Cholesterol in general term said to be bad for our health. The main component of Cholesterol comprises – LDL(Low-density lipoprotein),the bad cholesterol and HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein), the good one for our health. So if you want to keep yourself healthy, you need to manage the optimum cholesterol level. Let us discuss on some of the top natural waysto lower cholesterol by eating best available foods.
Many a times you may unconsciously consume foods that contain high level of bad cholesterol.
By adopting better food habit you can lower cholesterol level effectively.For reducing LDL, you can either consume foods that can lower cholesterol or avoid meals that increase your cholesterol level.Some foods produce soluble fiber that hold cholesterol in the digestive system and remove them from body before it circulate in the blood. Whereas some foods produce polyunsaturated fats that lower LDL by denying the body to absorb cholesterol. Plant sterols and stanols that found in some food can prevent body from absorbing cholesterol.
Here are the top natural foods for lowering cholesterol level.
Oats: This is a wonder food that nature has blessed on us to help reduce cholesterol level quickly. The whole-grain oat bran is high in beta-glucan, a soluble fiber that absorbs your LDL and thus lowers your cholesterol level and reduces the risk of heart attacks. Daily intake of a cup of cooked oat bran or one and half cup of oatmeal that contain 3 g of beta-glucan can reduce cholesterol by 5% and that of risk of heart attacks by nearly 10%. And by adding bananas or strawberry to oats, the amount of soluble fiber would increase considerably. Recent study reveals that daily needs of dietary fiber in human should be 20 to 35 grams, of which soluble fiber should be at least 10 to 15 grams.
A 35 g serving provides 133 kcal of energy, 0.6 g of saturated fat, 1.5 g of monounsaturated fat, 1.1 g of polyunsaturated fat, 23.7 g of carbs, 3.5 g of dietary fiber(1.5 g soluble fat and 2 g insoluble fat), 4.1 g of protein, 2.5 mg of sodium, 35.5 (11% RDA) of magnesium, 0.8 mg(4% RDA) of iron and 0.8 mg (8% RDA) of zinc. Some of packaged oats may contain traces of gluten which many of you may not like. So you need to search for oats that contains minimum gluten. Magnesium and soluble fiber in oats are crucial to help control diabetic condition.
Beans: These are rich in soluble fiber and a good source of folate, and vitamin A and C. Kidney beans, navy bean, lentils, black-eyed peas, and chickpeas are also a good choice for weight loss management. Shelled beans are high in protein and iron. But shelled beans sometimes cause flatulence in some people.
Barley and other whole grains: Beta-gulcan soluble fiber found in barley help reduces LDL cholesterol. Whole grain contains a good sources of dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals and can also help reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and many health problems.
Eggplant and okra: These low calorie foods contain good source of soluble fiber that can help reduce your harmful LDL cholesterol and weight.
Apples, grapes, strawberries, and other citrus fruits: These low-calorie fruits also contain pectin, a soluble fiber and some of the most vital plant compounds such as bioflavonoids, phytochemicals etc that help reduce cholesterol and risk of heart disease.
Fiber supplements: Fiber supplements are one of the best ways to get soluble fiber that helps reduce your weigh, belly fat and prevent constipation. Two teaspoons of psyllium, a good plant based fiber supplement can give you 4 grams of daily dose of soluble fiber. But before using this, you should consult with your doctor.
Nuts: Most nuts are a good source of dietary fiber. Several studies found that nuts like almonds, walnuts, peanuts, hazelnuts containing plant sterols can help you to reduce cholesterol level. Hence nuts are good for heart disease too. Studies reveal that daily consuming of 30 to 35-gram nuts are able to lower cholesterol level by an average of 5%.
Vegetable oils: Actually vegetable oils contain no cholesterol. Saturated fats in butter, ghee tend to raise artery-clogging LDL cholesterol. That is not true in case of mono-saturated and poly-saturated oils. The best dietary oils are canola, sunflower, safflower, peanut, corn, soybean, olive oils that tend to lower LDL cholesterol.
Soya: Soya is low in calories and saturated fats. Consuming soya and soya products like tofu and soy milk help you to reduce LDL cholesterol. Taking 25 grams of soy protein a day that equivalent to 10 ounces of tofu or 2 1/2 cups of soy milk can lower LDL by 5% to 6%.
Red Wine: Numerous studies show that moderate drinking red wine can help reduce cholesterol as well prevent heart attacks. Red wine that produced from the grape contains antioxidants, especially resveratrol and quercetin as well as other bioflavonoids lower clot formation in blood. Research shows that the people who have higher level of cholesterol can lower 12% LDL just by drinking a glass of red wine.
Tea: Apart from many health benefits, studies show that if you drink a cup of green tea a day, you will be able to reduce the risk of heart attack by nearly 20% And with four or more cups green tea daily, you can lower it to nearly 32% as well lower the LDL cholesterol. Researchers claim that black tea can lower the lipids up to 10% in 3 weeks.
Salmon, Sardines, Mackerel and other fatty fishes: These fishes are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that help reduce the rate of heart disease significantly. Some studies suggest that fatty fishes like Salmon, sardines, mackerel can generate good cholesterol as much as 4%. Omega-3 fatty acids also reduce LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in your bloodstream.
Garlic: Allicin is absence in fresh garlic. But when you cook, cut, and chew garlic, allicin is form. This allicin is responsible for anticancer, antifungal, antihypertensive, antioxidant, anti-clotting, and cholesterol effects in garlic. Thus it prevents blood clot, blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol and fights against infection. Studies show that garlic helps to stop artery-clogging by keeping cholesterol particles from sticking to artery walls. Experts suggest taking 2 to 4 fresh cloves a day.
Avocado: A wonder fruit. Avocados are rich in monounsaturated oil, just like heart-friendly olive oil and contain more soluble fiber than any other fruit. It also contains a plant sterol called beta-sitosterol that helps prevent cholesterol.
Foods containing Sterols and Stanols: Foods that contain sterols and stanols can reduce cholesterol level by blocking the body to absorb Cholesterol. Plant based sterols and stanols are found naturally in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. You can try supplement also. Study shows that consuming 5-2.4g plant sterols or stanols every day reduces cholesterol by 7-10% over 2-3 weeks.
Margarine: It is derived from vegetable oils that contain good unsaturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Thus these kind of fats help reduce LDL cholesterol. Margarine is rich in natural sterols like phytosterols that can lower cholesterol up to 10% if taken regularly for three weeks or more.
So, it is suggested that if you want to reduce your high level of cholesterol, you start to take those natural foods so that you can control the cholesterol level naturally.