Foods that help cholesterol
You can lower your cholesterol level by changing your eating habits.
Cholesterol is a type of fat made by the liver. It is placed into two groups: the good cholesterol, or HDL that helps remove cholesterol from the bloodstream and LDL, the bad cholesterol that delivers cholesterol to the body. While some cholesterol is needed, the human body makes enough on its own and extra cholesterol from an unhealthy diet is stored in the arteries, blocking these essential blood paths.
Those who have a high concentration of cholesterol can suffer serious health risks such as heart attack and stroke. The good news is that cholesterol levels can be lowered, and one of the best things someone diagnosed with high cholesterol can do is to eat healthily. Here are some foods that help lower cholesterol.
Whole Grains and Oats
Switching from refined white grains to whole grains is a great way to help your body reduce its cholesterol levels. Whole-grain items are loaded with fiber, which make them a much healthier choice than their refined counter parts. One great example is oatmeal, which contains soluble fiber. Oat fiber mixes with cholesterol in the small intestine and absorbs extra cholesterol, flushing it from the body before it can make its way into the bloodstream.
Fruits and Vegetables
Colorful vegetables contain fiber and natural chemicals that prevent disease. Another great way to get more fiber in your diet is to eat your fruits, such as apples and pears, with the skins on. Studies on blueberries suggest that these delicious fruits may be as effective in lowering cholesterol as some commercial drugs. Other great choices include garlic, which helps to lower cholesterol levels, and broccoli and other vegetables in the crucifer family, which not only help lower cholesterol but are also believed to help the body defend itself against cancer. Beans and other legumes contain a soluble fiber that helps with digestion and in lowering cholesterol. Avocadoes contain good fats that help protect the heart against disease. Fruits and vegetables are among the best foods that help cholesterol.
Walnuts, Pistachios and Almonds
Simply eating a handful of these nuts, which are filled with fiber and antioxidants, every day will help lower your cholesterol. Walnuts and almonds are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (good fat) and help keep blood vessels healthy, while studies on pistachios show that these nuts help lower LDL, or bad cholesterol.
Plant Sterols and Stanols
Studies show that plant sterols and stanols are powerful nutrients found in plants that help stop the absorption of cholesterol by the body. Sterols and stanols are found in fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds, although only in small amounts. Many foods such as healthy spreads and salad dressings have been fortified with sterols and stanols and provide a greater amount of these beneficial and natural nutrients.