A healthy diet can help you lower your cholesterol. Here, we shall go over some healthy foods that lower cholesterol and preserve your heart.
Certain meals can help lower cholesterol that builds up in the arteries which leads to heart attacks, heart disease, and stroke.
However, you may be surprised to learn that most of these dishes are delicious and simple to add to your daily meals without compromising flavor or pleasure.
Foods That Lower Cholesterol Naturally
Below are 18 of the most nutritious foods that lower cholesterol.
Avocados are a nutrient-dense fruit that may be used for more than just guacamole. They contain oleic acid which aids in the reduction of harmful cholesterol in your bloodstream.
Try a few slices in a turkey sandwich or a salad. Avocado oil, which has a delicate, sweet flavor, can be used as a substitute for other cooking oils.
Whether you take your fruit on top of oatmeal, in a salad, or as a pleasant snack on its own, the fiber-rich treats will help keep your cholesterol in check.
Eating enough fiber (at least 25 grams per day) lowers LDL cholesterol and promotes good digestion.
Raspberries provide 8 grams of sugar per cup. Strawberries are high in polyphenols, which are plant-based substances that help control your cardiovascular system naturally.
Research has linked frequent blueberry consumption to lower blood pressure. This is because of their circulation-enhancing impact on blood vessels (also known as “vasodilation”), which reduces the progression of atherosclerosis.
Apple intake on a regular basis has been proven to lower total cholesterol. That’s because apple skins contain phenolic compounds, which are antioxidant compounds that support healthy cellular activity and blood flow.
Don’t forget about the bananas! They reduce cholesterol by eliminating it from the digestive tract, keeping it from entering the bloodstream, and blocking your arteries.
For an added nutritious boost, add sliced bananas and a tablespoon of chia seeds to your morning oats.
Increasing your fiber intake is one of the best methods to lower your cholesterol, so eat some beans! Why? Beans include soluble fiber, which has been linked to better heart health.
Chickpeas are a fiber powerhouse: a third cup has roughly 12 grams of fiber, which is half your daily dose. Furthermore, these hearty beans are high in antioxidants and have been linked to reducing LDL cholesterol.
Black beans have 8 grams of fiber, and every half-cup has a 100-calorie serving. You’ll also get a lot of filling plant-based protein.
Pulses, such as lentils, are popular these days because they are high in plant-based protein and fiber, as well as minerals, antioxidants, and B vitamins.
All of these components work together to protect you against plaque development while also improving blood flow and supporting your body in making the best use of the nutrients you eat.
Sweet potatoes, parsnips, butternut squash, and other nutritious tubers are low in calories, high in fiber, and high in potassium and beta-carotene, which both protect against heart disease.
Pumpkin is an antioxidant-filled, seasonal substitute for sweet potatoes that is low in calories yet high in fiber.
Based on data from the Nurses’ Health Study, eating walnuts on a regular basis has been associated with a lower risk of heart disease.
Eating just one serving of these nuts every week can reduce your risk of heart disease by up to 19%!
Peanuts include antioxidant and anti-inflammatory substances that have been associated with preventing cholesterol absorption in the gut.
Try picking up some almonds if you’re looking for a snack. Almonds have been proven by studies to minimize the risk of heart disease by reducing cholesterol levels.
Pistachios have also been associated with higher HDL cholesterol and reduced LDL cholesterol in studies.
Because these nuts are high in fiber and antioxidants, they protect your body’s cells from oxidative stress, which causes plaque buildup in your arteries.
6. Green Leafy Vegetables
Increasing your intake of leafy greens can help lower your cholesterol by increasing your body’s ability to produce nitric oxide (NO), which helps widen blood vessels and minimize atherosclerosis.
Kale is heart-healthy because it contains antioxidants, potassium, magnesium, and fiber.
Also, the nutrients in cruciferous vegetables (such as cabbage and Brussels sprouts) may assist in counteracting the effects of salt, preventing hypertension.
7. Eggplant and Okra
Both eggplant and okra include a lot of soluble fiber, which keeps you fuller for longer and assists digestion.
According to a 2011 study, this form of fiber can lower total cholesterol by 3-7% in individuals.
Are aware of the liquid-like goo that comes out of okra when it’s cooked? Besides making gumbo creamy and tasty, that liquid, known as mucilage, is particularly effective in removing cholesterol from the body via stool.
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According to the British Journal of Nutrition, oats contain beta-glucan, a form of soluble fiber that has been related to reducing LDL levels.
