What you eat daily plays a very important role when it comes to lower cholesterol and protecting your heart health.
Having high cholesterol levels may be the result of a diet rich in saturated fats, trans fats, being overweight and/or having a genetic predisposition. If you were diagnosed with high cholesterol, your heart health is at risk because excessive cholesterol can clog your arteries. Your doctor will probably recommend exercise and changes in your diet to lower cholesterol before prescribing a drug. What can you do?
A good idea to lower cholesterol is to reduce the amount of saturated and trans fats you eat. Saturated fats are found in red meat, among other foods; and trans fats are used to make cookies and crackers, pastries or cakes. These fats are particularly harmful because they raise the so – called “bad cholesterol” (LDL) and decrease the so – called “good cholesterol” (HDL). Another good idea is to incorporate into your diet the foods listed below, that for sure, will help to lower cholesterol.
1. Olive oil
It contains a high dose of antioxidants that can lower bad cholesterol and leave intact the good. The FDA recommends 23 grams of olive oil a day to benefit the heart. An easy way to incorporate it into your diet is suffixed to salads or cooking. When buying, always select the “extra virgin” that is the least processed and retains the antioxidant qualities that serve to lower the level of cholesterol.
2. Fish and omega 3 fatty acids
Research has shown the benefits of fatty fish containing omega 3 in abundance. This is good for the heart and reduces cholesterol. Salmon, tuna, sardines have a high content of this fatty acid. I recommend you eat at least two or three servings of fish a week for a heart-healthy low cholesterol diet.
This delicious food contains soluble fiber, known to reduce cholesterol absorption in the intestine. You can have oatmeal at breakfast and throughout the day. You can also find that soluble fiber in other foods such as pinto beans, apples, barley, and prunes.
4. Nuts and almonds
Famous for being a source of good fats, these foods also help maintain a healthy heart, as lower levels of bad cholesterol in the blood. In addition, they help maintain the elasticity of blood vessels. A note of caution: walnuts and almonds contain lots of calories, so it is best to consume two ounces or the equivalent of your fist.
The American Heart Association recommends not to overdo consumption of any of these foods because overeating always involves weight gain. And weight gain means endangering the health of the heart.