Can a bowl of oatmeal lower your cholesterol? What do you think of a small amount of almonds? A few simple adjustments to your diet – along with exercising and maintaining other heart-healthy habits – may help lower your cholesterol.
Oat beans, and foods rich in fiber.
Oatmeal contains soluble fiber, which lowers the LDL cholesterol, which is “bad” cholesterol. Dissolved fiber is also found in foods such as beans, Brussels sprouts, apples and pears.
Dissolved fibers reduce cholesterol absorption into the bloodstream. Eating five to ten grams of soluble fiber daily can lower your LDL cholesterol. One serving of breakfast cereal with oatmeal or oat bran provides 3 to 4 grams of fiber. If you add fruits, such as bananas or berries, you will get more fiber.
Fish and omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids do not affect LDL cholesterol levels. But because of the other benefits of these acids for the heart, the American Heart Association recommends eating at least two servings of fish per week. Cooking the fish in dry heat or grill avoids adding unhealthy fats.
Almonds and other nuts.
Almonds and other nuts can improve blood cholesterol. A recent study has found that a diet supplemented with eye-nuts nuts can reduce the risk of heart complications for people who have previously had a heart attack. All nuts are high in calories, so you can add a handful to salads or eat them as a snack and they will work.
Avocado is a powerful source of nutrients as well as mono-fatty acids (MUFAs). Research suggests that adding daily avocado to a heart-healthy diet can help improve LDL cholesterol levels in overweight or obese people.
People tend to recognize avocado in guacamole salad, which is usually eaten with high-fat corn flakes. Try adding avocado slices to salads and sandwiches, or eating them as a side dish. Also try eating guacamole with sliced raw vegetables, such as cucumber slices.
Replacing saturated fats, such as those found in meat, with monounsaturated fatty acids is part of the system that makes the heart’s Mediterranean diet healthy.
Try to use olive oil instead of other fats in your diet. You can iron vegetables with olive oil, add it to the seasoning liquid or mix it with vinegar as a salad dressing. You can also use olive oil as a butter substitute when covering meat or as a dip for baking.
Foods that have vegetable sterol or stanol added.
Plant sterol compounds or stanol are substances found in plants that help prevent cholesterol absorption. Foods fortified with sterol or stanol compounds are available.
Vegetable ghee and orange juice combined with plant sterol compounds can help reduce LDL cholesterol. Adding 2 grams of sterol to your diet daily can lower your LDL cholesterol level by between 5 and 15 percent.
Whey protein, which is found in dairy products, may rely on many health benefits associated with milk. Studies have shown that whey protein that is given as a supplement reduces both low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and total cholesterol as well as blood pressure. You can find whey protein powders at health food stores and some grocery stores.
Other changes to your diet.
Getting the full benefit of these foods requires making other changes in your diet and lifestyle. One of the most beneficial changes is one of the saturated and trans fats in your diet.