Cholesterol in and of itself is not bad. Surprisingly enough, cholesterol is a naturally occurring substance because the body produces an average of 75 percent of the cholesterol in the blood.
The other 25 percent of the cholesterol in the body comes from the foods people eat. The problem is when it gets out of balance since high cholesterol raises the risk of stroke and heart diseases.
Here are foods that help lower cholesterol levels naturally.
Avocados are the greatest source of nutrients and monounsaturated fatty acids in the world. Besides, adding avocado to your daily meals aids in enhancing low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels, especially for overweight and obese people. Consequently, avocados lower LDL while increasing high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels.
Avocados also have high soluble fiber levels, and they stabilize levels of blood sugar in your body. They are also an excellent source of anti-inflammatory phytochemicals such as lutein, glutathione and beta-sitosterol.
Most people use avocados to make guacamole. You can also try adding avocados to your salads, eggs, smoothies, sandwiches or eating them as a side dish. Additionally, you need to replace saturated fats with avocados to lower your cholesterol levels.
2. Fish and omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fats ward off dementia and heart diseases among many other illnesses. They are one of the natural health wonders of the universe because of the benefits they bring to the human body. Sources of omega-3 fatty acids help in enhancing brain function and supporting a healthy weight. The fatty acids have another health benefit of lowering cholesterol levels.
Experts advise an increased intake of omega-3 fatty acids found in herring, salmon and sardines to raise healthy cholesterol levels by as much as 4 percent. Salmon is the best source of the anti-inflammatory fats. Therefore, you should try to eat fish at least twice or three times a week if you want to lower LDL.
You can achieve this through replacing meat, which has saturated fats that boost LDL and providing omega-3 fats, which lower LDL. Omega-3 lowers triglycerides in your bloodstream and protects your heart by aiding in preventing the onset of abnormal heart rhythms.
3. Nuts and almonds
If you want a food, that will lower your cholesterol levels, professionals recommend increased intake of nuts. Almonds, walnuts and other tree nuts enhance blood cholesterol. They also keep blood vessels healthy. Studies indicate that people who consumed whole walnuts at least six days a week for one month noted a reduction in their cholesterol levels.
However, nuts are high in cholesterol; therefore, practice portion control. You can take a handful daily. Examples of nuts that keep blood vessels healthy include:
- Some pine nuts
- Pistachio nuts
Ensure that you avoid salted nuts or sugar-coated nuts. Notably, these nuts also reduce the risks of heart disease. It is also advisable to replace foods with a high saturation of fat when you incorporate nuts into your routine. It helps in reducing chances of gaining weight. For instance, you can avoid using meat, cheese or croutons, and replace them with a handful of almonds or peanuts.
Just as you incorporate vegetables into your diet, consider doing the same with foods that lower cholesterol levels. You need to keep your blood pressure in control by checking your diet. Low-cholesterol foods keep arteries flexible and responsive as well as improving your vision and mental health.