The word cholesterol has been derived from the Greek words ‘chole’ which means bile and ‘stereos’ meaning solids. Cholesterol, within healthy limits, is crucial for the body’ to function normally. However, abnormally high blood cholesterol levels can lead to coronary heart disease, diabetes, thyroid malfunction and even PCOS or Poly cystic Ovary Syndrome. There are numerous strategies for reducing overall blood cholesterol levels. Some popular options to maintain optimal cholesterol numbers and ratios include exercise, medication and dietary strategies. Incorporating specific super foods, especially those with high amounts of fiber, can lower bad or LDL cholesterol levels drastically.
7 Amazingly Healthy Super Foods To Lower Cholesterol
The buzz about soy being a good cholesterol food is noteworthy. Eating soy based products like tofu and soy milk is a healthful way to lower LDL or bad cholesterol levels. Soy based products are also good sources of high quality proteins and isoflavones. These two important components which are present in soy products can marginally lower low density lipoproteins or bad cholesterol. Consuming just twenty five grams of soy based products like soy milk, edamame or tofu can reduce bad cholesterol levels by almost ten percent. Furthermore, soy products are a good replacement for animal fats which are high in saturated fats (which can raise cholesterol levels).
Eggplant which belongs to the nightshade family of vegetables is rich in cholesterol lowering fiber. This low calorie vegetable is high in viscous (soluble) fiber content which can reduce harmful LDL cholesterol levels in the body. Consuming eggplants regularly for 4 weeks or more can significantly reduce bad cholesterol levels. The positive effects of eggplant in reducing LDL cholesterol levels have been attributed to the presence of numerous phyto-chemicals. Eggplants also contain high amounts of chlorogenic acid and nasunin, which are potent free radical scavengers, known to combat high LDL cholesterol levels.
A whopping seventeen percent of adults Americans are diagnosed with high cholesterol every year. Making simple changes to one’s diet, like including a bowl of oats, can significantly lower LDL cholesterol levels. Oats is a good dietary source of soluble and insoluble fiber. The soluble fiber in oats binds with LDL cholesterol and removes it out of the system. Furthermore, medical research has indicated that consuming a single bowl of oats every day for a couple of months can lower overall LDL cholesterol levels by almost one fifth percent. Moreover, the bio active beta glucan, which is present in the outermost bran layer of oats, can help to bring down serum cholesterol levels.
Salmon along with other fatty fish like mackerel, herring and tuna (to name a few) can lower LDL cholesterol levels significantly. The healthiest sea food, fatty fish contains high amounts of Omega-3 fatty acid. This essential fatty acid or EFA can help lower triglyceride levels. Additionally, including fatty fish like salmon in your diet plan can also help to lower your intake of saturated fats. To lower LDL cholesterol levels replace red meat with cold water fish like tuna and / or salmon.
Tuck into juicy avocados to lower overall blood cholesterol levels. Avocados are rich source of mono-unsaturated fatty acids. Increasing intake of food rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids can help to increase the levels of HDL or good cholesterol while simultaneously lowering the levels of LDL or bad cholesterol. Avocados also contain an important component called beta-sitosterol. This plant based fat (beta-sitosterol) can considerably lower the amount of cholesterol that is absorbed by the blood stream. Avocados are also rich sources of soluble and insoluble fiber. The high fiber content of avocados can lower cholesterol levels by binding to LDL cholesterol and eliminating it from the body.
Pears, which are one of the healthiest foods in the world, can lower cholesterol levels. Pears are an excellent dietary source of pectin. Eating foods high in pectin can help to maintain normal cholesterol levels. Pears also contain high amounts of the insoluble fiber called lignin. This insoluble fiber (lignin) combines with bad cholesterol in the intestine and ferries it out of the body. To help lower cholesterol levels, eat fresh pears every day for a couple of months.
Include a variety of nuts like Brazil nuts, walnuts, macadamia nuts, pistachio nuts and almonds to lower the levels of LDL cholesterol while boosting HDL cholesterol levels. Nuts are excellent sources of unsaturated fats – which can help to increase good cholesterol levels. Moreover, nuts are rich sources of plant stanols and sterols. These naturally occurring substances have powerful cholesterol lowering abilities. To lower cholesterol levels have a small fistful of nuts every day.