Cholesterol is a fatty compound that your body needs to work properly by producing Vitamins, Cell Membranes, and Hormones.
This compound mainly comprises of High-Density Lipoprotein (good) and Low-Density Lipoprotein (bad) cholesterol.
As they say, too much of everything is bad. So if your intake of cholesterol is more than required by your body then that excess fat sticks to the walls of the arteries limiting or sometimes blocking the supply of oxygen and nutrients to various body organs.
The outcome of this can be fatal sometimes resulting in even death.
Table of Contents
- Exercise Regularly
- Quit or Limit Smoking
- Avoid Stress
- Fatty Fish
- Whole Grains
- Fruits and Green Leafy Vegetables
- Dark Chocolate
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Cholesterol Lowering Foods Chart In A Nutshell
There are a number of lifestyle changes or adaptations that you can take to maintain a healthy weight and at the same time lowering your existing high cholesterol levels.
These steps may not give instantaneous results but you will notice the benefits after a certain period of time provided you stick to the routine or diet.
I know it is very clichéd but there is no escape from the exercise.
The human body is meant or designed to move and if we do not move it by ourselves then after some time we will require medicines to move the same. And I can bet it’s much easier if you move it by yourself.
Exercising raises the HDL (good) cholesterol in your body which ultimately lowers the level of LDL (bad) cholesterol in your blood. Exercising for a minimum of 30 minutes, 4 to 6 times a week, is more than sufficient.
2. Quit or Limit Smoking
Again I know it is very clichéd but smoking lowers your HDL (good) cholesterol which is not good at all for your body.
If you want to maintain a healthy weight then it’s better to limit smoking and then gradually avoiding it altogether. Apart from the healthy weight, you will also relieve your Lungs from soaking Tar.
3. Avoid Stress
When you have stressed out your body responds by releasing hormones that increase your heart rate. This causes additional pressure on your arteries.
If you have high cholesterol then it is quite possible that there is a certain amount of plaque deposited in your arteries and this excessive blood pressure will damage your arteries in that case. Stress does no good for your body. So keep calm and meditate.
Apart from the above-mentioned steps, it is of paramount importance that you should also adopt healthy eating habits. You should increase the intake of healthier fats which contains a lot of soluble fiber that ultimately lowers the bad cholesterol in your blood.
Mentioned below is the list of foods to include in your Diet Plan to lower cholesterol levels in your body:
Also known as pulses, these include beans, peas, and lentils. Legumes are the rich source of proteins and also provide your body with lots of fiber and minerals.
These work by lowering the LDL (bad) cholesterol level in your blood ultimately giving respite to your arteries and heart.
Avocados are the nutrients dense fruits which contain monounsaturated fat that ultimately lowers the LDL (bad) cholesterol and raises the HDH (good) cholesterol in your blood.
Avocados are no doubt the heart-healthy fruit which helps you maintain a healthy weight when you have high cholesterol.
Nuts, especially Almonds and Walnuts are also nutrient-dense food. They are rich in proteins and contain monounsaturated fat which lowers the bad cholesterol in your blood.
Other health benefits of nuts include regulating blood pressure, better absorption of food enhances immunity and overall good for heart health.
4. Fatty Fish
These include Salmon, Mackerel, Lake Trout, Herring, Sardines and Albacore Tuna which are a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids that helps in increasing the good cholesterol in your blood.
However, one point to be noted here is that do not fry the fish which will only increase the bad cholesterol level through the oil.
5. Whole Grains
Whole grains such as Oats and Barley are a rich source of soluble fiber which helps in lowering of bad cholesterol in your blood.
Apart from lowering bad cholesterol these grains also provide your body with essential minerals and vitamins thereby helps in overall nourishment.
6. Fruits and Green Leafy Vegetables
This is just a no-brainer. Fruits and green leafy vegetables contain soluble fiber which lowers the bad cholesterol level in blood. Also, these contain an antioxidant that helps prevent heart and other chronic diseases in your body.
7. Dark Chocolate
Cocoa which is the main ingredient of Dark Chocolate helps in lowering bad cholesterol in your blood. Cocoa prevents the LDL cholesterol from oxidation thereby avoiding its absorption in the blood vessels.
So indirectly cocoa prevents the formation of plaque in the arteries caused by high deposits of LDL (bad) cholesterol. Always keep in mind to eat pure dark chocolate which has cocoa content as high as 85-90% and less of sugar content.
Garlic is also termed as a heart-friendly food. The main compound of garlic, allicin, is linked to lowering of blood pressure thereby causing less stress on your arteries.
It is also linked to the lowering of bad cholesterol but its effect is not that strong in this in comparison to other foods.
Soybeans are a type of legumes only which are a rich source of protein and helps in lowering of LDL cholesterol level and increasing the HDL cholesterol level in your blood. Soybeans or in fact all legumes are truly heart-friendly foods.
Tea such as Green Tea, Black tea, Normal White Tea contains plant compounds that are beneficial for the heart.
These compounds are said to lower the bad cholesterol in your blood and also reduces the risk of any other heart disease. However, the key here is moderation. Drinking excess tea will only cause more harm than benefit.
11. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Olive oil has lots of monounsaturated fatty acids and anti-oxidants. Mono-Unsaturated Fatty Acids lowers the bad cholesterol in your blood and increases the good cholesterol.
Anti-Oxidants prevent the absorption of fats in the arteries thereby reducing the formation of plaque.
There are no symptoms of having high cholesterol. However, once it is detected but is very important to adopt the above-mentioned ways to stay healthy.
If you have high cholesterol, you are twice as likely to develop heart disease. So regular checkup is also very important in this regard.
Cholesterol Lowering Foods Chart In A Nutshell
Cholesterol milligrams per 100 grams of the food
|Fatty Fish||50 (on an average)|
|Fruits and Green Leafy Vegetables||0|
Best Cholesterol-lowering diet thus can be referred to as the one which includes all of the above-mentioned superfoods in your diet.
These foods not only help lower cholesterol levels in your body but also improve overall health.
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