow pigment found in dark green leafy vegetables and egg yolks. Lutein already has a “golden” reputation for guarding against age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness. Now research suggests that just ½ cup of a lutein-rich food daily also guards against heart attacks by helping artery walls “shrug off” cholesterol invaders that cause clogging. Look for bags of baby spinach leaves that you can use for salads or pop in the microwave for a quick side dish.