High Cholesterol affects 42 million Americans, while 63 million more have borderline high cholesterol. This has become an increased and unfortunately common concern in modern medicine and is usually treated with some kind of prescription regimen coupled with an unhealthy crash diet and exercise program.
The good news is there are many things we can do to promote healthy cholesterol control without adding medications or taking away good and tasty food! The following foods can effectively help lower your cholesterol numbers and in some cases increase good cholesterol as well.
The first group of foods has the largest impact on your cholesterol numbers. These are foods that contain soluble fiber. Soluble fiber draws in water and makes it into a gel during digestion. This gel then attaches to cholesterol particles through the digestive track and takes them out during elimination. Foods that are rich in fiber usually have other additional health benefits that can make them more enriching to the body.
Oatmeal (steel ground, instant and regular cut) contains 6 grams of fiber per cup. This fiber can help lower your LDL or Low Density Lipoprotein or bad cholesterol. Increasing your intake of certain types of fruit can also raise your fiber intake and promote good digestive health. These fruits include apples, which are rich in pectin for digestion; pears, and prunes. Kidney beans are one of the higher value legumes with their levels of soluble fiber. They are also rich in nutrients like proteins. Certain grains are also known to have higher levels of soluble fiber. One of the highest levels of soluble fiber are found in barley which also packs some great antioxidants.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
The second way to increase your body’s ability to lower LDL cholesterol is increase your intake of omega 3 fatty acids. These can not only help decrease your levels of LDL cholesterol, but also reduce the risk of sudden death from cholesterol issues. Salmon has one of the best reputations for omega 3 fatty acids both in edible form, or in oil form. Some other fish that have similar benefits are lake trout, herring, sardines, halibut and albacore tuna. This fish should be grilled to avoid adding any unneeded fats to them that could negate the benefit you intend to receive. If cooking and eating fish isn’t really up your alley, you can also supplement with an Omega-3 or Fish Oil supplement.
Along with omega 3 and fiber, mono-polyunsaturated fat can be helpful to lower cholesterol. These mono-polyunsaturated fats are known to effectively keep blood vessels healthy and functioning properly. There are several ways to get these fats into your systems. Nuts are high in mono-polyunsaturated fats. Specific nuts like almonds, walnuts and pistachios which add such other benefits as omega 3, proteins and plant sterols (which can also help cholesterol) can be added to your diet. These mono-polyunsaturated fats also reduce the risk of heart disease.
A few other foods that you can to your diet that can change your cholesterol numbers are avocados which are packed with fiber and monounsaturated fats and olive oil which is has many heart healthy properties.
One of the last foods that can effectively lower cholesterol is the ingestion of Whey protein. Whey proteins both lower LDL cholesterol numbers and can also lower total overall cholesterol. By using a low calorie, high quality protein like SizeSlim Whey Isolate Protein you can not only add heart healthy benefits, but 25 grams of lean protein.
With all the worries people have about cholesterol, the inclusion of diet as a key to lowering of the bad numbers and increasing the good numbers. Sometimes you are left with very few options when those numbers are not where they need to be, but knowing these foods can help keep those numbers in check may be key to keeping the doctor and medicine at bay. If you are careful to watch your diet and incorporate the foods listed above, with proper exercise you can change your health for the better!