This is accomplished by absorbing water in your gastrointestinal system and eliminating excess saturated fat before it reaches your bloodstream.
9. Whole Grains
Whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat are rich in fiber, which can help lower LDL cholesterol levels.
The soluble fiber in whole grains works similarly to oats, binding to cholesterol and aiding its elimination from the body. Replace refined grains with whole grains for a heart-healthy diet.
10. Green Tea
Green tea is renowned for its antioxidant properties and potential to boost heart health.
It contains compounds called catechins that may help lower LDL cholesterol levels and improve overall cardiovascular function.
Enjoy a cup of green tea as a refreshing and cholesterol-friendly beverage.
11. Fatty Fish
Salmon offers various health benefits, including lowering inflammation and triglycerides, as one of nature’s greatest sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
Based on a review by American Heart Association, taking at least two meals of tuna per week, whether fresh or canned, can help reduce the growth rate of plaque.
Triglyceride levels, another heart disease risk factor, can be reduced by the omega-3 fatty acids in fish.
12. Olives and Olive Oil
This Mediterranean diet staple is high in monounsaturated fatty acids, a type of fat associated with lower overall cholesterol levels.
Specific components in olives may also prevent the start of the inflammatory process, which is another risk factor for high cholesterol.
Moreso, olive oil, like other plant-based oils such as canola, avocado, sesame, flaxseed, peanut, coconut, and walnut, is high in antioxidants.
13. Soy Foods
While studies have linked soybeans, tofu, and soy milk to lower cholesterol, edamame is another tasty method to help lower bad cholesterol by substituting other proteins that are high in saturated fat.
Since edamame is high in fiber, it can also assist with cravings. Protein-rich unsweetened soy milk, which is high in plant-based antioxidants and minerals, can help enhance your lipid levels.
This is because it contains less saturated fat than other vegan substitutes (ahem, coconut milk). Unsweetened varieties reduce hidden sources of added sugar, so try it in your morning latté for a caffeine boost that lowers cholesterol.
14. Dark Chocolate and Cocoa
Dark chocolate one of the foods that lower cholesterol naturally has cocoa as its main ingredient.
Although it may appear to be too good to be true, evidence supports the assertion that dark chocolate and cocoa can lower cholesterol. For one month, healthy adults drank a cocoa drink twice a day.
They had a 0.17 mmol/l (6.5 mg/dl) decrease in cholesterol. Their blood pressure was also lowered, and their ‘good’ HDL cholesterol went up.
The only downside is that chocolate is usually heavy in added sugar, which is bad for your heart. As a result, using cocoa alone or selecting dark chocolate with a cocoa concentration of 75-85% or more is advised.
Garlic has been used as an element in cooking and as a medicinal for ages. It contains a variety of potent plant compounds, including allicin, as its principal active ingredient.
Garlic appears to improve blood pressure in those with high levels and can assist with lowering cholesterol.
Since substantial doses of garlic are required to provide this heart-protective effect, several studies use aged supplements, which are thought to be more efficient than other garlic preparations.
Vegetables are a crucial component of a heart-healthy meal. They’re high in fiber and antioxidants while being low in calories, which is essential for keeping a healthy weight.
Some veggies have a high concentration of pectin, the same cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber in apples and oranges. Okra, eggplants, carrots, and potatoes are also pectin-rich foods.
Vegetables also include a variety of plant chemicals that have many health advantages, including protection against heart disease.
Lentils are high in fiber, with 3.3 g per 100 g serving. Fiber assist in keeping cholesterol from being absorbed into the bloodstream.
A small 2015 study with 39 individuals that had type 2 diabetes and were obese showed that eating lentils had a favorable effect on cholesterol levels.
HDL levels increased after 8 weeks of taking 60 g of lentil sprouts daily, whereas LDL and triglyceride levels fell.
Kale is high in fiber and a variety of other nutrients. One cup of cooked kale contains 4.7 g of fiber from a trusted source.
A 2016 study found a relationship between fiber consumption and lower levels of blood pressure and blood fat. Increasing fiber in your diet can help lower total and LDL cholesterol levels.
Kale is also high in antioxidants, which are beneficial to the heart and aid in the reduction of inflammation.
Lowering cholesterol levels naturally involves making mindful dietary choices.
Incorporating these cholesterol-lowering foods into your diet, along with regular exercise and overall healthy lifestyle habits, can have a positive impact on your heart health.
Remember to consult with a healthcare professional before making significant dietary changes, especially if you have underlying health conditions.